American Idol & Self-Delusion

I’ll be transparent: the above tweet had been ratting around in my head for a few weeks and I think it’s pretty damn clever (yes, I know that’s egotistical, but there it is). I’ve been watching American Idol this season thinking as a parent…wondering how the parents of some of those tone-deaf, completely awful singers could live with themselves as they lied to their kids and told them to “Just go for it!”. Does loving your kids mean lying to them? I don’t think it does. It’s definitely something I want to write more about in the future…in fact, I’ve adding parenting as a new category for this blog, and this is the inaugural post.

  • There was some kind of stink last year about how badly people wanted to be famous. I think that plays into it. Most people seem to think of famous outside of time or talent. I think it has less to do with parents deluding their children about any talent they may or may not have, and more to do with a lottery mentality. They hope by being in the right place at the right time, fame will happen and all their problems will be solved automatically.

    But I don’t watch those shows.

  • Toner, good point. I have tried as an amateur philosopher to construct a system in which it is possible to go through life telling no lies at all. I am unable to. When it comes to my children, I no I can’t avoid lying completely, but I try not to lie to them when I am conscious of it. My wife and I have had quite a few discussions on the subject. I was raised in a “Santa is pretend, so we’re going to pretend there’s a Santa and have a lot of fun with it.” I insisted on that with our children. My wife resisted, because in her background, all children are raised to believe in Santa, then have to spend a few years lying to their parents that they still believe after they figured out it was a lie. I never understood the point. My policy is not to lie to my kids deliberately. I’d rather tell them I can’t discuss something with them or it’ll have to wait until they’re older than lie.

  • Toner, good point. I have tried as an amateur philosopher to construct a system in which it is possible to go through life telling no lies at all. I am unable to. When it comes to my children, I no I can’t avoid lying completely, but I try not to lie to them when I am conscious of it. My wife and I have had quite a few discussions on the subject. I was raised in a “Santa is pretend, so we’re going to pretend there’s a Santa and have a lot of fun with it.” I insisted on that with our children. My wife resisted, because in her background, all children are raised to believe in Santa, then have to spend a few years lying to their parents that they still believe after they figured out it was a lie. I never understood the point. My policy is not to lie to my kids deliberately. I’d rather tell them I can’t discuss something with them or it’ll have to wait until they’re older than lie.

  • Yeah, I think that kind of encouragement is equal to bringing your child up to the roof of your house and telling him that he can fly. “I believe in you, son. But just in case I am going to move mom’s car out of the way.”

  • Exactly! I’m convinced that you can be encouraging to your children without giving them delusions about what they can and can’t do. You want to be a doctor? Sure, work hard and you can make it happen. You want to sing in front of millions of people without making an ass of yourself? You’d better have a good voice and pitch, or you shouldn’t even try.

  • Exactly! I’m convinced that you can be encouraging to your children without giving them delusions about what they can and can’t do. You want to be a doctor? Sure, work hard and you can make it happen. You want to sing in front of millions of people without making an ass of yourself? You’d better have a good voice and pitch, or you shouldn’t even try.

  • I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have to believe there’s a difference between not telling your kid Santa Claus is fictional and telling your kid he/she has a wonderful voice and should pursue a singing career. My goal is to never lie to my son, but I’m sure there will be times when that’s not easy. My wife and I have been giving some serious thought to the whole Santa Claus/Easter Bunny/etc. part of growing up and haven’t come any great solution yet. I’m sure there will be blog posts about that in the future. 🙂

  • Interesting point. We can blame the Paris Hilton’s of the world for the idea of fame not coming with talent. I can’t help but think that parenting plays a big role though…

  • Junix_smb

    I think the parents are encourage her kid to do her dream not to lie..

  • pam

    Some parents just don’t want to hurt their kids feelings. They teach us to grow up fearless and that anything is possible.