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you’re a SUPERSTAR!

January 29, 2009

seriously. it’s not okay to tell someone they’re good at something they’re not really good at. so stop it people. please?

american idol proves this every year. a young kiddo walks into the audition and sings their heart out, poorly. i mean…they put their heart into it, but there’s no vocal ability or quality put into it…cuz, there is none. and all their lives they’ve been told by parents, cousins and great aunts that they have what it takes. they tell them they sound just like celine dion or justin timberlake. but they don’t. they sound more like…roseanne barr. and i’m not trying to be mean. but it is the truth. they aren’t bad people, they’re just badly informed. imho. next thing they know, their dreams are shattered and they can’t understand why.

don’t you think it’s a bit misleading to tell these kids they have something they don’t? a disservice, perhaps? all that time they invested into false hope, they could’ve honed into one of their real natural talents and been that much more farther ahead.

am i crazy for thinking this way?

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30 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2009 12:39 am

    The one where this beautiful 16 year old girl, who seemed to be normal and brimming with confidence, went in and was so completely tone-deaf it hurt… I decided that her mother, who told Ryan her baby had been singing since she was 5, had to be tone-deaf too. Because there is NO WAY a momma can love a child so much that the sound coming out of that girl’s mouth sounded good to her.

    Not possible. They had to have the same tone deaf issues or something.

    While we’re on AIdol topic… go to this link:

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20255459,00.html

    to hear Melinda Doolittle’s first release. If I could move I would be DANCING. Love that song.

  2. January 29, 2009 2:06 am

    I know where you’re coming from, but the Bible says to “make a joyful noise” (that’s what they always say at my church when it’s time for congregational singing) and they didn’t say it had to be in key. If it makes them happy, I say more power to them. πŸ˜€

    I do agree with you though, to some extent. I think gitz may be onto something. If they are tone-deaf, then they probably inherited it from their parents! (LOL)

  3. January 29, 2009 3:13 am

    I agree – people shouldn’t set their kids up for humiliation like that. The truth hurts. Its the same thing as parents who think that their kid is going to get an athletic scholarship. A mother once told me with a straight face that I should expect her son to be in the NBA one day – despite the fact that this kid was all of 5’6″, slow as molasses, and had all of the coordination of a broken slinky.

    I know that all kids are special – but maybe their specialness needs to be expressed another way than what Mom and Dad want.

    I was initially appalled at the way the no-talents were treated on “American Idol,” but I realized that the judges are actually doing them a favor. Without that humiliation, these poor, deluded folks might waste more and more years of their lives chasing a dream that will never come true instead of turning their energies towards something that might actually pan out for them.

  4. January 29, 2009 4:07 am

    You are absolutely right!! I’m constantly telling a friend of mine she can’t sing :-)….uhhhh cuz she can’t! But she was told all of her childhood that she was the next Whitney Houston. It’s blogs like this one and shows like American Idol that will teach parents a lesson: Brusie their ego now or let them be humiliated on national television, in front of millions, later.

  5. TheNorEaster permalink
    January 29, 2009 4:30 am

    “am i crazy for thinking this way?”

    Well, we all KNOW you’re crazy, Tam.

    BUT this time…just this ONE TIME…

    …you’re right. πŸ™„

  6. TheNorEaster permalink
    January 29, 2009 4:30 am

    PS: πŸ˜‰

  7. January 29, 2009 4:57 am

    “Am I crazy…?” I can’t bear the temptation of that question.
    I’ll just have to ignore it and address something else.

    THE FLIPSIDE.
    If your kid IS great at something, then affirm the crap outta them. Be their biggest fan! Cheer them on. Help them achieve. INVEST IN THE FUTURE “THEM”… I speak as a 30-yr-old woman in the third year of a quarter-life-crisis who is finally figuring herself out… Sometimes I think things would’ve turned out differently for me, if only……

  8. TheNorEaster permalink
    January 29, 2009 5:57 am

    Mandy: “If only…” living is not living.

    As someone once said, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers, but, above all, the world needs dreamers who DO.”

    And you’re pretty good at DOing something. πŸ˜‰

  9. January 29, 2009 6:41 am

    I don’t think you’re crazy. I agree. These kids have been done a disservice but by more than just the family and friends who have encouraged them in something they clearly were not born to do.

    I do agree, however, that a joyful noise is what God desires. And to that end, yes, encourage and encourage and encourage kids to put inhibitions aside for the glory of God…but know where to draw the line.

    More importantly, I think its kind of sad that we all, myself included, gain some sort of enjoyment out of watching these kids fail. Yeah, it makes for great television….but what about the woman who was so harshly criticized and then took her own life right in front of one of the judges homes……just something to think about.

  10. January 29, 2009 7:22 am

    yes!! I don’t watch that show since we can’t tune it in, but I’ve seen that principle personally with people I know. I always feel like the bad guy for thinking they can’t sing and wondering if everyone else is just tone deaf.

    I don’t get it.

  11. January 29, 2009 7:41 am

    I totally agree. I always think that when I watch. I think it is sad that person doesn’t really have any honest people in their lives. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. A real friend or relative would tell the truth. I mean what worse way to find out you are no good than on national television?

  12. Heidi permalink
    January 29, 2009 7:43 am

    Nope not crazy at all …

  13. January 29, 2009 7:49 am

    I don’t even know why people still watch American Idol. They should be watching PBS. They have SUCH good shows on there.

    I guess people rather watch a trainwreck than an educational video though.

  14. January 29, 2009 7:51 am

    of course. we do kids a disservice if we tell them what we WANT to be true about them (that she is the next celine dion and will now buy me a mansion in miami). did you know EVERY kid in Hope’s kindergarten class last year got an “award”. Awards aren’t for just showing up, they are for achievement or progress. We devalue them if we give them out for everything and anything.

    but i do think that some parents go the other way not sharing any praise or admiration.

  15. January 29, 2009 8:21 am

    i hate complimentary lies!

  16. January 29, 2009 8:35 am

    nailed it

  17. January 29, 2009 9:41 am

    Absolutely. I don’t think it’s healthy to tell anyone, much less a kid that they are something that they’re not. Most everyone has some good quality, ability, or talent to focus in on to legitimately build up their self esteem without plain out lying to them about something they’re not. So why go usin’ what ain’t really there to create a false sense of ability. Cause eventually somebody’s gonna dash their false belief of themself and it’s not gonna go over so well then.

  18. January 29, 2009 9:56 am

    Not crazy at all.

    My parents have always told me I can’t sing. It doesn’t mean I don’t still love to do it. But they also emphasized the things I CAN do. Parents get so caught up in wanting their kids to be famous, etc. that they forget to highlight their kids’ talents and to help them find something they are good at that they love.

  19. January 29, 2009 10:45 am

    Yes it’s misleading! It makes me think of Anne Sullivan, who refused to coddle Helen Keller because it was a misrepresentation of what the world is really like.

  20. January 29, 2009 12:07 pm

    oh. okay. i thought id have some opposition here. im pleasantly surprised!! πŸ™‚

    so, im not crazy?

    yay!!!!

    or…we’re ALL just crazy….

  21. January 29, 2009 12:26 pm

    I have zero experience with raising kids. My guess is that in some cases kids need to learn the truth about their skills, in other cases it is probably better to just not to crush their poor fragile egos. πŸ™‚

    If a child shows a lot of interest in something, even if you believe their skills are limited, I think they should still be encouraged. If they reach the point where they are dreaming of a career using this skill then a parent needs to get honest.

    I just know I could have been a great singer with a little encouragement. It is hard to feel encouraged about your singing when people are fleeing at the sound of it. πŸ™‚

  22. January 29, 2009 12:48 pm

    One of the sanest posts I’ve read – here or anywhere really. I’m not yett a parent, but I totally agree with Sarah Markley too; this whole ‘give everyone an award cos we don’t want anyone to be upset’ thing, which seemed to start when I was at school in the 80s (aaaggghhh), really just perpetuates the general attitude of ‘the world owes me something’ imho.

    That said, I’ve mentored some people in my team who had a heart for worship but the voice of the…um…how can I be polite about this…you know what I mean anyway. Some of them came to realise singing wasn’t for them and decided to train up in other areas of the team (techie stuff, or instruments), while others have developed into great singers & worship leaders. I love that.

  23. January 29, 2009 1:13 pm

    No, you’re not crazy. πŸ™‚

    Mandy Sue has a point about making a joyful noise, but I think it’s important to note that we’re to make a joyful noise in worship, not necessarily on a stage. If you can’t sing, don’t let that stop you from worshipping or even just singing wherever, but you shouldn’t assume that you can have a wildly successful career on the stage. You’d be better off doing something you do actually have a natural aptitude for and doing THAT well.

  24. January 29, 2009 1:14 pm

    Oh, crap.

    I hate it when I forget to close a tag. The italics should have stopped after “worship.”

  25. January 29, 2009 1:22 pm

    Something I’ve wondered while watching the show: Do the parents or friends really not hear what the rest of us are hearing? Do they honestly think that their child, their friend, their sibling can sing? I just don’t get that part. When you hear a mom, or a friend say “Oh yeah, their gonna make it to the next round” or “I’m just so proud of her! She is just that good!” do they HONESTLY believe that? Really???

  26. January 29, 2009 1:48 pm

    No, you’re not crazy. I’m not sure we can chalk all of it up to the family, though … I have met several people who were clearly convinced they were rock star material … and most people just cringed around them. So I think at least some of it is due to a fantasy that is not based in reality.

    (Case in point: we have a pantry chef – actually, that’s too fancy of a name. He’s a line cook who makes salads and desserts – who seriously thinks he’s a rockstar. He does not take anyone else as seriously as he takes himself … not even his job. And in every available moment is belting out the lyrics of some Mexican pop song, with all the moves and everything … as though there are fainting girls at his feet!! And his voice … kinda sounds like Mickey Mouse. And his attitude is truly repulsive. He’s so full of himself … it kinda socks you in the face. like a stinky sock, too. :p )

  27. January 29, 2009 1:53 pm

    Okay, and I should qualify my remark by saying … I don’t watch American Idol. So … per that show … the expert I am not.

  28. January 29, 2009 2:31 pm

    I agree 100% with everything you’ve stated.

    It bugs me to no end when parents praise their children who might never have the ability to do something that they can be “whatever they want”
    Maybe it’s the realist (or pessimist?) in me, but I think it’s unfair to do that to a kid.

  29. January 29, 2009 2:57 pm

    becca – you bring up a good point. brent and i were talking awhile back about the statement “you can be whatever you want to be.” i disagree entirely with that statement. my son LOVES football and would love to play football, like, professionally. but truth is…he cant. he has a good arm but he is not strong enough to play that sport. so…we dont tell him he’ll be a prof. football player. we tell him to play it with his friends, while encouraging him to invest time into basketball (which he is WAY good at) and drums. would we love him to play football? yup! but this isnt about us. its about him and helping him recognize his true strengths.

    youre right…it is unfair to these kids. gives them a false hope and could possibly destroy their trust in you. not good.

  30. February 5, 2009 7:55 am

    i am totally on the same page as you! i hope that i will never tell my kids something like “you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to”. cuz they probably can’t. they may be able to do a lot of things, but only a few things REALLY well. i agree with you, don’t shut them down or anything…encourage them in finding what THEY are good at.

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