Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Trace Adkins to Twyla Tharp--a parent's perspective

I was thinking.

I had this whole train of thought kick off from a song on the radio. This time Trace Adkins, Ladies love country boys. Imagine the drawl ya'll.

Anyway. Bear with me...

Yeah, you know momma’s and daddy’s want better for their daughters
Hope they’ll settle down with a doctor or a lawyer
In their uptown, ball gown, hand-me-down royalty

They never understand
why their princess falls
For some camouflage britches
and a southern boy drawl

Parents work as hard as they can, earn as much money as they can, so their children will be better off than they were (or at least I think most parents try to do this). We want the best for our kids and we want to ease their lives as much as we can.

And then I got to thinking about the poor little rich kids. Nicole Ritchie, Paris Hilton, a load of others I don't even hear about. Having every damn thing a person could ask for and still screwing it up.

And then I got to thinking about Twyla Tharp's book and how she believes very strongly that deprivation and struggle, lack of time, funds, the scaling of obstacles is actually the key to creative success--at least for her and many others--that having your back up against the wall (ahem), overcoming and getting around difficulties can hone the creative process much more effectively than having all the money, time, materials you think you need, at your disposal.

So. Basically what I'm thinking is kids can probably do without the cash. And most parents could ease a little of the pressure off themselves by providing kids with the skills to deal with real life, rather than hoping money will solve all their problems.

Phew. My brain is mangled.


  1. I wish I had thought like that 40 years ago Toni

  2. LOL--it's a theory I'm working on to avoid the guilt!!!

  3. I totally and completely agree with you. We're trying to instill the theory in our kids that you don't need things and money to be happy. But I tell ya, if I could only have a little bit MORE money so I wouldn't have to worry about the bills every month, I would be MUCH happier! ;-)

  4. Well Melissa that's it. Most of us are barely able to keep up with the basics and yet we're constantly thinking about our kids future on top of that. It makes it even harder.

    I do believe in the lottery--just for clarification ;)

  5. Ummm...I don't know. There are an awful lot of people born into families with means who do well. We only see those idiots who live a life geared to the tabloids.

    I admit, I'm a spoiled only child. I pretty much got what I wanted, didn't have to worry about money, etc. I decided I liked that lifestyle but knew it took hard work to get it, so that was my mindset.

    I do think it is ridiculous for parents to spend beyond their limits to make their kids happy, they are usually compensating for something else.

    And while we as a society love to blame a person's troubles on the way they were raised, unfortunately, what it comes down to an individual. I firmly believe Paris Hilton would be a loser no matter what. She gets away with a lot more because she has money.

  6. believes very strongly that deprivation and struggle, lack of time, funds, the scaling of obstacles is actually the key to creative success
    Well, then I should be putting out a Pulitzer. LOL

    I have to disagree with Rene. I think it is all in the upbringing. I have to use Sean Cassidy as an example because I had a crush on him and read this in one of his many interviews. When he was a teenager his mother, Shirley Jones, made him take out the garbage, do chores, and he had an allowance. I think if Paris' parents had not "spoiled" her, if they had made her responsible for things instead of expecting them because of who she is, then things would have turned out differently.

    It's not that parent's give their children everything, it's that they don't make their children "earn" them. Giving and giving and giving and not expecting anything in return produces a child who expects the world to owe them something.

    That's JMHO. :P

  7. LOL -- I don't know enough about Paris Hilton or Nicole Ritchie to know that they have actually screwed up -- more so than most teens and those in their twenties that I know, anyway ;) One might argue that they've done well.

    I don't think cash is the problem. I'm guessing that the odds of making a success when born into underprivileged circumstance are very low compared to the odds of making a success when born into an educated family that backs you with money and education in turn.

    I think instilling basic human values, empathy, a sense of global responsibility etc, is what makes for a decent human being. Rich or poor. As parents we can only try our very best to do that. Becuase then we have 'won'.

    As for a kid becoming "successful" (depending on definition)-- I think that comes from a peculiar combination of wanting something badly enough/passion/fire/drive etc. And I don't know if a parent can always give a child that fire -- rich or poor.

  8. LOl -- I'm back. I'm thinking I totally disagree with Tharp. If you subscribe to Maslow's heirarchy of needs, and a person never gets off the bottom levels of Maslow's scale, he/she just aint gonna be able to self-acutalize at all.

    Suffering certainly can fuel the creative process, but suffering is relative, and not the realm of only those without cash, methinks.

    Dunno -- thinking aloud. See? You made me think!! Sheesh, like I haven't got more pressing things to do *VBG*

  9. Yeah Maslow - Sad Eskimos Support Sidney Poitier. At least that's how I learned it in college.

  10. Okay, I can see a little bit of truth in everything everyone's said.

    Who's the picture of? She's got a nice pair of goggles going on there. No welder's flash for her!

  11. Wow--look at all these comments. You guys were busy without me.

    OK. Re Tharp. She wasn't talking about child rearing. She was talking about how when given the entire New York ballet company and an unlimited budget and plenty of time to prepare, she messed up, compared to how she normally works with no budget, crappy timeline and no support and creates viable pieces of work--I was extrapolating.

    And you know, despite all the noise we're actually saying the same thing. Money is one of the *least* important factors in producing happy, healthy, caring, individuals.

    I realise that this probably doesn't fit in all income levels--I guess below the poverty line people might find it harder to succeed (but I'm not talking about wealth accumulation here). But I was raised below the poverty line (although that in the UK is different again from that in Somalia for example) and I did OK.

    And I'm also not saying all rich kids are losers, definitely not. But Loreth having watched their show and read about their exploits (second hand I know) Nicole and Paris do not rate very highly on my *good kid* scale. They are also young enough to change.

    Meretta--that is Nicole Ritchie.

  12. That's a really great conclusion. I credit a lot of my thinking, and story ideas, to the wild life that I've lead. I've had to overcome a lot to be where I'm at today, and it fills me with a huge sense of pride.