12/19/07 — All in the family: Here’s the evidence that it takes class — and a parent

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All in the family: Here’s the evidence that it takes class — and a parent

At long last, the answer has crystallized as the latest installment of the Spears family saga unfolds.

Now that 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears has announced she is pregnant by her longtime boyfriend and is keeping the baby, there is enough evidence to comment once and for all about what is wrong in the Spears family.

It boils down to parents and role models — and what we as a society are willing to accept from our young starlets.

All the money and fame in the world cannot take the bad upbringing out of the daughters — and all the Hollywood glitter cannot teach class where none existed in the first place.

One wonders why Jamie Lynn, who has a bizillion dollar contract with The Disney Channel, would not have learned a little something from watching her famous sister crash and burn.

It would seem she would get that having a baby is a serious responsibility for adults only.

And even if she missed that fact, perhaps she could have thought a bit about all the young girls who look up to her for an example of proper and honorable behavior.

But perhaps that more than anything else is a lesson for those raising young daughters.

Maybe that is why we should be a whole lot more careful about whom we allow our children to look to as a role model.

Perhaps Jamie Lynn was merely mimicking the behavior of her role model, her older sister Britney.

A little scary, isn’t it?

Now, there is more to this story, of course.

Where are the parents who spawned and raised this mess? What kind of role models have they been — and why are they not interceding to protect the next generation of the Spears brood from mistakes and bad parenting?

Someone sure needs to do something. There is not enough time in family court to iron out too many more bad choices from the Spears sisters.

But that brings us back to Jamie Lynn.

So, what is a wholesome, family channel to do — succumb to the will of pop culture or stick to its high ground?

The answer is wish Jamie Lynn well and then boot her.

The world is full of choices. And if teenage pregnancy is your choice, you should not be set up as a role model for other impressionable teens. Period. To have a baby at 16 is your right, but to condone or not to condone your behavior should be your employer’s choice.

Acting in this manner sends a message to young girls that there are consequences for behavior and encourages families to talk about how such choices can change a life forever.

If that happens, then Jamie Lynn Spears can say she did something good for her young fans. She will have helped them learn to take responsibility for their actions.

Published in Editorials on December 19, 2007 10:58 AM