How many of you reading this post are parents? And of that number how many of you are parents to adult children? If I had to guess there are possibly a great number of you out there answering yes to both questions. Parenthood today has taken on a variety of faces. Single parents, step parents, parents who have adopted children, grandparents raising grandchildren, and the situations go on. Regardless the circumstances, parents most of the time have the privilege of watching their children grow up. I remember watching on as my daughter began to speak and comprehend her surroundings. It was such a joy to watch a little mind at work figuring out life and developing her individual preferences and ideas. One of the things most may remember was how our children loved certain television programs. Here in the US we still have certain programs that have been a part of children’s lives for three generations. One of the television shows that my daughter, and very likely your children watched and loved is Barney and Friends.
Yes, the purple dinosaur and his buddies have been entertaining and educating young ones for over twenty years. (New episodes have not been produced since 2009, however reruns continue to air on various PBS stations) My daughter loved not only the TV show, but also the music, videos, live shows, books and stuffed animals associated with the program. The children who appeared on the show as Barney’s friends were also entertaining as they sang and danced along with their large purple friend. However, as my father always used to say, “Time marches on”, and those children like ours grow up fast. Yes, many of them, as many of our children have grown into adults and many have started their own families. In reflecting upon those children my thoughts turned to young superstar Demi Lovato.
Oh yes, she was once upon a time one of Barney’s friends, now all grown up. As I looked at some of the
old pictures of Lovato as she appeared on Barney, I wondered if her parents thought she would become the major star she is today. Most parents want their children to succeed in life, but overall I’m sure most are like me and ultimately just wish for their child’s happiness. My dad told me many times that he wanted me to have a childhood that I could look back upon fondly. I have approached parenthood similarly, hoping my daughter would have a childhood without great pain. I used the phrase “without great pain” because there will be some pain. It is part of the human experience to feel pain, even in childhood. Demi Lovato surely was not exempt from painful experiences on her way to the top of the entertainment world. In fact, she revealed that she was bullied so severely she requested a home-schooled education. She earned her high school diploma through home-schooling April 2009. Lovato also has suffered from eating disorders and self-mutilation in efforts to cope with depression. Her climb to fame did not make her problems lessen as she continued to fight through drug and alcohol problems as she stated was “like a lot of teens do to numb their pain“.
Though Demi Lovato suffered greatly during her teen years, she has grown musically and philanthropically. In 2010, Lovato served as spokeswoman for the anti-bullying organization PACER and in October 2012, she was named the new Ambassador of Mean Stinks, an anti-bullying campaign focused on eliminating bullying among girls. Also during 2012 Demi Lovato served as a judge on The X Factor, and released her fourth album Demi May 14th. Needless to say the young star has had a turbulent journey through childhood that I’m sure she hopes has settled. She will soon be celebrating her twenty-first birthday that signals at least a legal transition into adulthood. Somehow I think her emotional transition happened a while ago, as she purchased a home for her family on her eighteenth birthday. At least for now she is back singing and recording and appears focused and happy. I’m sure her mother wishes for her happiness like all parents for their children. I would just love to see her enjoy her success in the music world.