Friday, January 24, 2014

CNN thinks you might be having difficult conversations this weekend

Good old CNN. It's trying to help you. More "trying" than "help", though:

"Mummy... can I ask you something?"
"I see you've read the newspaper. It's time to talk about Justin Bieber..."
"Jesus, mummy, I'm six; I like grew out of Bieber four years ago. Guy's a shit-hawk, I get that. You think we don't have cock-bundles like Bieber at school? I was going to ask about Syria..."

Still, given that CNN's Kelly Wallace has taken the time to prep this, we should at least pretend we don't think this article manages to pull of the strange feat of making an ever-expandable internet seem like a page has been wasted.
Parents should try to do more listening than talking, and ask kids what they think about Bieber's troubles, said Rachel Vail, a New York City mom of two and author of numerous books for kids and teens including her latest "Kiss Me Again."
The kids, of course, won't think anything, given that the only people who really have any thoughts about this are those struggling to fill celebrity columns.
"Scaffold their growing ability to think through complex issues like celebrity, entitlement, fame, substance abuse -- and really listen to their thoughts," said Vail, also on Facebook.
Oh, yeah. Kelly hasn't actually had an awkward conversation with Vail, she's just read something on Facebook.
"So often we think we have to have the correct answers and serve them up like so many inoculations to our kids. Being present and asking questions is sometimes the wiser, more respectful, and ultimately more empowering route."
"Being present". Well, yes, I guess that'd be better than standing at the end of the garden and shouting 'what do you think about Bieber?' through a loudhailer.
There's a lot more of this stuff, calling in several people for their views.
As for Bieber's teenage fans, Dean Schmidt, the Denver radio personality, believes they shouldn't stop liking him.

"And I'll go one step further and say they shouldn't judge him," she said. "Every person needs love, so I'm not going to tell a child to stop loving a person (celebrity or not) just because they've made some bad decisions."'
Hang about... isn't judging someone and stopping loving someone two different things? Isn't it wrong to suggest to kids that they shouldn't have an opinion on whether Bieber was in the right? That seems a bit strange.

Still: if you're parent, read up. That way you'll be fully prepared for the conversation your kids won't be wanting to have anyway.

Newsround, by the way, are running 'How to wind up your parents and make them ever more embarrassed by pretending you're upset about Justin Bieber'. Step three is to ask 'and why did Miley Cyrus rub her lady innards on the big ball?'