Saturday, May 30, 2009
Super-duper interesting parenting question. Holy Steel: genuine distress or manipulation on Britain's Got Talent?
There's a debate going on one of the forums I participate in regarding the above clip of Holy Steel on Britain's Got Talent. Some folks feel like, as is the show's history, this was a blatant manipulation but this time on the child's part. They cite crocodile tears as evidence that she full well knows how to get what she wants. They accuse mom of being a pushy stage mom. One quote: "Do you think it sends out a dodgy message to children that if you weep and beg you get what you want, never mind the expense and inconvenience caused to millions of people?" which of course one has no choice but to answer "YES." Simon was pressured into rearranging the whole show to give her another chance, etc.
And then other folks are arguing that she is a little girl, that it was a genuine reaction to forgetting her lines and the pressure was too much. That the mother was only comforting her and supporting her to actualize her dreams.
I think they are both "right". At first, when she first forgets her lines, I feel tremendous compassion and dismay watching her. But then, once she is told there is no time for a repeat performance, and she goes into more of a meltdown... I start to feel the twinge of manipulation on the edges of my consciousness. Which, if she has been taught those skills will get her what she wants, she will use them when she needs to. It doesn't make her evil or anything. She does seem a bit of a princess though. Ugh, this parenting thing.... how am I ever gonna raise Charlie "right"? there are so many little pitfalls!
What does your gut tell you about Holly's behavior? Her mom's behavior? Simon's behavior ;-) ?