Child stars' struggles grieve our achy, breaky hearts

Somebody should have told his heart. His achy, breaky, heart.

Billy Ray Cyrus says he's now fearful for his daughter, and he's comparing her to Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain and Anna Nicole Smith. Cyrus says he's just a dad who's looking out for his daughter, and he's afraid of what her fame will do to her. He says it's already destroyed his family and marriage.

Cyrus was quoted this week as saying the fame that came so quickly to his daughter after the two of them began starring in the Disney mega-hit, "Hannah Montana," has put her in danger, along with the people that are around her.

"I'm scared for her. She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger. I know she's 18, but I still feel like as her daddy I'd like to try to help take care of her just a little bit, to at least get her out of danger. I want to get her sheltered from the storm; stop the insanity for just a minute. When you got through what she's been through, it takes a beating on you," he said.

Cyrus said that every time the Miley train derailed – scandalous pictures in Vanity Fair magazine, pole dancing, the salvia bong – Miley's handlers blamed him. And he says he was willing to take the bullet. But he's also quick to say he never profited from his daughter's success. 

And now that Miley's had some missteps, Cyrus said he wants to step in and "make sure everything's okay."

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," he said.

We humbly ask Mr. Cyrus, where were you when the train first hit the tracks? All too often, as long as a child star is bringing home the money and the spotlight's glare isn't too uncomfortable for the child or the parent, everybody's happy. No one gets concerned about the effects until there's some sort of misbehavior. 

We believe that these stage parents should get involved long before the word "bong" is ever brought up. Keep your kids grounded, beginning early on. Teach them character. Show them how to handle their burgeoning fame. Tell them no once in a while. And don't make them your cash cows. 

No child should ever have to sacrifice their childhood for a star on the Walk of Fame, whether that star bears the child's name or the parent's. Either way, it's just not worth it.

Published Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:48 AM by bulldog
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