What Was Miley Cyrus Thinking?

Good question. Perhaps she intended for her performance at the 2013 VMAs to be edgy and artistic. Maybe she was trying to break away from her wholesome Hannah Montana image. Maybe she just couldn’t control her excitement about being relevant again. Or maybe she knew exactly what she was doing and she is smarter than we all thought. Without her sexually charged, sloppy, and (forgive the term) trashy “dance moves,” she would be slipping further into obscurity. But we’re talking about her more than Syria.

As a mom, my mind goes straight to how my kids would interpret the performance if they had seen it. My son knows that Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines is currently my favorite song, and I don’t want the image of Miley twerking up against him when he hears the song. By the way, did you know the word twerking is in the Oxford Dictionary? My daughter would probably do her sassy dance and mimic Miley, which would give us scary visions of the future (please, no!).

Srsly though, what do we do about the influence of sexy young pop stars? I don’t think it’s Miley’s responsibility to remain a wholesome role model for future generations. And she’s not the first or last to shock us. Our long term plan for keeping our kids safe and responsible is an authoritative parenting style, in which we place limits on their behavior, but also respect and encourage their opinions and keep them communicating with us. As the kids get older, I know it gets harder to keep communication lines open, so it probably will be harder than it sounds. We plan to continue to have age-appropriate conversations about pop culture, including Tween stars, and how we expect our kids conduct themselves. Hopefully, something will sink in.

How do you address the influence of pop culture on your kids?

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