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Messages By: graciesdad

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May 13, 2007, 3:26 pm CDT

If you watch, you might be surprised...

Quote From: ceildh1

I probably won't watch, just another show about parents who want to live vicariously through their kids, though I do worry about the kids who won't "Measure Up" so to speak, its one thing to encourage and support your child's dreams and aspirations, but I wonder if Dakota Fanning's Mother might be able to shed some light on the reality of stardom, I mean how do you keep the child grounded, when Mom is walking around with the dollar signs or stars in her eyes.

Lindsay Lohan

Brittany Spears

Dana Plato

Michael Jackson

Does anyone know what these people all have in common ?

If you actually take the time to watch the show, you might be surprised to find that the trailers only tell part of the story.  You might see that although there's certainly behavior anyone would find less than healthy and likely a little embarrassing for the mother's involved and their families, you might also see some kids with some true talent and authentic ambition to achieve a dream that is entirely their own dream.

 

For every Lindsay Lohan, there's a Jodie Foster.  My other child has a very regular life in a small town in Kentucky and I can tell you that he faces just as many challenges and temptations as does my daughter in Hollywood.

 

Plus, I'm not so sure anyone should close the books on what a clearly bright and talented woman like Lindsay Lohan might achieve before its all said and done.  Anyone remember Madonna or Angelena Jolie?

 

Being a critic is always the easiest of occupations.  These parents, flawed as they may be, are mostly loving parents who want the best for their children are willing to go to great lengths to demonstrate that love even when the message is filtered through their own human imperfection :-)

 

So, let's all watch and see what we think after the finale next Monday!

 

Respectfully,

Gracie's Dad

 
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May 13, 2007, 3:51 pm CDT

A Message from Gracie's Dad

Goodness gracious!  Wow... I'm really sort of taken back by these comments and the mean-spiritedness of some the commenters.  As someone who has been involved from the sidelines of the 'Make My Kid a Star' special, I can tell everyone that although you're going to see some things that most anyone would see as bad behavior -- you're also going to see some very geniunely talented kids and some very authentically loving and supportive mothers.

 

I don't want to set myself up as an apologist for anything Dr. Phil's cameras have captured because I'm sure there will be some behavior and parenting that won't be defensable.  I, nor anyone else, including the moms and kids that participated, have seen the show.  So, we'll all be watching this special unfold together.  What I can suggest to everyone is that the trailers are likely a little more negative in tone than the actual shows will be.  I certainly hope so, at least!

 

As for my daughter Gracie's participation, I can also tell you that she really had a very nice experience at the Dr. Phil house.  Her mother, Kiki, on the other hand, was a little more stressed-out about the whole thing.  Still, Kiki told me as recently as an hour ago after reading these messages boards that she's very surprised about how negative the tone is about the show and that overall she fells very good her own participation and believes that she and I along with Grace's Bonus Dad (Kiki's husband, Steve) made the right decision to allow Grace to participate and compete for some very nice prizes and maybe even that 'Big Break' that anyone needs who has a dream of acting on television or in movies.

I believe if you'll just watch the show, you'll see about what you'd see if the camera was on most parents 24/7 in any competitive venue -- lots of loving support along with some behavior we might not accept as exactly healthy for the kids or the parent.  I was a decent athlete growing up and I can tell you that although my parents were never anything but positively supportive that there were plenty of Little League fathers and Soccer moms who behaved very badly when it came to their little Johnny or little Janice performing up to their standards on the field of play.

 

To me, this is what Dr. Phil is trying to show all us parents through these shows -- that you have to develop some objectivity about your child and learn to be supportive without either living vicariously through them and without making a mess of your child's emotional life and psychological health.  Now, that's a lesson any of us can benefit from as loving parents who have to wake up each day and figure this parenting thing out in real time without the benefit of Dr. Phil's cameras, his challenges to our behavior when we are a bit irrational or his insights about how we might raise healthy and happy kids.

 

As for my  Gracie, I hope the show will let you see at least one kid whose truly happy to be doing exactly what she's doing and a mom who simply is willing to do what she can, within reason, to support her children's most ardent dreams!

 

I'm excited to find out just exactly how this whole thing looks after the 3rd show!  My thoughts and prayers are also with the other kids and their families as we each go through this somewhat intimidating experience together.

 

Oh, and I promise you, the show's NOT 'rigged'! :-)

 

All The Best!

 

Kurt

Gracie's Dad

 
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May 13, 2007, 5:55 pm CDT

Fair enough...

Quote From: ceildh1

Okay, I'll take that challenge and watch, and repost tommorrow, we'll see if the trailors were "taken out of Context" as they often seem to be when the guests get on the board.

That's certainly fair enough!  I'll be watching right along with you and Dr. Phil's viewers with my finger's crossed that my daughter and her mother are presented as the wonderful, thoughtful, balanced and loving human beings that I know them to be :)

 

Be Good!

 

Gracie's Dad

 
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May 13, 2007, 7:39 pm CDT

I agree...

Quote From: danercdee5

See there is a healthy way to encourage your children to do well in something that THEY like, this mother just proves there are boundaries and she takes her childs interest in consideration before her own!  Go Mom!

There's absolutely no doubt that there is "healthy way to encourage your child to do well in something that THEY like" and I that's exactly what Gracie's mother and I strive each to do with all our children -- Gracie, her brother, Warren, and Kiki's Bonus Son, Christopher.

 

I congratulate this mom for having healthy "boundaries" and putting her child's interest "before her own".  As parents, however, we often have to learn from our mistakes and hopefully all the parents involved in this show, including me and Gracie's mom, Kiki, will use this experience, including the upcoming shows, to learn and to become even better parents and better supporters of our children's most ardent ambitions and dreams!

 

Namaste!

 

Kurt

 
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May 13, 2007, 7:56 pm CDT

It's all about the journey...

Quote From: goonis

So Dr. Phil, do you think that you are encouraging these parents poor behavior by pitting them against each other and actually rewarding the behavior with the hope of these prizes?  I'm not sure I'm too happy about your methods here but I will watch the show so that I can make an "educated" decision.

 

My 13 yr. old son actually seems to have talent in the acting arena.  It really seems to be his niche.  I don't however take him to tons of auditions and push him like these crazy mothers.  He is involved with a wonderful theater group for children and takes part in their summer program every year.  They do a really fabulous, very proffesional job and he loves it.  He has also performed with another theater group in their Christmas production and takes part in school productions.  He was in the band but has decided he doesn't particularly enjoy band and has decided to take choir instead hoping to improve his vocal skills since he does not have "natural" talent in that area.  Whenever he goes to an audition I always stress that although I know he hopes for a big part, that whatever part he gets make the most of it and put his whole heart into it and they will remember him and he'll probably get a bigger part the next year.  That was what happened when he first started with the summer group last year.  He got the role of a townsperson in Beauty and the Beast.  Even though it was by no means a lead he had a ball!  The people that run the program noticed his enthusiasm and rewarded it with adding to his role a bit.  This year his has a little bit bigger role in Seussical and again he is thrilled to just be a part of such a great group.

 

"Stage Moms" need to take note and realize that being a child star in Hollywood isn't important, it's letting your kids follow their dreams, have fun doing it and letting them still be kids.

I tell Gracie nearly each time we have a talk about her desire to have a movie/tv career to remember that most all of life is more about the journey than it is about any particular destination and that if you can be happy and joyful during the journey then whatever your final destination you will have peace of mind and a lasting internal joy of living!

 

All the best to your 13 year old son with his endeavors!  Gracie's brother, my son Warren, is also 13 and very much enjoying school drama, school chorus and community theatre far away from teh bright lights of Hollywood.  In fact, Warren's probably a more natural gifted actor than our Gracie.  We call him the "Zen Master" because he has an innate ability to just go with the flow, dude :-)  Grace, in contrast, continue to live up to her namesake, Ayn Rand, in that she's singularly driven and has focused tenacity when it comes to just about any goal she chooses.

 

It's fun having two kids with lots of intelligence, talent and strong-wills who've chosen to manifest their attributes in very different ways.  As for me, I'd just as soon Gracie be right back here in Kentucky being the funny and fun 11 year old country girl that she is when she's with us out here in the sticks.  But, anyone who knows Ayna Grace Maddox also knows that simply wouldn't be Gracie.  No, she embodies a very rare drive to achieve her goals.

 

My sin, if I've committed a sin, has been to consistently tell both my kids that they can be anything they want to be and that they can achieve anything they want to achieve if they can believe it in their heart and then commit it to their minds that they can.  We've combined that with suggesting to them that in the final analysis, it is the journey that is more important than any destination and that if they remember to enjoy the journey then the final destination doesn't really matter all that much :-)

 

Be Good!

 

Gracie's Dad

 
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May 13, 2007, 9:43 pm CDT

A Message from Gracie's Dad

I'm the father of the 'Gracie' participating in Dr. Phil's 'Make My Kid a Star' with her mother, Kiki.  First, I want to thank Gracie's mother for her courage to be on this show when she knew going into the project that Dr. Phil and his producers were likely looking to uncover more than just whose kid might have what it takes to 'be a star'.  She and her husband and I discussed the issue at length, but, decided in the final analysis that Gracie understood all sides of this opportunity, including the risks involved that things could go badly or that we might learn some things about ourselves that would be difficult to learn in front a few million of Dr. Phil's viewers.

 

Really, it was simply our belief in Gracie and our confidence that we were honestly supporting HER dreams and not vice versa that gave us enough of a comfort level to do this show.  Again, the parental credit all goes to Kiki and I couldn't be more pround of her.  Of course, none of us have seen the show so there could very well be plenty of footage that'll make us all blush or worse, but, we're all very excited about the show and ready to learn some lessons that will only build on the insights that  Gracie and Kiki learned during the actual taping of the show.

 

Like any loving and rational parent, I love my kids regardless of their objective level of talent or ambition.  My and Kiki's son, Warren, is perfectly content to live with me in a town of 400 people in rural Kentucky, perform in school plays, hang out with his friends and be his Dad's best friend.  Like most siblings, Gracie's different.  She has a very singular ambition of becoming a working actress in Hollywood.

 

I don't find anything wrong with either vision.  Our kids are individuals and they've chosen individual paths in life, as you'd expect.  For both of them, their mother and I along with their very large extended family support system have guided them with a couple of very simple principles:

 

1. You can do or be anything you desire.  No dream is too big and no ambition is too grand.  The only true limitation in life is your belief.  If you believe you can -- you can!  If you believe you can't -- then you can't.

2. Life is a journey and not a destination!  Whatever your dreams may be, never forget that happiness comes from the joy of becoming and from the adventures along the way.  If you embrace the adventure of getting there, then the ultimate destination will never matter too much.

 

We hope these principles come through over the course of Dr. Phil's 3 day special.  Either way, I know that my daughter is a very loving, kind, generous, thoughtful and talented young woman and that she'd got the best mom a girl could ever hope to have to guide her along life's pathways!

 

Sincerely,

Gracie's Dad (...and Warren's too!)

 
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May 14, 2007, 8:10 am CDT

Again... just "Wow!"

Quote From: missnatalie

thats funny u say u are taken back by the meaness of the comments because i was taken back by the meaness of the mothers.  What loving mother treats their children like that?  Pushing all these unrealistic expectations on their kids, all that pressure.  Also the show isnt about young talented kids, so when u tell us to watch the talent, thats not what the show is about..the show is MAKE my kid a star.  its about the parents pusing their kids...i just hope they enjoy their TV time because its probably the last time most if not all will be on TV.

Gosh, shouldn't we at least all watch these 3 episodes before we make these type of harsh judgements with such moral certitude?  Everyone, of course, is entitled to their own perceptions and opinions about this matter or any other.  Again, I'll just restate for the record that I'm very proud of Grace's involvement with Dr. Phil and his producers and that I'm just as proud of her mom for being the great person that she is!

 

As for me and my family, we'll all be watching with an open mind ready to learn whatever insights the show has for our lives and for our desire to be the best support system possible for our Gracie.  I've learned many difficult lessons in life and these lessons have taught me to never stop listening to honest feedback and constructive criticism.  So, I'll be watching and listening and observing right along with everyone else.

 

As for Grace, she remains personally adamant that this experience was an overwhelmingly happy experience for her from the very first day she arrived at the Dr. Phil house.  She really liked the other kids as well as the other mothers and she says she had a blast doing all the little competitions with the other kids.  Will there be some legitimate issues for us all to explore with Dr. Phil's guidance?  Sure and we look forward to gaining any insights from any source that will help us lead happier and healthier lives and be more effective and loving parents!

 

Have a great day and thank you for caring enough to register your thoughts on this issue that's very dear to my own heart!

 

Gracie's Dad

 
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May 14, 2007, 10:44 am CDT

Bonus Families

Quote From: carrieallen1

maybe gracies dad could clarify "bonus dad and son"

does that mean step dad or half brother?

if so, just a thought, maybe just call each other dad, son or brother.  no explanation is needed when it comes to family whatever way you are linked.

I learned this vocabularly from the developers of a great resource for families who have unique circumstances, usually as the result of a marriage that was dissolved and then the subsequent remarriage Mom and/or Dad to another person thereby creating a Bonus Family!

 

Rather than explain/defend the concept here, you can go check it out for yourself:

 

http://www.bonusfamilies.com/

 

I have no affilliation with the organization or the website other than having an article published there a couple of years ago.

 

Hey, if you don't like the "Bonus" concept, I can understand that it wouldn't work for everyone.  However, it has really helped me and my kids embrace the positive aspects of life after divorce.

 

Be Good!

 

Kurt Maddox

Gracie's Dad (Warren's too!)

 
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May 14, 2007, 2:55 pm CDT

Support Back Home...

Quote From: lstichte

 As a mother of two now-grown sons, and an elementary school teacher, I love watching shows about parents and their children.  Today's program and the subsequent messages have given me much to think about.

I believe that it is dangerous for any parent to become overly involved in his/her child's life. My husband and I had to deal with those types of parents when our children were in youth sports, school activities, and various forms of enrichment.  Please don't misunderstand what I am saying...I believe in being an involved, loving and supportive parent. I'm not using the term OVERLY involved loosely. We've all seen those parents who march out on the soccer field in the middle of a game to scream at a referee or coach, and then berate their own 8-year-old child on the sidelines.

The poorly behaved stage mothers on this show are an example of parenting going too far, and sacrificing the child's emotional well-being for the parent's agenda. I do agree with many other posters that Kiki seems to have a much more positive relationship with her daughter.  And I do believe the show is edited to provide us with the most "entertainment," which means conflict.

The most disturbing aspect of all of this to me is the profound disrespect for themselves and their children as a result of the example the mothers are setting. One mother is throwing 'f' bombs and other profanity.  One mother is yelling at her child DURING the dance audition (and this is the same mother whose children have written the song describing her as a 24/7 b****).  My sons would NEVER have been allowed to disrespect me or their father so much that they could cuss in our home at such a young age and allow me to be the target; they also didn't hear any cussing from their father or me. We had the responsibility for setting the tone.  We respected one another and our children.  That allowed our children the courage and confidence to respect themselves enough to make unpopular choices (they're 23 and 21....neither of them drink which has not been an easy decision on college campuses; neither smokes; one is a religion major who has pledged celibacy until marriage). 

In regard to Kiki and Gracie moving for six months, it's no different than what many parents do in order to promote their child's dream of Olympic success, or any other extreme endeavor. The smart thing that Kiki did was set a time-frame and has the full support of people back home. It's pretty obvious that Gracie knows that her worth is not tied up in whether or not she earns a paycheck in Hollywood. It's about one's interior strength.

The other aspect of the show is that it gave me second thoughts about things I myself said or did in my parenting journey. How horrible it would have been to have a camera or tape recorder on every time I said something to one of my beloved boys, and then to have them have to hear or see that over and over (the way the children of this show are going to see their mothers  worst moments on national television).  There are things I said in the heat of anger that I wish I could take back, but can't. Fortunately, my children have been forgiving and resilient. I have not been the perfect mother...the difference is that it wasn't under a microscope on television.

I'm looking forward to tuning in again tomorrow.

You are very correct that Gracie - and Kiki - have an enormous support team back home in Kentucky!  Starting with me and Kiki's wonderful husband, Steve and extending to Kiki's parents, my parents, my fiance and the entire extended families and church families -- Team Gracie numbers in the hundreds and we all couldn't be more proud of both Kiki and Grace right now and how they represented themselves and their families under conditions not very many parents, including me, would survive unscathed!

 

You made one point that I think is so important for everyone to understand related to how some of the interactions came off under the glare of the bright lights and cameras --  that not many parents would appear to be model parents in the same situations.  I remember plenty of parents losing their objectivity and their composure under the stress of competitions that had much less riding on it than these mothers were attempting the navigate with their children.

 

Anyways, thanks for making some really good points on both sides of this discussion!

 

Best Regards!

 

Gracie's Dad (and Warren's too!)

 
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May 14, 2007, 2:57 pm CDT

Thank You!

Quote From: lawyermomof5

I was pleased that Gracie was winning the competition today on the show for two reasons. The first is that it was obvious that your daughter is driven internally to do her best whatever the outcome. The second is that she was geniunely surprised and grateful for the outcome that she achieved.

My daughter reminds me of Gracie and she likes to act and sing and she isn't even seven yet! I think your wife was effective at encouraging Gracie to try her best (without threats and cussing and name calling) and she was able to let Gracie use her inner strength to achieve her goals. I hope your daughter continues to move through life to her goals using grace and politeness and sincerity and integrity. I pray for you all that your family can handle the separation and that your family can continue to guide Gracie to achieve her potential and not your dreams. It certainly appears that the most talented and deserving child earned the prizes today.

God bless you both!

Gosh, what a wonderful sentiment for you to take the time to express to us!  On behalf of Team Gracie, we humbly accept your comments and we wish your daughter and your family all the very best that life has to offer!!

 

Gracie's Dad (and Warren's too!)

 

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