We’re American Idol fans in our house — my father-in-law even does a bracket.
Yes, a bracket. (Like basketball season.)
The whole family dives in and fills out their “picks to win” on a shared Excel document — and the winner takes home a whole lotta’ pride and smack-talkin’ rights for the rest of the year.
So when the news broke that American Idol has a new judge panel this year, my ears perked up. (Which is about as far as my pop-culture knowledge goes these days.)
Along with veteran, Randy Jackson, we now have Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and the ubiquitous Nicki Manaj, who, honestly, I had to google a little bit. (I listen to the Toddler Pandora station a lot in the car these days, so no Top-40 for Mama.)
And then while feeding the baby and sipping my coffee this morning, I stumbled upon The View — with featured guests Carol Burnett and — who other than — Nicki Manaj. She was an interesting entertainer — big costume, wig and make up — a fun slew of accents and larger-than-life facial expressions.
But what I found most interesting was an answer that came from this young pop star when asked this question by host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck:
EH: “Now, the past couple of weeks have been crazy for you. You’ve won two VMA [Video Music] awards, named Billboard’s rising star last year, you were the first female solo artist to have 7 songs at the same time on the Billboard 100 Chart. I wanna know, who kind of pushed you, who keeps you disciplined? Where does your motivation come from?”
And instead of talking about fame or fortune or fans, this was Nicki’s answer:
NM: “You know it’s weird — when you don’t have something, it makes you subconsciously search for it even more. I don’t think I really had a lot of discipline in my household. My mom motivated me — but it wasn’t a strict household. And I kind of wanted a strict household. I was one of those kids who was like, ‘Well, Mommy, maybe you should make sure I go to school every day.’ My mother was always like, ‘You’re smart. You’ll be fine, you’ll be good.’ But sometimes I would oversleep and my mom would be like, ‘It’s OK, you can miss a day.'”
The conversation quickly turned back to a perfume line and American Idol and other topics of the entertainment sort — but her answer kind of stayed with me. Mostly because it mirrored the sentiment of a parenting book I’ve read recently, Love and Logic.
As the book says:
“Children lucky enough to have limits placed on them in loving ways become secure enough to not only deal effectively with their own emotions but also form satisfying relationships with others. These limits allow children to develop self-confidence. As a result, these children are easier to teach, they spend less time misbehaving, and they grow up to be responsible adults. When we don’t provide firm limits, our kids suffer from low self-esteem.”
Now I won’t pretend to know anything about Nicki Manaj. But I do know that her honest words today carry a wisdom for all parents.
After all, it should be our aim to set boundaries that become bolsters — and limits that make our children’s futures truly limitless.
In the meantime, this should be an interesting season!