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What does growing up look like? Apparently if you are a teen star proving you are no longer a child it involves acting like a rebellious child. How many children have been ruined by fame, fortune, and a lack of proper discipline and parenting? Miley Cyrus is all over the news right now but she isn’t the first or the worst and sadly won’t be the last. It seems like almost every child star goes through this rebellious phase. It doesn’t help that when someone does transition into adulthood without the theatrics it doesn’t make news because it isn’t as controversial or entertaining. Brittany Spears, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber… The list goes on of kids stopping the dress up games and moving to the other end of the spectrum from innocent to hormonally out of control.

Why do we associate growing up with sexual promiscuity? Growing up is more about responsibility than sexuality, maturity than “mature content.” We feed the negativity of this system. We comment on twitter, facebook and other social media. We buy magazines and tune into the news. We search for clips and videos on YouTube. I think Gale from the Hunger Games had the right idea. What if we all stopped watching, searching, commenting for or against? What if we ignored bad behavior? The likelihood of this happening is laughable but only because it is better to laugh than cry. We let our children grow up thinking that growing up is just another bizarre game, that our entertainment is more important than our morals, than what is right.

Growing up should be less about putting our sexuality out there for all to see and more about caring for other people who have less. It isn’t about doing or getting everything we want but giving to others, sacrificing time, money, talent. Sacrifice is a better measuring stick for maturity, in my opinion, than sexuality. Parents, good parents, give up sleep, money, time, dreams, and goals to take care of their spouse and children.

These are the people who should be on the news. The people who go to work even when they are sick and tire so they know the people they love are taken care of, the people who turn down a promotion to be able to spend more time with their families. Children who stand up against the popular crowd for a friend or an ideal are more mature than some adults I know. Age has little to do with growing up. Your actions matter. Think about it.

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