When your Parents Want the Best for You

Growing up in your famous parents’ shadows

By Greg Hitchcock
Creative Director
Greg Hitchcock Communications, Ltd

Millions of Americans and others worldwide were riveted for days by the news of the death of Lisa Marie Presley, 54, the not-as-famous daughter of the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley.

This news brought me to the point of how kids live up to the expectations of their successful parents. When do they decide to go their own way rather than follow in their parent’s footsteps? Or do they?

There is no doubt that Elvis loved his only daughter, his only offspring with his then-wife Priscilla Presley. Once, Elvis had Lisa Marie personally flown to Idaho just to see snow. As well as all the extravagant gifts Elvis gave to her on her birthdays like mink coats and diamond rings.

Elvis would have wanted only the best for her little girl Lisa Marie.

Children of celebrity actors, singers, politicians, and others who made it to the top sometimes have it hard to emulate their parent’s success. Some have done well, and others have not.

Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, two of Hollywood’s Golden Age celebrities, rose to stardom in the Star Wars franchise playing Princess Leia.

Liza Minelli, the daughter of Judy Garland, had a successful career winning an Academy Award and Grammy Award for her performances.

In Rocky Balboa, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) explains to his son to be his own man.

There must be tremendous pressure on kids of famous celebrities to outperform others including their own parents. Money is lavished on their private tutors, trainers, and education.

But do they have an edge over others with their famous family names?

Lisa Marie Presley had an addiction to drugs like her father, Carrie Fisher had a problem with alcohol, and Liza Minelli had drug and alcohol dependency issues like her mother Judy Garland.

It seems that stardom or not, following in the shadows of your famous parents may lead to unintended consequences.

I had a parent who wanted only the best for me. Of course, she wasn’t a Debbie Reynolds or a Judy Garland, but she was to me a successful parent, teacher, and friend.

When I was young, she would force me to do things, I wouldn’t normally do: attend church; take viola lessons; brush my teeth.

It wasn’t long until she discovered I loved to draw. I could sit still for hours scribbling away. Instead of thinking of what SHE thought was best for me, she turned this around and thought about what I thought I LOVED to do, and she encouraged this.

Today, and in no small part thanks to my mother who understood me and let me develop on my own, I am a writer and artist.

So, if you are a parent, let your kids discover what they like to do. Don’t cram things YOU think they may like. Children have active imaginations. They will find their way.

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