Losing a parent is incredibly difficult at any age, but the experience is hardest on kids, of course -- and it's no easier for children of celebrity royalty than anyone else. Take 15-year-old Paris Jackson, who's been slowly unraveling since the tragic and untimely death of her father, Michael Jackson. His passing seems to have affected Paris more than her brothers, Prince and Blanket (though naturally we don't know what goes on behind closed doors); Paris is now at an undisclosed treatment center in California following her suicide attempt on June 5.
According to her mom, Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe, Paris "lost her soul" the day that Michael died (Rowe is currently testifying for AEG in Michael's wrongful death lawsuit): "She tried to kill herself ... She has no life. She doesn't feel she has a life anymore."
Absolutely heartbreaking -- but a powerful reminder to the rest of us non-celebrity royalty parents who might feel like we're not giving our kids "enough" (myself included). Sometimes it seems like the well-being/happiness of tweens and teens depends almost entirely on whether or not they have the right clothes or the latest phone or enough spending money to hit the mall with their friends whenever the mood strikes -- and for those of us parents who don't have limitless amounts of cash and find ourselves saying things like "Not this week, maybe after I get paid" or "Not this lifetime, unless we win the lottery," well, it can get pretty discouraging. I mean, logically I know that money doesn't buy happiness and so on and so forth, but when you feel like you're disappointing your kid constantly, well, it just plain sucks. To the point where you actually start wondering if money CAN buy at least a little bit of happiness.
Except apparently it can't, not if what's going on with Paris is any indication. Forget going to the mall. Paris could BUY the whole freaking mall, but it doesn't matter, because that's not what she wants or needs -- she wants her dad. She wants a stable family life. And that's something we can all strive to give our kids, no matter how much money we do (or don't) have.
Do you ever worry that you're not giving your kids enough?
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