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A letter to parents

Miley Cyrus's recent raunchy performance on the VMA Awards has parents up in arms. And I get it ... Miley Cyrus used to be Hanna Montana and your kids look(ed) up to her.

That was the Disney channel, however. This public cry for attention was on MTV, which, if you are ranting about it, your kid probably isn’t old enough to watch. MTV has far more problematic programming from a parental point of view than this tasteless dancing anyway. Like the glamorization of teenage pregnancy.

Some of you will say you don’t allow your kids to watch MTV but they found out about Miley's performance on social media. Guess what? If your kid isn’t old enough to watch MTV, he or she shouldn’t have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or any other account that I am too far removed from high school to now know about. He/she also probably shouldn’t have a cell phone, but I am guessing probably do.

Others will say that your kid doesn’t watch MTV and has monitored-only internet usage, but found out about this nonsense at school. So now they know.

Instead of complaining about it, which will accomplish nothing, why don’t you use this as a teachable moment? For your sons: Try convincing them that this is not the kind of girl they want. And for your daughters: that this is not the kind of girl they want to be. Stop blaming the media for what it is doing to your kids -- when you choose to use it as a babysitter -- and start being a parent.

I’m not talking to all of you parents; some of you are great. But others dress in skimpier outfits than the one Miley twirled around in onstage and post pics of yourselves in them drinking, smoking, and doing who knows what else on Facebook. Worry more about what your kids see YOU doing than what they see Miley doing. They have a greater chance of ending up like you than they do like her.

Worry about those "role models" who are shoplifting, driving drunk, abusing drugs, going to jail, beating their girlfriends, etc. etc. etc. I bet you allow your kids to listen to Rihanna and Chris Brown’s music. Rihanna’s life example is more detrimental than Miley’s provocative dancing. Stop questioning what Billy Ray Cyrus is doing as a parent and start questioning what you’re doing as one instead.

Rachel Kostelec writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.