Whenever stage moms or dads defend their decision to put their children in show business, they always say, "My kid has talent, I'm just helping him/her follow a dream. It's his/her choice." The kids in question memorize the defense and repeat it to anyone who asks — as is the case of Ali Lohan. Sure, Ali probably wants to be a famous singer. A lot of young girls do. But when it comes down to doing the work involved, being pressured with perfection, and missing out on fun kid's stuff, it became clear to us on last night's episode of Living Lohan, that Ali's not so much following a dream but rather, being dragged into it.
I think it all depends on the particular child and the parents. Some kids really do want careers in this kind of vein, and have supportive parents who actually...you know...parent. I'm thinking mainly of actors here, but as a for instance, Elijah Wood has been acting for a long time and he's very articulate and seems quite grounded. And he's not the only one (Kristen Stewart, for instance, has been in films like Panic Room and Speak and seems not to show up in the 'bloids). It's just the headlining making ones are a lot easier to point at and ask "what happened there?"
When I was a kid my mom was told that my brother and I would be great in commercials and she took us to a few places. But what she found was that, as the "stage" parent, she'd have to constantly push and prod and do things she was uncomfortable with. So we didn't do it. And while I have minor regrets now, since I have always enjoyed acting, I'm glad she didn't push something on me I clearly wasn't ready for.
I just think it's a matter of keeping the home life real and grounded and not also filled with the trappings of "fame". Just because you have money doesn't mean you should buy everything you have a passing interest in...and kids who have success and especially visible fame like this should be that much more protected and structured. Otherwise it really DOES seem like the world revolves around you. The cult of celebrity has become so out of whack that I'm not sure half of these people understand what's wrong with it.