Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

I remember watching The Amanda Show with my kids and laughing a lot. We thought Amanda Bynes had a funny sense of humor and an entertaining show, but now, she is a mess. What happened to this teen star?

The 27-year-old actress was recently arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of marijuana. She denies it all. She doesn’t speak to her parents, rants on Twitter and sounds completely paranoid and behaves in erratic ways. She has a DUI pending in Souther California and had two hit and run incidents dismissed against her last year. And she was put on three years of probation for driving with a suspended license. She looks like a crazy person in court wearing a disheveled  blonde wig!

She’s acting bizarre and needs help. Her behavior is not normal and she is imploding in the public eye. Instead of making news headlines for crazy actions, it would be nice to see someone like her get help. It’s so sad to see these child stars like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and such implode in the public arena. Child stars like Corey Haim died from an accidental drug overdose, Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig committed suicide. Tracey Gold became anorexic, MacKenzie Phillips battled substance abuse and admitted to being raped by her rock star father… the list goes on and on.

Occasionally, we see a child star like Ron Howard or Brooke Shields manage the transition, but that seems rare. But maybe it has to do with the families protecting their kids and keeping them in some normalcy.

AKA, Fred Savage, cute star of the Wonder Years. Fred’s family kept him out of the Hollywood fray. Life stayed normal in a modest house with siblings around. Fred grew up, graduated from Stanford with an English degree, married his childhood sweetheart and seems to be a good citizen, avoiding relentless scandal. I credit his family for helping him navigate stardom.

And that is the key in my opinion–families, can help or create entitled kids who miss out on childhood and are exposed to way too much before they can ever handle it.

What is most saddening is the public comments I see that are just plain mean-spirited to these fallen child stars. They need our prayers. They need help, many need rehab and family work.

When I see those paparazzi pictures of child stars gone wild and crazy, I wish managers and families would be more proactive about helping them and get them out of the public eye. But I know the actor has to want it too and that is not always the case.

You can’t help people who don’t want your help. But there was a time when family members did hold some power regarding creating normalcy. Maybe that is the lesson to remember.

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