Little Big Town: Good Or Bad Parents?
Kids need lots of things. One of the most important things they need is attention from their parents especially when they’re young. Attention from a nanny or a grandparent doesn’t count. We’re talking quality time with mom and dad.
We must now ask the question should we heap praise or ridicule on country music superstars Little Big Town? The four vocalists frequently bring their children along with them when they tour.
Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman said in a recent interview that the band travels with their families “most of the time” and they “try not to leave them at home too much.”
Schlapman has a 5-year-old daughter. So does her bandmate Phillip Sweet. The remaining two members of the group, Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook, are married and have a 2-year-old son.
That’s three small children on the road with a major country music act. Is this good parenting? Is this bad parenting? Is bringing your child along with you as you perform at arenas all over the continent better than not seeing them for months on end?
Last year, Fairchild told a publication that her favorite time is when her son crawls into her bunk at night. She also says being on the road with her family is no different than being home and having a full-time job.
Even without kids around, it’s a safe bet that backstage at a Little Big Town show is pretty tame. Their post-concert parties probably resemble a church social and not the antics we generally associate with a rock band.
Furthermore, when the band isn’t performing they have a lot of down time like traveling by bus to their next tour stop. For example, on Feb. 15 Little Big Town plays a gig in Atlantic City. The following day, Little Big Town is scheduled to perform in Lowell, Massachusetts. A five hour drive separates those two locations. While it’s likely they’ll be sleeping for most of the commute, it’s still five hours they can spend with their kids that they couldn’t if they were back home.
I guess that means Little Big Town should have their tickets punched to the “Parent of the Year” banquet.
Not so fast.
Little Big Town doesn’t perform between the hours of nine and five. They come on stage in the evening and finish quite late. The adrenaline produced from performing is bound to have them up for quite a while. That means they are keeping weird hours that are not conducive to children.
Kids need lots of things and one of the things they need is a consistent schedule.
It’s impossible to keep a schedule when you’re a musician. Not only for the reasons I previously enumerated but the band has more responsibilities than just performing. For example when Little Big Town plays Los Angeles on Feb. 7 they’re going to do promotional appearances. Are those appropriate places to bring a child? If not will the band have any quality time to spend with the family?
We mentioned LBT’s squeaky clean image before and we have no doubt they’re upstanding individuals but even so they are part of one of the most decedent, vapid, and licentious industries on the planet. While they might be good people can they vouch for every promoter, publicist, roadie, and groupie their kids may come in contact with? The answer is they can’t.
Furthermore, on the road do these kids have their own room? Do they socialize with other children? Are they really spending time with their parents or do they just get glimpses between media appearances, sound checks, and country music concerts? Remember, kids need lots of things.
Little Big Town bringing their family on the road sounds like a good idea but it’s really not. What they should do is stay at home where the kids have their own space, a consistent schedule, and none of the seedy people associated with the music business. The members of Little Big Town can tour once their kids turns eighteen.
Ultimately, what kids need more than anything is to come first in the lives of their parents. No child should play second fiddle to their parents’ music career even a career that’s going as well as Little Big Town’s.
January 3, 2013
Little Big Town: Good Or Bad Parents?
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