Billy Ray, Talk to Me

Posted February 24, 2011 by jimhigley

Dear Billy Ray,

We need to talk, pal. Sure, we may not have much in common but we are both dads. And, as one dad just laying it on the line to another dad, brother- you need to slow it down and think about the stuff you’re doing right now.

First, you go and dump all of your frustrations in the March issue of GQ Magazine. Billy Ray, that probably wasn’t the slickest idea to pop out of your mullet. Maybe your barber or your stylist might have been a better starting place? Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the frustration you might be feeling. But a magazine with a circulation of roughly a million folks isn’t a cool place to be sharing comments like “the damn show (Hannah Montana) destroyed my family,” or that your family is under attack by Satan. And the stuff you shared about your own daughter? Out. Of. Line.

Listen, I have no idea what all your family is going through. I see enough in the papers and on television to know that Miley (and yes, I know her real name is Destiny Hope) is having one heck of a tough time growing up. But BR, you’re the dad in this story. And you were the dad from day one, fella. You might take a long, serious look at your role in this before you start bashing your daughter in public.

I’ve got three kids, all roughly Miley’s age. When there are tough times with any of them, I always, always ask myself, “How can I best communicate with this kid in a way that will help them?” And sure, sometimes I want to go crazy and blurt out a lot of feelings. And sometimes I have. Regretfully.

But my best dad moments have been when I reminded myself that this parenting gig is serious stuff. It’s our job to set examples, pave the way, show the love, and make sure our kids know we’d walk through fire for them. Doing the dad job in the New York Post and TMZ it totally not cool.

You’ve got a lot of fathering to do man. But do it in private. And while you’re doing that, I’ll be singing words 20 – 30 of Achy Breaky Heart.

…you can tell your friends just what a fool I’ve been…  

Kind of appropriate, don’t you think? Stop the whining. Go be a dad.