Rappers and Their Privileged Kids

T.I., wife Tiny and family at "A King of Oneself" brunch in 2012 (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
T.I., wife Tiny and family at "A King of Oneself" brunch in 2012 (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Hip-hop stars' hard-knock roots can make it difficult for them to relate to their sheltered children, writes Ebony's Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond.

… Psychologist Dr. Richard Orbe-Austin says the disconnect between a parent who came out of a tough background and their child can trigger a unique set of problems. "In the worst case scenarios, extreme poverty can create issues of emotional deprivation, neglect, abuse due to lack of resources and the stress that poverty creates." Orbe-Austin continues, "Parents who experienced trauma, depression, addiction, or abusive behavior during childhood, may have struggled with their own mental health concerns that were difficult to address due to lack of resources.  Thus, once they become parents they may bring some unhealthy coping strategies into their relationships with their own children."

Add celebrity to the mix and it gets even more complicated.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Philip B. Spivey says, the familiar desire for a child to desire his/her parents' attention is brought into sharp relief when fame is a factor. "The young child will have to compete with 'showbiz' for his parent's attention." Spivey adds, "Later, competition for the parent's attention grows into competition with the parent," which includes, "living up to the parents' fame and accomplishments."

Envy can confuse the dynamic too, Dr. Orbe-Austin points out. "When children have had every need and even whim attended to, there can be jealousy, anger, frustration and the magical belief that money will erase the past and make it less likely for patterns of behavior to appear, including abuse, addiction, teenage pregnancy, mental health issues …


Read Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond's entire piece at Ebony.com.

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