Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baby Jessica: A lesson in not exploiting your very famous child

In light of Kate's announcement of her new, very exploitative book, "Letters to My Kids," we take a look back at another famous child, Baby Jessica. Jessica McClure fell down a Texas well in 1987. The ensuing three-day rescue captured the world's attention and hearts. Jessica was pulled out alive, and the media attention she has gotten since has been rampant. Her story came in eighth place on stories that captured media interest over the past 20 years. She is still recognized. But Jessica made it through the firestorm and is a mom herself now living a happy and quiet life in Texas. How did her parents do it?

Turning down Media offers

Jessica's parents, Cissy and Chip McClure, were only 17 and 18 years old when the accident happened. But surprisingly, even these two teenagers knew how important it was to help Jessica have a normal childhood. Her young parents turned down countless media offers and other publicity offers, and passed on a lot of money. They made just one media deal, an exclusive deal with Ladies Home Journal, and provided just two "update" stories throughout the rest of Jessica's childhood, on the 10th and 15th anniversary of the accident. In other words, they saw to it the media left Jessica alone.

Seeing a child through a divorce

Jessica's parents ended up divorced when Jessica was still quite young, just like Jon and Kate. But they remained united in their protection of Jessica and their determination to give her a normal childhood. Divorced parents can still work together on a common goal. Her parents didn't even mention to her she was the baby in the well until Jessica saw her story dramatized on an episode of Rescue 911.

Protecting Jessica's money

Jessica received an estimated $1 million in donations after the ordeal. Her parents put the money into a trust fund, which she was able to access last year when she turned 25. The money that was hers was ready and waiting for her when she was mature and able to handle it, and was protected all those years from greedy parents, and others (and probably earned some good interest, too).

Kate claims in her new book that she wants to inspire other moms. But perhaps young Chip and Cissy McClure (pictured at left with Jessica in the hospital) are the real inspiration when it comes to raising a famous child.

For more about Jessica's story and how she's doing today, head to MSNBC:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/19165433/

17 sediments (sic) from readers:

itsaboutthekids said...

Excellent article. Great comment, Admin. This is one lucky girl in many ways. Parents that put the child in front of all else. What as novelty.

Just read this little article below. According to this, Kate (TLC) is the one trying to get Jon to change his mind, not Jon offering. Just one more way to put pressure on him. Hold your ground Jon. 'Screw you' would be a good response.

February 10, 2010 | 10:06 AM ET

Source: Jon and Kate Gosselin could soon return to television

TLC reality mom Kate Gosselin could be returning to television sooner than you think, as sources tell Fox411 that she and her family of ten are in talks with the network to begin filming again.

Last fall, Kate’s ex-husband Jon Gosselin issued TLC a cease-and-desist order to halt filming his ex-wife and their eight children during the couple’s divorce proceedings. Since then, the Gosselins have traded jabs with one another through various media appearances and interviews.

But Kate is about to get everything she could want since the end of her marriage to Jon.
She and her eight children are staying strong and the mom is ready to charge forward with big plans to support her brood this year.

"Kate is taking advantage of every opportunity,” a source close to Gosselin tells Fox411. “She is working her butt off, making payments on the house and finding new jobs and new projects that will pay her enough to secure the life she wants to provide the children. She is in demand and she wants to sustain the demand without overdoing it."

Meanwhile, Jon is struggling to slide out of the mess he created for himself when he forced filming of “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” to stop last year. Sources say he is in talks with TLC to reach an agreement to allow them to film the family again.

“Jon does not have money for the intense lawyer fees and ensuing battle with the media giant and Kate has asked him to reconsider his decision for the family,” the source said. “She is willing to negotiate with him and TLC so that everyone gets what they want.”

But while the former couple is working toward a professional relationship, don’t expect them to become the best of friends any time soon.
"Kate was broken after the divorce and she is very slowly putting herself back together again,” a friend tells Fox411. “They stick to discussions about the children and that is the purpose of their communication. It works best for Kate that way."

-By Kelly Will

Lauren said...

Great post Admin. It's refreshing to hear a positive parenting story.

Administrator said...

Thank you. I stumbled upon an update of Jessica when I was researching another matter, and I was so pleased to see how well she was doing. I had remembered hearing something in a documentary a long time ago about how her parents refused to give interviews. The only footage of the preteen Jessica was taken from the street as she played in her front yard. But then I saw what a great tie-in it would be to juxtapose her with the Gosselin kids.

SchmeckyGirl said...

Wow! That's an awesome story. Inspiring really.

anonymouse said...

Both Jon and Kate exploited their children for $$$ and later for fame.

Jon later decided to "end" the charade and now he's receiving a lot of "hate" for it.

With rumors of Jon 'resending' his decisions, maybe this was all just a publicity stunt but both Jon and Kate.

Diane said...

Admin.
Thank you for this inspirational article. Even very young parents have more common sense and love for their child than the Gosselins.

itsaboutthekids,
Thank you, also, for that eye opening article you posted. It makes much more sense that it would be Kate trying to pressure Jon. I guess that I am glad that Jon is in Hawaii. He does not appear to realize just how desperate he is supposed to be. He does not seem to realize that he is broke. Maybe, he's not.

Administrator said...

Maybe he's not broke. That's a possibility I've suggested before as have others. The judge ordered him to pay a huge amount of child support, and since child support can't be punitive .... and if he's not broke, it goes back to the kids. His money obviously came from the kids. Is it fair he's spending it on all these trips? Kate's trips too. Or, I suppose the GF could be paying his way, which sure is classy.

Diane said...

Admin.,

Forgive me if I am wrong, but, I do not think anyone has accused either Gosselin of being classy. ha. It made me laugh.Thank you for the chuckle.

Pamela Jaye said...

I looked up baby Jessica last year, as Scott Bakula's movie about Archer Daniels Midland kept making me think of Midland TX which kept making me think of Baby J, who I sort of heard about at the time but never actually saw (I think I was on vacation at the time, not really near TV)

Good for her parents. I also read that one of the people who rescued her ended up committing suicide. So sad.

Irene said...

This is a great post and an example of putting your child/children 1st & protecting them at the same time.

Diane said...

Hey Pamela Jaye, How you doin? Sorry, I have Wendy Williams on my tv.

Yes, Irene, look at how smart these teenagers were. How responsible and dedicated to their child. Too bad Krazy Katie can not "get it."

Irene said...

This is a great post and an example of putting your child/children 1st & protecting them at the same time.

Pamela Jaye said...

I looked up baby Jessica last year, as Scott Bakula's movie about Archer Daniels Midland kept making me think of Midland TX which kept making me think of Baby J, who I sort of heard about at the time but never actually saw (I think I was on vacation at the time, not really near TV)

Good for her parents. I also read that one of the people who rescued her ended up committing suicide. So sad.

Diane said...

Admin.,

Forgive me if I am wrong, but, I do not think anyone has accused either Gosselin of being classy. ha. It made me laugh.Thank you for the chuckle.

Administrator said...

Thank you. I stumbled upon an update of Jessica when I was researching another matter, and I was so pleased to see how well she was doing. I had remembered hearing something in a documentary a long time ago about how her parents refused to give interviews. The only footage of the preteen Jessica was taken from the street as she played in her front yard. But then I saw what a great tie-in it would be to juxtapose her with the Gosselin kids.

Diane said...

Admin.
Thank you for this inspirational article. Even very young parents have more common sense and love for their child than the Gosselins.

itsaboutthekids,
Thank you, also, for that eye opening article you posted. It makes much more sense that it would be Kate trying to pressure Jon. I guess that I am glad that Jon is in Hawaii. He does not appear to realize just how desperate he is supposed to be. He does not seem to realize that he is broke. Maybe, he's not.

Realitytvkids.com (Administrator) said...

Apparently Dawn from Survivor chose to shut down her twitter account after she was getting so many negative tweets. And that was just because she voted someone out who dived into murky water to get Dawn's missing teeth, so people felt it was cruel to vote her off. She said I was just tired of the twitter negativity and I know who I am, and she said hey I chose to play this nasty game and I own that.

Because that's what you do when you are a mature adult and are getting harassed on twitter. You just close it down. You don't NEED or have a RIGHT to tweet.