Mom Happy to Piggyback on Lindsay's Infamy

This past January, the movie "HoundDog" disgusted some at the Sundance Film Festival after 12-year-old actress Dakota Fanning appeared in a rape scene.

Fame at Any Cost

Experts are concerned that the message sent out by mothers like Lohan is indicative of a culture that forgets common sense in the pursuit of prominence. They believe that message could have harmful effects for the children caught up in it all.

"It's hideous that she (Dina Lohan) is using her children to fulfill her own ambitions," said life coach therapist Alyson Mischel. "The chance of her other children getting the fame Lindsay has is slim-to-none so she is setting them up to fail."

Certainly the track records of young stars and their even younger siblings do not compare favorably. Kevin Dillon is unlikely to ever be nominated for an Oscar like his brother Matt. Jamie Lynn Spears is 16 now but needs her last name, made famous by her pop starlet sister Britney, to gain any semblance of recognition. And Ashlee Simpson's nose job has thus far failed to turn her into big sister Jessica.

"A good parent, I would hope, would rather have an average child than one with a personal fortune but a slew of personal problems to go with it," said Mischel. "Drug and alcohol problems affect many people but they're often exacerbated by money and star status at a young age."

Psychotherapist Licia Ginne said that there is no one factor that explains why certain parents covet fame for their children and are prepared to go to any lengths to get it.

"Part of why mothers do this is very complicated, and the reasons come from their own history and genetic makeup," Ginne told ABC News. "However, much of the motive is often financial gain or a desire to make up for an opportunity they missed when they were young."

Hollywood Parents Aren't Alone

Examples of pushy parents living vicariously through their offspring can be seen by visiting a high school football game on Friday night or a kids' soccer game on a Sunday afternoon. Whether they're children are boys or girls and whether they're playing at age 10 or age 16, certain parents are likely to be there who cross the line from encouragement to bullying.

"This kind of pressure is not healthy for a child, and parents who push them this hard are not helping the child grow and develop," said Ginne, who has more than 25 years of experience working in the mental health field. "In (the case of the Lohans) there is narcissism involved where the mother wanted a particular lifestyle, and now she is taking advantage of the secondary media and living it."

Whether Lohan had always planned to try and take center stage from her children is not known, but some who see the entertainment world up close believe moral standards are slipping across the board.

"It is ironic and poignant that shame has been filleted from American dialogue," said Michael Levine, a Los Angeles public relations expert who has represented numerous Hollywood A-listers. "My opinion has to do with society at large, but in the Lohan case the most peculiar aspect is that this can be happening when Lindsay is in so much pain."

So the trend of pushy parents who hope to be carried through their later years by their children's fame appears to still be in full flow. At least Lohan shares her daughter's skinny frame -- otherwise Lindsay's knees may have buckled by now.

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