Evangelical Responds to Cyrus Interview; Urges Parents to Be Parents

Billy Ray Cyrus recently admitted that he should have been a better parent to his famous daughter, Miley Cyrus, rather than a friend.

The president of Focus on Family, a prominent evangelical organization, agrees, saying that a parent should simply be a parent.

In a blog post Wednesday, Jim Daly suggested that Cyrus made bad parenting judgment by trying to be friends with his daughter – originally named Destiny Hope but who in her early years was nicknamed "Smiley" for her incessant, carefree grin.

Daly stressed that even though it's natural for a parent to be liked by their children, they must they first have to ask themselves, "Do we want to be their best pal – or their parent who often has to hold firm and say 'no' when they desperately want us to say 'yes'?"

Cyrus made headlines this week after he told GQ magazine that he regretted being in the popular Disney show "Hannah Montana" because it destroyed his family. He also lamented about trying to be a friend to his daughter as he had often emphasized in many interviews.

Cyrus said, "How many interviews did I give and say, 'You know what's important between me and Miley is I try to be a friend to my kids?' I said it a lot. And sometimes I would even read other parents might say, 'You don't need to be a friend, you need to be a parent.'"

Regarding the highly publicized bong incident, Cyrus stated that while he rejected an invitation to her party because he thought it was distasteful to have a party for an 18-year-old at an L.A. bar meant to be for adults over 21, he knew that if he had attended, the media would have labeled him as an unfitting parent endorsing the event. The devout Christian also felt the need to apologize and took the blame for his daughter's behavior. The young star was videotaped smoking a bong at her 18th birthday party.

"Sorry guys. I had no idea. Just saw this stuff for the first time myself. I'm so sad. There is much beyond my control right now."

Daly noted that it's natural for kids to push the envelope and test the waters and they'll inevitably do so. But parents need to show leadership.

He stressed, "Despite what they might say or how they might act, they want leadership."

Cyrus, s father of six, admitted that although after he found out about the incident he approached her handlers, he didn't have enough courage as a father to put a stop to their negligence.

"After the incident with the legal high, her handlers told me it was none of my business. I should have said, 'Enough is enough – it's getting dangerous and somebody's going to get hurt' ... Honestly, I didn't know the ball was out of bounds until it was way up in the stands somewhere."

He also talked about all the past controversial moments, such as pole-dancing at the Teen Choice Awards, posing for Vanity Faith draped in a sheet, and seductive video on the Internet. He admitted he should have been a stricter father because while her handlers will do anything to promote her, at the end it all fell back on him.

"Every time the train went off the track ... her people, or as they say in today's news, her handlers, every time they'd put me… 'Somebody's shooting at Miley! Put the old man up there!' Well, I took it because I'm her daddy ... Okay, nail me to the cross, I'll take it…"

The 49-year-old Cyrus fears that as his daughter teeters back and forth with danger, it can regrettably put her along the same tragic ending as Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith and the late Michael Jackson or on the same path as Lindsay Lohan.

While referring about Cobain he said, "I think that his world was just spinning so fast and he had so many people around him that didn't help him."

Daly's final remarks focused on why it's important to be parents to children instead of trying to be friends, especially when kids already have too many friends.

"Only two people in the world can really be their parents. Step up. Be parents today and the friendship with your children – a real friendship – will grow into adulthood and likely last throughout your lives."