After months of some very ugly rumors about wild off-screen behavior, Sonny With a Chance star Demi Lovato left her tour with the Jonas Brothers and checked herself into what her publicist is calling "medical treatment for physical and emotional issues she has battled for some time." She's supposedly dealing with cutting and an eating disorder.
Poor kid. She's been in showbiz since she was little, starting with a stint on Barney, and bought her family a house at the age of 16. That's a lot of responsibility for a young person, and she's touring with Joe Jonas, her ex (who's brought his new girlfriend along on tour, ouch). She's only 18 now. And she's been really active in speaking out against bullying after she herself experienced it in 7th grade, among other good causes.
Much as we all wish her well, parents are tearing their hair out all over the place right now, wondering how they are going to explain this to their little Lovato fans.
The best thing is to be honest, but age appropriate. Tell them that Demi Lovato has some problems that make her feel sad and scared, and so she went to a place where people can help her. Introducing specific ideas like cutting or an eating disorder to a young child might not be the best idea, although older tweens could probably handle the discussion. I know people who let their children as young as 5 watch the show, and cutting might be a concept to keep out of their reality for awhile longer.
This would also be a good time to talk about how the way someone appears on TV might be different than how they are in real life, and that celebrities, even ones who do good things, aren't always the best people to look up to.
Are your kids Demi Lovato fans? How are you handling it with them?
Image via PicturesAllDisney/Flickr