Demi Lovato Is a Troubled Teen, Not a Fallen Idol

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Demi LovatoWell, the truth is finally out: Demi Lovato went to rehab for more than just "emotional and physical issues." (Not that they weren't substantial enough to send a girl to rehab -- cutting, bulimia, bipolar disorder.) Lovato now admits that drinking and drug use were among the problems she was treated for last year.

I think it's great that Lovato is telling the truth, but it does put those of us with tween fans of the former Disney star in something of a spot: What do we say to our kids when one of their role models behaves ... well, not very role model-ish?

My daughter isn't a huge Lovato fan -- she went through a brief phase of kind of liking one of her songs, but that ended before the star even went to rehab -- so I don't have to worry about shattering any illusions should the topic come up in conversation.

Still, the fallen role model quandary is one I'll have to face at some point in my career as a parent, so it's worth my consideration (and probably yours, too). And the more I think about it, the more I think it's not such a bad thing for kids to see their idols stumble.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think kids shouldn't have celebrities as role models in the first place. Why would I ever encourage my daughter to look up to a famous actress or singer or model or whatever else? Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus ... none of these girls, lovely and talented though they may be, have more worth as a human being than any other teenager. I mean, to qualify as a role model is a pretty big deal. If every kid's bedroom was plastered with posters of legit role models, there would be a lot of pics of Gandhi and Mother Teresa taped to a lot of walls, you know?

So perhaps the issue isn't one of what to do when some overpaid teen our kid really really likes goes to rehab or gets caught shoplifting or makes a sex tape. Perhaps the issue is one of making sure our kids know the difference between a role model and a pop star from the start.

Do you think celebs make good role models for teens?


Image via rosevega25/Flickr

addiction, celebrity teens, issues

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nonmember avatar OlympicFan--

Mary Lou Retton is still the perfect role model in the entire world!

nonmember avatar Cookie

There is nothing wrong with these girls being role models. What is with all the women bashing on here. Its crazy. These girls are real people. They are young females who are taking it day by day just like we are. Thats what you should tell your daughter. They are trying to be strong just like every other girl becoming a women.

Stacey. Stacey.

No and this girl needs to go away stat. or just start making emo music already.

fraoch fraoch

My mom was my role model, I'm hopeful that I'm my girls' role model.

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

I like Miranda Cosgrove of iCarly. I wouldn't mind if my kid considered her a role model.

ashja ashja

Hollywood isn't to blame for Demi's issues. She is just a young girl who was raised by a mother with drug and alcohol problems (recently did another stint in rehab.) Mom had three kids by three different men and was out partying during a lot of Demi's childhood. Any kid in her situation would have similar psychological issues. This is not a case of the "Hollywood lifestyle" claiming a young victim. This happens to kids like her every day.

Jecky... Jeckyls-mommy

I would take this as a teaching expirience to show them everyone is human and makes mistakes

missusmc missusmc

She is a good role model because she addressed the problem and is working on recovery.  Other teen stars only work on the problem when they get caught, or when a judge makes them.  As long as a teenager has guidance and other role models  in real life, I don't see what's wrong with someone continuing to look up to Demi.

JAFE JAFE

I agree with Jeckyls-mommy. We all make mistakes and I think children should know this. Role models is a tough one because we all stumble on life's journey.

starl... starlight1968

my dd is a HUGE Demi fan.  We took her life decisions and made them a life lesson just like we've done with her in her own decisions and her older sister's.  People may not like the things others choose to do but guess what they ARE PEOPLE TOO and can make mistakes and great achievements.  Use them as an example when teaching right/wrong...not as a 'God' to worship and your child will learn...imagine that.

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