A lot of kids are talking about Justin Bieber’s bad behavior and recent run-ins with the law. So should parents ignore it or talk about it with their kids? 7’s Lynn Martinez gets some expert advice in Today’s Parent to Parent.
WSVN — Eleven-year-old Sophie and her 10-year-old sister, Lucie, love dancing to Justin Bieber’s music.
Sophie Williams: “I have his first two albums on my phone and we listen to him all the time.”
But their opinion of the pop star has changed since Bieber started behaving badly.
Lucie Williams: “Apparently he’s been arrested in a couple different places for a couple different things.”
When the girls saw his mug shot after his arrest in Miami for drag racing, they were pretty shocked.
Sophie Williams: “It was a little creepy, because it flashed in my mind that he used to be this cute little kid who would perform and he was just so happy that he got to perform.”
At first, their mom was worried her daughters’ might think Bieber’s behavior was cool and try to copy it in some way.
Buffy Zimmerman: “Yes, it worries me, I don’t want them thinking that it’s cool.”
7’s parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says young celebrities should not be your child’s only role model.
Dr. Valerie Goode: “Role models are your mother, your father, your teacher, your brother, your aunts, uncles, cousins… Justin Bieber is an entertainer.”
Dr. Val says if your child is obsessed, there may be a bigger problem.
Dr. Valerie Goode: “She’s not feeling connected, she doesn’t have enough interests in her life.”
But just because children talking about Bieber’s recent run-ins with the law, doesn’t mean they will try and follow in his footsteps.
Dr. Valerie Goode: “It’s OK for your child to be excited about Justin Bieber, they’re not going to necessarily model their own behavior to match his.”
She said parents should use this as an opportunity to tackle some tough issues with their kids.
Dr. Valerie Goode: “Yes, use it as an opportunity but don’t underestimate your power as a parent, that’s where the real power comes in.”
Buffy asked her daughters what they thought about the singer’s smiling mug shot.
Lucie Williams: “I thought that it meant that he didn’t care that he was in jail or that he was going to jail.”
She said bad choices made by someone else can be an important lesson to her kids– showing them a better, more positive path in life.
Buffy Zimmerman: “Don’t try and hide everything bad from them. Sometimes, interact with it and face it head on, then talk about it and we all kinda come out having learned something.”
Dr. Val says it’s always important to be on top of what your child is seeing on the internet or TV, so you can keep an open dialogue with your kids.