Here we go again. Another high-profile drug and alcohol scandal…however this time it’s not Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (not today anyway!). It’s our beloved young-hip-hop-totally-cool-locally-grown… Justin Bieber. The Biebs has got himself into some real trouble.
You may be dumbfounded by Justin’s downward spiral over the past year. It may be hard because you actually felt like you knew Justin. His posters may have been plastered all over your daughter’s walls OR your son may have been imitating his moves. Either way… a role model your kids admire has been arrested.
This time it’s not small potatoes, or should I say eggs? He’s been arrested for some pretty bad stuff, including driving under the influence. The reports also say he was street racing on a residential street going over 100km/hr.
It’s upsetting to know that the lives of innocent people were in jeopardy because of the choices he made. It’s not all about his self-discovery or exploration. The choices he made could have ended disastrously for himself AND OTHERS. I’m glad that no one was hurt.
Understanding that the teen brain is still under construction until age 24 is important as you prepare to speak to your teens about drugs, alcohol and the ability to make good decisions. Be open with your teens as you have this conversation, ask them their thoughts and feelings about Justin’s situation. It’s a great starter.
Be clear that you don’t approve of binge drinking or using drugs.
- Your teen actually does care what you think. Teens consistently rate parents as the biggest influence on their lives.
Nurture your teen.
- Tell your teen how much you care. Show an interest in their life.
Monitor what your teen is doing.
- Get to know their friends. Ask where they are going, what they are doing, and who they will be with. Set limits.
- Help your teen plan ahead for situations where they may be faced with alcohol or drugs.
Talk about the dangers of driving under the influence.
- Make sure they know it’s illegal & unacceptable.
- Make sure they know never to get in a car with someone who’s been drinking or on drugs.
- Let them know they can call you any time for a ride, no questions asked.
- Tell them their safety is the most important thing to you.
Don’t assume that your kids know your thoughts and feelings or that you know what your kids are thinking. Have the conversation with them, keep it ongoing and be that positive role model.
Do you have any thoughts to share?