Tween idols gone bad

January 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Kids at any age are very impressionable, especially when it comes to celebrities. But when those celebrities go bad and their actions turn controversial or scandalous, how can you help your kids avoid being influenced by them? Dr. Leslie Seppinni, national mental health examiner for and doctor of clinical psychology, share this advice.

Dr. Leslie's advice:

Why doesn't the industry better regulate the pay of these young stars? There is no real monitoring system to help them adjust to going to all from northing in terms of celebrity.

Hollywood pay checks are out of control. It would be unfair to dock their pay based on age if their performance is the cause of the show's success. The Key here is their parents, guardians and agents. Parents have a responsibility to chaperon their kids, and make it part of their contractual agreement that their money goes into a trust fund and they get an allowance. If they still live at home they have household responsibilities like everyone else in the family don't indulge their celebrity. Parents of celebrities need to teach their child their value is not in their fame, partying, appearance or pocket book but in the person they are.

How accountable should the studios be for assisting them in transition of celebrity?

Hollywood needs to take more responsibility for the message they send to adolescent America. There are too many disastrous outcomes: alcohol and drug rehab, DUI's to young women celebrities starving themselves. The bottom line is as long as a young celebrity is financially contributing to studio executives large salaries young celebrities will be indulged. The parents and public need to make their voices heard on behalf of our youth

Should parents bring the issue of a young celebrity going in the wrong direction to their kids before the kids bring it to their attention?

Let your son or daughter first bring it up to you. If they don't, you can casually say without judgment "did you hear what they're saying about ex: Miley Cyrus, etc." let your tween express their opinion first about their celebrities behavior. Find out what their value system is so you can foster a trusting line of communication

If a child is at a difficult age where they do not want to communicate with their parents, how can a parent talk to them about the issue comfortably rather than to pass judgment?

Create a Journal that is shared between the two of you. Whatever they ask or say in the journal cannot be used against later or outside of the journal. Respond to their thoughts in the journal asap.

How can family values override media coverage of these young starlets?

Limit what they watch. Watch with them. Dinner is at the table with family discussions. Encourage reading at an early age. Know their friends, are they isolating themselves, has their behavior changed, kids need structure and like structure they look to celebrity influences when they do not get enough attention at home, school or socially. Bottom line, Know your child.

About Dr. Leslie:
Leslie Seppinni, known as "Dr. Leslie", is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Doctor of Clinical Psychology practicing in Beverly Hills. Her message and philosophy is simple, Excuse Free Living; a no nonsense-approach for taking personal responsibility for one's life. As a crisis intervention specialist, she held staff privileges at six hospitals and assisted the police and FBI in assessing those in the moment who were suicidal, homicidal or gravely disabled. Furthermore, Dr. Leslie spent seven years counseling and teaching emotionally troubled adolescents and their families.

Dr. Leslie has not only interviewed several hundreds of pre & post-operative WLS patients but also those who have lost weight through traditional diet and exercise from across the United States for use in her upcoming book, Losing the Layers: An Excuse Free Guide to Weight Loss. She has also performed several hundred psychological evaluations for WLS candidates sent by surgical centers.

Dr. Leslie has been a featured speaker for the Learning Annex and is frequently called upon by such media as OK! Weekly, InTouch Weekly, Star Magazine, Fox Entertainment, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, KNX 1070 (the #1 business radio show in Los Angeles), and New York Daily News among many others. Dr. Leslie has been asked to speak on a range of topics including but not limited to economy, divorce, body image, sex, celebrities, race and politics. She is currently the National Mental Health Examiner for ( which receives six million hits a month and climbing. Out of several hundred Examiner writers Dr. Leslie was chosen in the top ten best writers.