Have you been following the story of teen pop sensation Demi Lovato? According to reports Lovato recently dropped off a world tour because of “physical and emotional issues,” but sources close to the singer say a recent break up caused her to engage in risky behavior like drinking, drug use, as well as previously reported instances of cutting and an eating disorder. At the moment all reports are speculation, but that doesn’t mean her legions of teen and tween fans won’t be exposed to the story and have to process the information that their child idol is dealing with some very adult issues.
Last week media expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, answered questions about how to talk to young Demi fans about the media coverage surrounding her condition, but in light of new developments in her story it seems appropriate we re-run the piece. In addition to Rich’s commentary, please click on the following links for information parents can use when talking to their children about the challenges Demi is facing, as well as the type of treatment that’s available to her.
Q: My 6-year-old adores singer/actress Demi Lovato: She watches her Disney Channel show, “Sonny with a Chance” (with supervision), listens to her albums, and went to see Demi as her first concert this summer. But now the media are reporting that Demi just checked into rehab for “physical and emotional issues” that may involve an eating disorder and cutting issues. My daughter shares a playground and bus ride with older kids who are bound to be talking about this. There’s almost no way we can keep her away from the story, so how do I even begin explaining concepts like rehab, eating disorders and cutting to a 6-year-old?
Star-Struck-Down Dad in Boston, MA