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Tween-Idol Scandals Tips

It's tempting to avoid talking to your kid about news-making topics like Miley Cyrus's controversial photos in Vanity Fair and Roger Clemens's alleged steroid use, but sidestep them and your child might think she can't discuss touchy subjects with you, says Linda Sonna, Ph.D., psychologist and author of The Everything Tween Book. If she knows she can talk to you about anything now, it'll be easier for her to come to you when she's faced with sensitive issues later.

Even if you haven't discussed a celebrity headline with her, she probably got the gossip from her friends or TV and may be upset or have questions. So bring it up yourself, without going into detail ("I heard Miley Cyrus posed for some suggestive photos"), then let her ask questions. If that doesn't get her talking, try these conversation starters:

  • "Why do you think that athlete drove after he'd been drinking?"

  • "Even famous people make mistakes, like taking drugs. What do you think he should do next?"

  • "I wonder if she was pressured into posing for those photos. What would you say if someone wanted you to do something you didn't want to do?"

She may even ask you if it's okay to continue liking that celebrity. Tell her, "People can be good at certain things, like acting or singing, but not at others. It's fine if you still like them."

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