Justin Bieber's talent and charm are catnip to pre-teens. But can you talk sense into a boy-crazy tween? You can certainly try! Our tips help you navigate the world of celeb obsession.
Talk to Kids About Their Obsessions
Bieber fever has hit the youth of America and has sparked a full-blown epidemic. Move over Team Edward and Team Jacob fans (until June anyway) and make room for the sweet smile, mop-top hair, and hip-hop inflected puppy-love tunes that make up one Justin Bieber.
It's perfectly age-appropriate for kids to develop strong passions, and to kids of a certain pre-teen age Bieber's irresistibility could develop into obsession. If that's the case with your son or daughter, don't worry -- it's not unusual. But don't pass up the opportunity to talk to your little Bieber fans about their attraction. You never know what you might find out, or where the conversation might lead.
Using your kids' latest obsession as a conversation lead-in is a means to get them to talk about all sorts of things. Kids love it when you take an interest in their lives and will probably tell you everything you ever wanted to know about whatever topic it is they're interested in at the moment. Legos, Spore, Dora the Explorer -- you name it.
Kids' interests can be so all-consuming, and they may not have the words to describe their feelings about them. Talking about interests takes the subject out of your kid's private world and moves it into your shared world.
Tips to Get the Conversation Rolling
Access your inner teeny-bopper. Sit down and listen to the music, watch the videos, read the tweets or fan pages -- whatever gets you engaged and up to speed.
Don't be, like, totally obvious. Allow the conversation to develop naturally. Say what you like about the music or the musician. That'll provide an entrée for your kid to share what they like, too.
Share your experience. Maybe it was Rick Springfield, maybe Michael Jackson or even Madonna. There was probably someone you felt as passionate about as your kid feels about Justin Bieber. Add your old faves to your playlist and see how they go over.
Get your two cents in (discreetly). While Bieber's music is pretty age-appropriate for 10-year-olds, his lyrics include kissing on some songs. Kids this age probably aren't really interested in the opposite sex, but they're aware that boy-girl stuff is looming. They might talk about it in the abstract -- for example, if it's in a song. That allows you to bring up the values you think are important in relationships.