Paris Jackson: How Will Her Crisis Impact Her Young Fans?

Paris Jackson: Will her Crisis Impact her tween & teen followers.

Being the son or daughter of a celebrity cannot be easy. Just imagine for a second you are the son or daughter of a controversial megastar. Then imagine you are the offspring of a megastar who was sheltered for the first decade of your life. Now imagine it is a few years later, the dad who raised you has died under somewhat controversial circumstances and the relatives raising you are at war over your deceased dad's estate. Being 15 is hard enough, being Paris Jackson, almost unimaginable.

Thankfully Paris is reportedly okay after she cut her wrists in an incident which is being described as a suicide attempt. Her 1.2 million Twitter followers (mostly tweens and teens) however knew trouble was brewing. Her last text read: "Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away now it looks as though they're here to stay"

It seems the aspiring actress has a large following among tweens and teens. The question then becomes, how will her crisis affect her fan base? When situations such as this one hit the news people are quick to offer criticism and express concern that some of her fans may engage in copycat behaviors.

As a parent, it is moments such as these that provide an opportunity for connecting with and teaching our growing children. You help determine the impact of this incident on your own tween or teen. Talk is cheap… parenting, however, is purposeful. It may be helpful to emphasize the number of stressors this young teen has had to deal with in her short life. It is easy to feel and express genuine empathy for Paris. Use this moment as an opportunity to check in with your own adolescent. Let her know that she has a reliable source of support to which to turn if she feels overwhelmed or stressed.

This incident also highlights the importance of keeping up with what your own kids may be posting on social networking sites. Our children live in a culture where so much of what people think and feel is put out there for the world, or at least their world of followers to see. It behooves us as parents to continually monitor what they are saying. This type of knowledge can prevent a crisis.

 Several years back when Demi Lovato went public about her cutting behaviors and eating disorder history, her young fans were quick to support and applaud her. Since that time she has emerged as a talented and mature young woman who was able to successfully work through her issues by seeking out appropriate support and intervention. The hope is that perhaps the same scenario will ensue in the aftermath of Paris' personal crisis.

The impact Paris' crisis will have on our tweens and teens then is predicated upon if/how we choose to address the issue as parents. While Paris' life may seem unimaginable to which to relate, her 1.2 million Twitter followers are hanging on her every word. This is one situation in which ignorance is not the best course with our kids. How your tween or teen interprets what Paris is saying is influenced by you. While we may see the offspring of a controversial celebrity, our kids see just another like-minded teen. It is our task to monitor whom they are following as well as what our own kids are posting. A little parental guidance can certainly go a long way.

Our very best to Paris. We wish her well.

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