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Help! My Kid's Role Model is Topless

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Lindsay Lohan has posed topless.

Earlier this week, we debated over whether a mom should let daughter watch "The Parent Trap" amid all the chatter about Lindsay Lohan's suddenly super skinny appearance. Now, to add to the drama, topless photos of Lindsay have cropped up, from fashion photographer Hedi Slimane.

We've been down this road before with Vanessa Hudgens, Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon, and Miley Cyrus. Here we go again!

We asked clinical psychologist Dr. Cara Gardenswartz, Ph.D., for some guidance.

Momlogic: Should we discuss these photos with our kids?

Dr. Cara Gardenswartz: If you have reason to believe that your teenager has seen these photos or knows about the photos, I highly recommend that you address the issue directly. It is important that you model to your teenager that we can "talk about anything" so that they feel comfortable bringing up topics with you that they might otherwise shy away from. Open dialogue will encourage your teenagers to tell you about what they are feeling and even thinking about doing (e.g., experimentation that occurs in the teenage years).

Momlogic: If our teen brings these up, what should we say?

Dr. Cara Gardenswartz: If your teenager brings the pictures up, it is important to first listen to what they have to say.  Ask them: "What do YOU think about the pictures?" More often than not, they will already have an opinion that is sensible, such as "I think she's being a bad role model." If they say that they like Lindsay's decision, ask them "Why?" and also ask them if they see any downsides to her actions. You can also ask your teen (if you have reason to be concerned)  if she has ever thought about posting provocative pictures of herself. If she says yes, ask her why. Overall, you want to have a discussion versus lecture your teen.
Momlogic: What do we say when our kids' role models (such as Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair) pose topless, no matter how "tasteful" the shots may be?

Dr. Cara Gardenswartz: I would not assume that Miley or Lindsay are role models for your kids. I would ask them who their role models are. I would then follow up with a question about how they feel about Miley, Lindsay, etc. If they like them, how do they feel about the pictures? Overall, encourage discussion and for your teenager to voice both their positive and negative feelings with you, so they feel heard and learn to trust that you will listen to them. That is the best parenting you can do.

What do you think about Lindsay's latest photo shoot?

next: Florida Musician Kills Wife, 2 Daughters and Self
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