My 13-year-old daughter is obsessed with a certain 23-year-old recording artist. Her room is plastered with his posters, she has four shirts with his picture on them, and she follows him on Instagram — not to mention downloading every note he sings on iTunes. She isn’t stalking him yet, but it’s getting creepy. When does fandom become unhealthy, and how can I keep her from crossing the line?
Answer: Your daughter’s behaviour is nothing new. Whether it was Justin Bieber, the Girls’ Generation, G-Dragon, or others in between, adoring fans have screamed and fainted at concerts, memorised every song and displayed their affections in the weirdest of ways. Chances are it’s a phase she’ll grow out of.
That said, it’s still important to have regular conversations with your daughter to affirm your values and keep her grounded. Part of this involves staying plugged into her world. If you haven’t yet, listen to this artist’s songs and watch his videos on YouTube. Also, create alerts on Google news stories to stay abreast of his recent activities. Has he had run-ins with the law? Does he have a reputation for being a partier or womanizer?
Key to your conversations is to have them in a natural or relaxed setting – perhaps as part of a one-on-one activity your daughter enjoys. Begin by asking about and then listening to what she has to say about this musician, and then follow up with your own observations. Be sure to applaud the positives, as well as share any concerns you may have uncovered. Then, allow her to react and respond.
Your goal for her as part of this back and forth is to develop and exercise discernment that will influence not only her entertainment choices, but decisions in every area of life.
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