(First published in January, 2014. Was he listening? I think so.)
When the 19-year-old Pop Star (better known as Justin Bieber) gets stopped for speeding and driving while intoxicated, I can’t help but react in the Mom Mode. I’m qualified to do that. As Mom to four male “millenials” (one still in his teens), I’ve had my share of serious conversations around the kitchen table. So, I’m offering to share some motherly wisdom with that wild young man making the news. Six little words that could change his life.
J.B., listen up:
1. Think. Something my Mom told me years ago, and I’ve repeated to my own kids: “It’s all fun and games until some one gets hurt.” Driving drunk and high doesn’t only put you at risk, innocent people could be hurt or killed by your antics.
2. Work. Get yourself busy doing something productive. It sounds like you may have a little too much time on your hands. My husband’s cure for boys who are acting up has always been to give them more chores.
3. Care. About yourself, your future, your reputation, the people in your life. Your Mom and Dad are suffering because of your need to “sow some wild oats”. (And, by the way, strip bars are no place for a nineteen-year-old. I’m sure they’d agree.)
4. Apologize. You’ve behaved badly, but it’s not too late to change and it’s never too late to say “I’m sorry. I was stupid.”
5. Respect. Yourself and the others in your life that you’re hurting by your bad behavior. You know better. I’ve seen your Mom talk about raising you as a single parent. She deserves your respect. If you make a few changes in your life, you can respect yourself again, too. At this rate, I can’t think of too many Moms who would be happy to have you dating their daughters. If you don’t respect yourself, it’s doubtful you’ll respect their little girls.
6. Love. That sounds pretty old-fashioned, but what the heck. Why not love yourself and the people around you enough to behave and treat others with kindness and tolerance. It will come back around.
You’re a good kid. I know you are. Don’t buy into the idea that because you’re a Pop Star and everyone loves you (they don’t, but they used to), you can get away with behaving badly. You’ll get attention, but you won’t be taken seriously. Ask M.C. if her tongue and tooshie tricks are earning accolades.
You’ll soon turn 20. You will no longer be a “teenager.” You’ll be a Man. Maybe it’s time to start acting like one.