Whether they're athletes, movie stars, or musicians, big names keep pushing the boundaries of bad behavior with sex, drugs, and violence. And our kids have a front-row seat, no less mesmerized than the rest of us. Sure, they're savvy -- they know about the difference between image and reality -- but they're still kids at heart, desperately seeking role models and ground rules to live by. So what's a teen to think when, often as not, celebs who cross the line are granted Survivor-like immunity, their fame not merely intact but enhanced?
"Every time kids see yesterday's superstar become today's liar, they tend to get more cynical," says Frank Farley, PhD, a psychologist and adolescent specialist at Temple University in Philadelphia. That means parents can't sit on the sidelines. There are valuable lessons to be salvaged from even the tawdriest celeb dramas -- teach your children well, and they'll be able to draw on them for a lifetime.