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Lindsay Lohan Jail Time Upsets Kids

Troubled child star Lindsay Lohan will serve 90 days in jail for probation violation, Perez Hilton reports. Her stint begins July 20, and will be followed by an additional 90 days of court-ordered in-patient rehab.

Every celebrity gossip-monger in the country saw this one coming. There’s a collective sigh of relief going out that we’re all writing about her jail sentence and not her obituary, as well as some unspoken disappointment that she’ll be locked away from further opportunities for public embarrassment for several months. What will the paparazzi do without their favorite falling star?

For moms all over the country, though, there’s a bigger problem: what to tell their kids?

One mom on our staff said she hid the news from her girls, turning off the TV when the story came on before they caught the gist of what it was about. Another said she’s used Lindsay’s troubles as teachable moments with her kids, a chance to talk about drugs and alcohol as a family.

Kids seeing a hero fall apart in the public eye can come up with a lot of uncomfortable questions. Little ones especially might have trouble separating the Lindsay they see on screen in The Parent Trap from the Lindsay they see on screen in a courtroom.

Is this a teachable moment for you and your kids? Or just another sad celebrity scandal?

Speaking of parents and teachable moments, Lindsay’s parents have provided us with more than a few over the years. We’ve gotten to watch them squabble in public, use their kids as chess pieces against each other in a bitter divorce, invade the girls’ privacy, flaunt their problems in public in contests to win attention and sympathy and generally behave like troubled children themselves.

Is it any wonder their once shining child star is in freefall? Normally the mother-blaming that goes on whenever a young person gets in trouble sets my teeth on edge, but it’s hard to watch the Lohan family circus and not feel like blowing the whistle and putting everyone in time out. Where are her parents? And why aren’t they, you know, parenting?

Jail hardly seems like the place to find the kind of clear, nurturing, loving guidance one imagines Lindsay needs. But maybe it’ll be a chance for her to find her own rock bottom and begin the climb back up to sobriety, sanity and a career rebound.

I’d love to write the article about her healthy, sober comeback.

Photo: Michael Lohan

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