Opinion: What Went Wrong With Lindsay Lohan
The adorable little girl that enchanted us in "The Parent Trap" is all grown up. And she's going to jail.
This week Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail, and the judge also ordered her to attend an inpatient rehab program because the actress had violated the terms of her probation in a 2007 drug case.
Look, it's no secret the actress loves to party and has been photographed numerous times looking wasted and stumbling out of a club after a night of fun. But, while a part of me applauds the court's decision, there also is a part of me that just wants to hug Lohan, 24, and take her under my wing.
You know the old saying, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree? Well, if you knew the details about Lohan's home life, maybe, just maybe, you might feel sorry for her, too.
First, let's look at her dad, Michael Lohan. Back in 2005, he was ordered to serve two years at the Collins Correctional Center near Buffalo, N.Y., for getting into a serious accident while driving under the influence. Since his release in March 2007, Michael Lohan has had other brushes with the law, including an arrest back on April 6, 2009, for allegedly making threats towards his ex-fiancée, Erin Muller.
Then there's Dina Lohan. Having covered the celebrity circuit for close to eight years, I can tell you I have seen plenty of pictures of Lohan's mom coming out of bars late at night with her daughter by her side. Curious to see how people would react, I asked numerous friends if they ever went bar-hopping with either of their parents. Everyone looked at me as if I had two heads. Not only did my parents encourage me not to go to bars, but let's just say I sat through more than my fair share of lectures about the dangers of drinking and doing drugs.
When Lindsay was photographed on the West Coast looking emaciated back in October 2009, her mother was busy in New York City holding a press conference to announce her new shoe line with LoveMyShoes.com, which failed miserably. When I interviewed Dina Lohan and made reference to the pictures that had everyone talking, her response was, "They photographed her at a bad angle. She is fine."
But wait, there's more.
In addition to her parents always fighting in public and airing their dirty laundry to the media, Michael Lohan keeps revealing private details about his daughter's problems to anyone who will listen. And you wonder why this girl is messed up?
Parents are supposed to teach their children right from wrong and act as guardians and protectors.
Unfortunately for Lindsay, her parents are so obsessed with becoming celebrities and riding on their daughter's coattails, they stopped doing their jobs and quit looking after her best interests. And now LIndsay is the one who has to pay the price. If only her parents had taken a step off the red carpet and paid close attention to their daughter's behavior, maybe they could have helped control the situation before it led to jail time.
"Parents are the foundation for a child's sense of self and security," Dr. Jenn Berman, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based family and child therapist and author of "The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids," tells ParentDish, "Parents are the foundation for a child's sense of self and security. Without stable parents to provide loving boundaries, limits and concerns, a child is likely to flounder. Without a strong sense of self separate from the business, kids in entertainment are less vulnerable to a host of problems such as substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues."
Indeed, not only has her bad girl behavior cost Lohan plum acting roles, but the young star also has lost many friends along the way who once stood by her.
Recently, my parents were telling me how one of their dear friends is grief stricken because her daughter who once had it all just lost everything because of an ongoing drug problem. When the pal asked my folks what their secret was for turning out two great kids who never got in trouble, my parents simply replied, "We stayed on top of them and were always there to support and encourage them."
I hope because Lohan is still so young, that she will find the ability to turn her life around and get her career back on track. Hey, lest we forget, Nicole Richie kicked her drug habit and is now a devoted mom to two beautiful children. And, then there's the tale of Robert Downey Jr., the poster boy for a Hollywood comeback.
Maybe serving time behind bars will be a wake up call to both her and her parents to talk to someone professionally and make her mental health everyone's number one priority.
Related: Lindsay Lohan Sues for $100M Over 'Milkaholic' Commercial
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.