For some time, people have been telling our son how much he looks like Justin Bieber. We definitely saw the similarity and kept telling Austin that he needed to find a look-a-like job and make some money.
Last summer, we were visiting our son and his wife who live in downtown Chicago. As we walked to a destination, a car drove by with the windows rolled down. The occupants of the car leaned out and yelled at Austin, “Hey Justin Bieber.” That happened twice within days of each other.
A couple of weeks ago, Austin learned about an opportunity to be a Justin Bieber look-a-like. It even paid $150! He was so excited!
He followed the directions and sent in the above picture which was actually taken during a trip to Chicago in February. He kept waiting for a response, but it took some time before he heard from the group. He was chosen! He was soooo excited!
When he received the email, he learned that this was a dance/rap/music group that was doing a song about Justin Bieber and that’s why they needed the look-a-like. They wanted to know when he could come to Chicago to film the music video they were making.
Austin asked for more information about the song and what he would be doing in the video. They sent an mp3 of the song and they told him a little bit about what he’d be doing. That’s when Mark and I knew there was going to be a problem with this.
The song made fun of Justin Bieber. It depicted Justin stealing a girlfriend from a rapper. And it had a few words of foul language in it.
Austin knew this was not good. But he REALLY wanted the $150. When I asked him to hear the song, he said, “Keep an open mind, mom.” That was my first clue he knew this wasn’t good.
Mark and I talked privately. We both agreed that we could (and would, if necessary!) pull the plug on this job. However, we felt the more important thing to do was for Austin to make this decision himself.
So we started asking questions. Lots of them. We tried hard not to impose our thoughts, encouraging Austin to think for himself. He admitted that doing the video wasn’t honestly a big draw for him…it was the $150 that was so tempting.
On the third day, Mark started to ask another question and Austin said, “Dad, I’ve already written them back and told them I wasn’t their guy for the video.”
Can you say PROUD? Really, really PROUD!
This was a stretching, parenting experience for Mark and I. Honestly, we WANTED to lecture. We WANTED to write an email to the group and chastise them for their lack of morals. We WANTED to tell Austin what to do. We WANTED to stop asking questions and be done with this whole thing. But we asked God for the self-control to lead Austin so he could weigh out right and wrong himself and hopefully make the right decision himself.
It wasn’t the easiest way to deal with the situation, but we felt it was the right way to do this. Hopefully, this laid a foundation for future decision-making opportunities about integrity issues in life.
What about you? Have you ever led your child to make an integrity decision themselves? If your kids are too young for that, do you remember a time your parents led you to make a right decision rather than making it for you?