She’s been called beautiful, talented and most recently incarcerated. She has been committed to ninety days of jail time for violating probation for substance use and at day nine of her sentence it has been decided she will only serve fourteen of her ninety days then serve a ninety day stint in drug rehabilitation.

Interestingly enough this is the exact leniency that has led her to violate her probation in the first place. You do need to know something about Ms Lohan and that is that she is what we call the parent child. Her parents are Donata Sullivan, a dancer and performer and her Dad Michael Lohan, a former Wall Street trader and son of a founder of a famous pasta company initially separated when Lindsay was very young, got back together and then finally separated and divorced by 2007. Don’t let the red herrings fool ya, it’s not the divorce. Lindsay’s parents did the thing that crushes teen life, they made her responsible for them instead of keeping their commitment to her and being responsible for her and her siblings. Her parents weren’t mature enough. Again, don’t get distracted by what appears to be blame, they did this in a very special way.

When parents are busy trying to figure out who they are, they have no unselfish ability to be there for their teen. It’s that selfishness that makes a teen like Lindsay, someone who wants family, who wants to be connected and actually needs to be connected step in to do their [her parents] job. She tries to create what she wanted for herself, for her siblings. She is quoted as saying, “ I feel like a second parent in the sense that I helped raise my family.” It isn’t that easy. Teens who parent their parents and siblings lose the opportunity to become strong adults themselves by learning all that their teen years have to teach them. So when they’re finally adults and still having to take care of their family, they’re emotionally exhausted. Not only are they exhausted, but they realize it isn’t worth it. They aren’t going to change their parents so their parents can be there for them.

By then it’s too late, they’re no longer allowed to be teens because it really is time to be an adult, but because they didn’t go through the stages of being a teen and master what they needed to master, they have no idea how to do this. This emptiness and lack of identity is so painful they try and numb those feelings with bad coping skills like eating disorders, drinking, drugs, laughing everything off and reckless teen-like behavior. Does this sound familiar?

When your teen is zoning, that’s teen-like behavior important to becoming a strong adult. When they make grand plans about becoming a rock star, do an experiment that backfires, or make a poor decision and you’re there to teach them otherwise, they’re doing exactly what they should be doing. They’re learning how to be a strong adult. Your teen is in an amazing time, let them have it. They need it. Without it, they become Ms Lohan and I’m sure even Ms Lohan would tell you that is a most painful place to be.