So, are your kids still allowed to go to the One Direction concert?
Today, I am imagining the conversation in my good friend Ana’s house. She has a seven-year-old girl who is completely obsessed with One Direction.
You might have heard of them? They’re a boy band out of the UK who have taken over the world – and many tweenagers’ minds – and today, two of them were busted smoking drugs in a South American people-mover .
If there are any small people in your life – especially, but not only, of the female variety – you will be familiar with some 1D tunes. My four-year-old knows all the words to You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful and, be assured, it has NEVER been played in our home (we’re more a Happy kind of house).
So this morning, when my friend Ana's daughter would have caught sight of one of her idols on the TV, or on the computer her mum was using to have a sneaky look at Facebook, she would have been all, "Oooh, there's Zayn! Why's Zayn on the TV, mum?"
Ana has to decide, like parents around the world this morning, whether she's going to say, "Zayn's been videoed smoking drugs in the back of a car in Peru, sweetheart. It's a very bad thing to do, and that's why it's on the TV."
And then wait for The Questions.
Or whether she's going to say, "I don't know darling. Quick, look over there, isn't that Frozen?!" and speedily punch the remote.
And wait for The Questions.
This is not a post about whether or not it's okay for popstars to smoke pot. I have absolutely no opinion about whether or not it's okay for Zayn Malik, who is 21, and his little mate Louis Tomlinson, 22, to be smoking drugs. Nor am I surprised that young, rich men with glamorous lives and pretty much anything and everything at their disposal are experimenting with, shall we say, substances.
But this irrefutable evidence that 1D's carefully-cultivated good-boy image is nonsense raises the very familiar questions about kids and their idols and their responsibilities to each other.
Kids love pop music. It's never been more aggressively marketed directly at them, and the target market has never been younger. The average One Direction fan is nine years old.
They are obsessed with every aspect of their pin-ups' lives. They know their favourite colour, their favourite food, they know their life stories. Thanks to the movie This Is Us, they have met their mothers, their girlfriends and their teachers.