TODAY

TODAY   |  July 08, 2013

Justin Bieber’s mom shares her story with teens

Pattie Mallette, mother of musical superstar Justin Bieber, talks about sharing her own troubled youth in her book “Nowhere But Up,” which aims to help teens navigate difficult situations.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> justin bieber is a sensation, of course. hit albums and 40 million twitter followers around the world. all around the world

>> well, the 19-year-old owes much of his success to his mother, patty mallette. she hosted youtube videos of justin singing which caught the eye of music heavy weights years ago. but patty's life has not been without its own challenges and she wrote about them in her book, "nowhere but up" and is now releasing a new edition for teenagers. good to see you. welcome.

>> thank you.

>> so your book is searingly honest. now you've written a vision for teens. why do you feel like teens will listen? i mean, i'm thinking about most teenagers don't want to listen to any adults.

>> right. i think teenagers definitely, you know -- they don't always want to listen to their parents. but i think other adults sometimes they'll give an ear to. i know for me other adults would come into my life and speak to me. and then there's, you know, over 2 million twitter followers that call me mom and ask me these tough questions and they want to know. so i thought it was just a perfect opportunity.

>> do you feel like a lot of those kids relate to you because they know of you as justin 's mom. you say they call you mom. do you think that gives you access to them in a way that maybe others don't have?

>> yeah, i think that i'm in a really unique position, you know? it's kind of like a bridge where the moms want to -- want to talk to me, because they want to know, hey, i'm a single mom too, and they can relate to that aspect. and how do i talk to my teenager. and then there's the teenagers that say i can't talk to my mom, but you're a young mom and i want to talk to you. so it's kind of like i say, parents listen to your kids. kids listen to your parents.

>> the book is very, very honest, as i mentioned. and you have gone through some tough times in your life. how much of that were you able to put in this version tore teens? because you've talked about your struggles with drug abuse , the fact that you had sexual abuse from a very young age. i mean, do you include that in this book?

>> i do. i think, you know, teenagers today know more than we think they do. i think that they're -- they unfortunately experience more than we want them to. and i wanted to be really raw and honest. there's some rougher details that i leave out. but i really wanted to make it age-appropriate. but i also had, like, you know, statistics and discussion questions and things they can use to maybe go through with a parent or friend or something like that.

>> well, let's talk about justin . of course, he's got some new music coming out soon, right?

>> uh-huh.

>> and there has been some uncharacteristic behavior from him, something we're not used to. always been such a good kid and now we see stories about him getting into a fight with a neighbor or paparazzi. some -- driving too fast. do you worry about him? do you feel like, gosh, is he going through a troubled time in his own life?

>> well, i think as parents we all worry about our kids, whether they're going off to college, you know, whatever -- whatever situation they're in. and i think at a certain age, the parenting style changes. and he's always been such a strong-willed child, you know. i talk about that. even in the story. and how i think i mentioned last time, his teachers would say "i have 30 students and 1. when justin is good the whole class is good, when justin is bad, the whole class is bad." but he had these amazing teachers and principals who would pull him aside and say "you know what, justin , you're a leader." and they would just, you know, take away the negative and focus on him being a leader. and he would come home and say, "mom, i'm a leader." and that's what i want to share with these teenagers.

>> is there anything about what he's doing now, who he is hanging out with, that causes you certain, that you feel something other than just typical teenager growing pains?

>> of course. you know, i -- i talk to justin . you know, i text him and call him every day. as much as you can with an adult child that doesn't live with you. and he knows what i think. he knows -- we talk. and he knows what i think. and, you know, it's -- it's stuff that obviously i can't share with the whole world. but we definitely talk.

>> he still listens to mom.

>> i hope i'm still a big voice in his ear, yes.

>> well i know you've got a lot of listeners, 2 million twitter followers for patty mallette, alone. the book is "nowhere but up." appreciate having