Jon & Kate Plus 8 still=DIVORCE
Over the past few weeks, I have received a number of calls from Life & Style, Star and People magazines all wanting expert advice, mostly about Jon & Kate Gosselin (the famous parents of 8-year-old-twins and 5-year-old sextuplets,) their very public divorce, and how it affects the kids.
Though more public than most, their divorce brings up basic issues not only applying to their kids, but for all kids dealing with their parents’ divorce.
This week, Life & Style called after Kate was interviewed on Today. Her #1 concern…
“The kids think we’re getting back together.” “We’ve had to go over it a few times,” she commented.
Not surprisingly, it will probably take many more repetitions for the kids to understand that their parents are no longer married, and even more time to accept it…especially when they are receiving very confusing messages.
My comments to Life & Style regarding Jon & Kate are no different than the recommendations I would give to any divorcing parent. Here are some issues and my advice:
- Jon & Kate told the kids they had split, but Jon pops in and out on a regular basis and still films the show (which still has the same family title.) Kate, however, leaves when he comes; but the kids don’t get it. So have things changed or not?
- Advice: Don’t just talk the talk. If, in fact, parents are no longer together, their behavior needs to reflect that…particularly when the kids are young, and while they are still trying to wrap their minds around it.
- Kate still wears her wedding band to ‘avoid upsetting the kids.’ “They know it’s a Mommy’s-married-to-Daddy ring,” she said. How confusing is that?
- Advice: Young kids have difficulty understanding abstract concepts, like divorce. They do much better with concrete, visual examples of the split. If Mommy and Daddy aren’t married anymore, then take off the ring that symbolizes that!
- Implied in the article, but not fully addressed: “Jon’s brazen flaunting of (his) 22-year-old girlfriend.” How are the kids supposed to understand that?!
- Advice: TMI!! This new relationship should not have been made public for the kids to have to deal with while they are still reeling and trying to understand what’s happened to Mommy and Daddy!
Celebs or not, parents are parents and kids are kids…the issues and needs are the same. My advice: Make decisions and act with the kids’ best interest in mind!!
For full article: Life & Style , Aug. 24, 2009