Stars like Kate Hudson, Jenny McCarthy and Jon Gosselin have fallen into new relationships hard and fast, but what effect is their speed dating having on their children?
Some Hollywood celebrities seem to have a revolving door when it comes to relationships, and while I’m not going to stand here in judgment of their “now you see ‘em, now you don’t” style of dating, I do wonder about the impact it is having on their kids.
Case in point: Kate Hudson. Since splitting with husband rocker Chris Robinson in 2006, the Oscar nominee has been linked to a host of men, including Owen Wilson, Dax Shepard, Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez.
During the roughly seven months that Kate was with A-Rod, she fell hard and almost immediately introduced the slugger to her son, Ryder, 6. The pair were reportedly even living together in a house just north of NYC and Kate was spending time getting to know A-Rod’s two daughters. Following in the footsteps of her mom, Goldie Hawn, and stepdad Kurt Russell, the 31-year-old apparently loved the idea of one big, happy blended family. (Kind of like LeAnn Rimes, who calls beau Eddie Cibrian‘s sons “my boys.”)
But by December last year Kate and A-Rod had struck out, and the Bride Wars star moved quickly on, dragging her son in her wake as she dated two other guys before embarking on a cross-Atlantic relationship with 32-year-old Muse singer Matthew Bellamy.
“Chris is a bit concerned about [their son] Ryder, and the effect all this dating might have on him,” an insider told the New York Daily News earlier this year. “But in the end he knows she’s a great mom.”
I’m glad Chris thinks so, because I have to wonder if poor Ryder wakes up every morning wondering who’s been sleeping in Mommy’s bed… and what continent he’s on.
Psychiatrist Dr. Susan Abbott of New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine says that speed daters like Kate need to be careful about the people they introduce into their kid’s life. “We usually warn parents against bringing in figures who the child could get attached to before the parent is sure that the new figure is going to be around,” she says. “Kids attach fairly easily and can be hurt and damaged when these new attachments leave. Kids don’t really understand the fundamentals of an adult relationship so they aren’t really able to understand that it’s not personal.”
Dr. Abbott says that she has treated children who have been in these situations and these kids “still count these experiences and lost relationships as losses years later. These lost relationships can be factors that lead to depression.”
Consistency is important for children, and that would be even more important for Jenny McCarthy‘s 7-year-old son, Evan, who battled the symptoms of autism for years.
Jenny, 37, credited her five-year-long relationship with Jim Carrey with helping give her the strength to work on her son’s problems, but within four months of their split in April this year, Jenny, and presumably Evan, had moved in with her new boyfriend, Jason Toohey.
I generally think that Jenny is a great mom, but was she thinking with the wrong body part here? Possibly.
But if there was an award for thinking with his little head instead of his big one, the prize would totally go to Jon Gosselin, who has had no less than five “significant others” in his life since splitting with his wife, Kate, a little over a year ago.
I pity Jon and Kate’s eight kids. Well, I feel sorry for them them for lots of reasons, but Daddy’s Bimbo of the Week parade (Hailey Glassman, nanny Stephanie Santoro, Kate Major, Morgan Christie, Ellen Ross) must be one of the most unsettling things for these children to deal with.
Jon’s ex-wife was in tears on the Today show as she discussed the 33-year-old’s rebound relationship with Hailey less than a month after their marriage crumbled, “It’s hurtful when his decisions directly affect our children. That’s the hardest part for me.”
And for once, I agree with her.