Experts tell HollyBaby that living their entire lives in front of TV cameras is definitely hurting the eight little stars. “There’s a feeling that they’re different,” says psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert.
Thanks to the success of Jon & Kate Plus 8, the Gosselin family was able to move into a massive mansion just outside of Reading, Pennsylvania. But there have been many downsides to their fame. Recently, we told you about two of Jon and Kate Gosselin‘s kids — Alexis and Collin — being expelled from school for fighting, while another sibling was suspended. And most of the time the kids (10-year-old twins Madelyn and Cara and 6-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Joel, Collin, Leah, Hannah and Alexis) look miserable when they’re with their mom filming her new show Kate Plus 8. We asked the experts if filming every moment of their young lives is hurting Jon and Kate Gosselin’s eight kids.
“A child who appears on TV, reality or otherwise, is treated differently than their peers — there’s potential for a sense of entitlement, a feeling that they’re different, perhaps even better than other kids. Their expectations and needs might go unmet as they head out into the real world, hence the acting out,” psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert tells HollyBaby.com.
“The kids grew up thinking that life is a stage. On a stage, people perform for the audience, for the camera, and that is what is paramount,” agrees relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle. She feels that the kids should have been taught to communicate and interact authentically, instead of performing. “The kids were kicked out of school for acting out and fighting which may have been just what they were taught to do: up the ante to get applause. Filming them since birth taught them these different values, and now that they’re expected to communicate and interact authentically in a school setting, they don’t have the skills.”
Alpert is quick to point out that their parents’ divorce last year, didn’t help the kids’ mental health, either. “TV and stardom aside, divorce can wreck havoc on a child and sometimes manifest through misbehavior. Throw into the mix all the hoopla of being reality TV stars and the product of a highly publicized upbringing and subsequent divorce, and you’re bound for trouble.”
He also believes that Kate’s harsh parenting style could be making the kids misbehave. “They might feel pressure from the parents to act a certain way — and this may be at odds with how they truly feel. This conflict will lead to anxiety and depression and subsequent acting out,” he explains.
Jon Gosselin has already expressed concern about his kids, and asked for TLC to stop filming them for Kate’s show and Dr. Carle tells HollyBaby.com that the only hope these eight children have for a semi-normal childhood is to learn how to live without the cameras and away from the spotlight. “That will take a lot of time, patience and love,” she says.
HollyMoms, do you think it’s time for these kids to step out of the spotlight and start living normal lives?