With the shocking news of TomKat’s divorce, what’s going to happen with their 6-year-old daughter Suri? We asked a family psychologist how they could have broke the terrible news.
“I would think that this is a series of conversations, with the first that it’s not her fault,” said family psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, chief contributor to healthguru.com. “The second conversation is that even though mommy and daddy are no longer married they will always be mommy and daddy and they’ll always, always make sure they are friends so that they can be good parents.”
Dr. Gardere advises that even though they are divorcing, the best steps to take are that the three of them should spend time together especially through the divorce process, like eating and doing events together.
“There is certainly some confusion and sadness, but a 6-year old is young to process it all,” he continued. “You cannot be untruthful or try to hide something like this because later on they will be angry or they will have issues. You have to prepare her. She will have questions.”
Psychotherapist Dr. Gilda Carle, stressed the importance of showing her love and affection rather than spoiling her with material possessions.
“Don’t go buying her new toys and clothes and think money is going to be the answer to get to her heart, ” said Dr. Gilda, of drgilda.com. “That’s going to be a very hollow attempt. It’s not going to make her feel any better.”
Dr. Gilda, the 30-second therapist on Today.com, also said that Tom and Katie must not put Suri in the middle, and bad-mouthing each other is a major no-no. “They cannot make her the sounding board for their problems.”
Because Suri will continue to grow up in the public eye, it is important to make her emotional health a priority. “Her parents will make sure she has as natural a life as possible,” she said.
— Lorraine Chow and Christina Stiehl
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