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Posted Thu, September 2, 2010 8:30am EDT

Hitting, Scratching And Pulling Each Other's Hair! Are Brad And Angelina's Kids Out Of Control?

An insider says the super couple’s six kids are running wild, and that Brad and Angelina have hired a therapist to help tame them!

Anyone who has kids knows that the more you have, the harder they are to handle, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are learning that lesson the hard way. An insider tells In Touch magazine that the couple’s six kids are acting out — big time. “Their family life is like a circus,” the source says. And the busy pair, who have been preoccupied with shooting and promoting their new movies, have realized they need professional help — they’ve hired a therapist!

“Things are wild in the house,” the insider tells In Touch, who adds that because of the family’s nomadic lifestyle and the fact that Brad and Angelina don’t have enough time to spend with their kids, the brood has gotten out of control.

Maddox, 9, and Pax, 6, are “obsessed with wrestling and banging each other up” and have secret hideouts and sometimes disappear for hours, while sisters Shiloh, 4, and Zahara, 5, “are constantly warring: there’s lots of scratching and hair-pulling.”

But is this to be expected when you have a bunch of children under the age of 10? No, says Jeff Gardere, a psychologist and father of four. “It’s not normal behavior,” he tells “When you have a lot of kids, it’s hard to stay on top of what they’re doing and keep them from misbehaving. Brad and Angelina lead very busy lives and they’re not there enough to parent their children — they need to discipline them together, but it seems as if the kids are somewhat spoiled and are taking advantage of the situation and acting out.”

Rebecca Roy, a licensed psychotherapist, agrees and says that the Jolie-Pitt kids’ bad behavior may also be caused in part by them seeing the way Brad and Angelina interact with each other. “These kinds of problems usually start at the top,” she says. “The children could be reacting to tension between the parents.”

“It’s a complicated family dynamic,” Roy continues. “Some of them are biological children, some are adopted, so they’re juggling for position. There’s lots of sibling rivalry.”

“The kids are very eccentric,” adds the pal, who notes that the boys are “always bickering over everything from toys to clothes,” and says that while Zahara continues to suck her thumb and cling to a blankie, Shiloh has become very clingy with her mom and cries when she’s not with her.

The family friend says that because Brad and Angelina love their childen, they knew they had to take action to resolve the problems. “They needed to do something drastic before the situation got more out of hand, so they hired a therapist to deal with the kids fighting.”

The pair has brought in help and have apparently been making some progress, as they attempt to spend 10 minutes of quality time each day with each of the children, even 2-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. While 10 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, Gardere says it’s about the quality rather than the quantity of time they spend with their kids one-on-one.

“They also need to try to spend more time together as a family, discussing rules and discipline and what the consequences are for good and bad behavior,” he says.

The side effect of all this turmoil, according to the source, is that Angelina has finally agreed to Brad’s way of thinking and has given up the idea of adopting any more children any time soon. “She has realized they’re overwhelmed,” says the family insider, “and can’t handle another kid right now.”