Angelina Jolie might be hurting her kids by not letting them see Brad Pitt more. A child psychologist weighed in on the ‘stress’ a divorce can have on children.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split nearly two years ago in Sept. 2016, yet they’re still duking it out in court as they try to come to a custody agreement. Throughout the divorce, the Girl, Interrupted actress had primary custody of their six children, Shiloh, Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Vivienne, and Knox, and all of Brad’s visits have been limited with a court-ordered monitor present at all times.
While Brad’s finally been able to have longer visits with his kids this summer, Angelina may have caused some damage on their kids by trying to keep them away from their dad. We spoke to clinical and pediatric psychologist Ernest R. Katz, Ph.D. to learn what repercussions these sorts of drawn out divorces have on children.
“In general, kids feel very connected to, and remain in contact with, both of their parents even during a divorce. If one parent is speaking negatively about the other parent, the children will feel stressed and conflicted,” Katz explains EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife. “Kids will also feel pressured and be put in a difficult position if they are being told not to spend time with one parent.”
“These conflicted feelings can stay with children for a long time, and even through adulthood. It can impact their ability to live a happy, well-adjusted life,” Katz continues. “When one parent makes a child feel like they have to choose, it can lead to children having anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress reactions.”
But if Brad thinks his ex-wife might be saying negative things about him, his best course of action is to just ignore it. “If one parent feels they are being spoken badly about by the other parent, they simply must remain supportive of the kids,” the psychologist says. “They should not try to gather information from their children regarding what might have been said about them by the other parent.”
Katz also notes that parents shouldn’t involve their kids in their drama. “The parent should always avoid putting their children in the middle,” he said. “This can even make the child feel worse and more pressured. Each parent must focus on being the best parent they can be during their time with the child.”