In this week's People magazine, Kate Gosselin, former star of the TLC hit show Jon and Kate Plus 8 and the recently canceled TLC not-at-all-a-hit show, Kate Plus 8, speaks out about her disappointment that her reality show days are over.
Kate claims her eight children are upset and confused about the whole thing, having grown up in front of the camera and all, and feels unsure of how she’ll keep up the lifestyle she’s provided to her family (boob jobs and such) while on her reported 25K per episode salary. If she’s looking for sympathy, I’m pretty sure she’s going to have a new full time job.
More importantly though, what kind of psychotherapist would I be if I didn’t notice the part of the People column about Kate’s seven-year-old son Collin, as if it were slapping my emotional intelligence in the face.
Kate recalls that Collin, after hearing of the show's cancellation, said, "'I feel like crying but I can’t.’ I said, ‘Because you don’t want anyone to see your tears?’ and he said yes. So I said, ‘Cry when you’re in bed and nobody’s looking. That’s what I do.’”
Holy horrid and emotionally scarring parenting, I feel sick. I’m not interested in bashing Kate Gosselin as a human being, but I really would love the opportunity to shake her, kindly, and say a few words. Something along the lines of this:
Having a camera around at all times has led your child to literally feel afraid to cry because he’s uncomfortable with the potential judgment he’ll face for his particular emotions, and you’re still are upset your show was canceled? You’re teaching him to hide his emotions until he’s in private? You’re telling him that other people's comfort with what they’re watching is more important than expressing his emotions however it is that he damn well needs to? You are a mother who told your child to cry alone. I’m sorry, was that not clear? You are a mother who told, supported, and encouraged her child to cry alone in a room as he goes to sleep. Have you lost your mind?
Then I would breathe, drop my judgments, and tell her that I’m sure she’s doing the best she can to be the greatest mom ever, but do us all a couple of favors. First, get the f*** off of television, like yesterday, and take your gorgeous children with you. And second, invest in therapy for your kids. Apparently, they need a safe place to cry.