The Gosselin children will have rough days ahead with parents Jon and Kate splitting up, especially with cameras capturing the action.
Are the children of reality TV show - 'Jon & Kate Plus 8" at risk for being Alienated?
Dr Amy Baker's (PAS expert and author of Adult Children of Parent Alienation, Breaking the Ties that Bind*) believes they could be.
By Rosemary Black
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Divorce will be extra-tough on Jon and Kate Gosselin's brood of eight - because there are so many kids and because it will all play out in public - and on television.
"What helps kids heal is a mom and dad's love and reassurance," said Dr. Amy Baker of The New York Foundling Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection.
"But there are so many of the kids that they will have to share the parents' attention."
The sextuplets, in particular, could find it difficult to cope, even after the headlines die down, because they are so close in age.
"The problem is that the kids can become dependent on one another over time and then not get the proper emotional parenting they need," Dr. Donna Tonrey, head of the Marriage and Family Therapy program at La Salle University.
"Siblings who are the same age can only take one another as far along in the healing as they themselves are. They can't help one another moving forward. That is the role of a parent."
Then there's the matter of the reality TV show - "Jon & Kate Plus 8" - that rocketed the family, and all its strife, to fame
"These are kids who can be manipulated by one parent to turn against the other parent," Baker said.
"There is obvious tension for Jon and Kate, and parental alienation is the perfect platform for parents to try to turn the kids against the other.
"If the kids take sides, that has very bad long-term effects. To turn a child against a parent is to turn a child against himself."
It remains to be seen if the Gosselins can take the high road as their marriage dissolves in public, but advocates say that's crucial to protecting the kids.
"One of the worst mistakes parents can make is putting each other down and telling the children details of the marriage that are inappropriate," says Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds, author of "Still a Family: A Guide to Good Parenting Through Divorce."
"They should sit the children down with both parents in the room when they tell the kids, even if one parent does most of the talking. This lets the kids see that the parents are on the same page."
'Jon & Kate' divorce will be hardest on the Gosselins' eight children
Ryan Reynolds wants to see 'Jon & Kate Plus 8: The Musical'
Jon Gosselin looking at NYC apartment: reports
Jon and Kate Gosselin file for divorce
Gosselin divorce papers suggest 2-year separation
Gatecrasher: Jon and Kate plus his date?
Dr. Amy Bakers Book below