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Open Letter to Jon and Kate

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Jon and Kate, formerly reality TV's power couple, are splitting up.

jon and kate gosselin

Single Mom Seeking and Dr. Leah: At first, both of us were fascinated by these eight adorable kids, one hapless dad, and a dominating, super-organized mom. But now that we've watched this reality TV family's pain become real, we're concerned.

By now, you've heard Jon's announcement, made last night: "Kate and I have decided to separate."

Single parenthood can be daunting -- especially when you willingly live your life in the media glare. We'd love to offer Jon and Kate some advice as they go their separate ways:

Mean it when you say, "The kids come first." Both of you have said and done some incredibly insensitive and thoughtless things. Jon, apparently you are apartment-shopping in Manhattan. Say what? Why would you choose to live so far from your kids? Please focus on what's best for your kids.

Rethink your life priorities. This is a big part of the single parent experience. It's time for both of you to start thinking about "our kids." Kate, we've heard you say often, "My kids." This is not helpful. Please tone it down and allow Jon an equal parental role. Your kids need all the love, support, and guidance you can offer.

Save for your kids' futures. You live off the work of your kids. Jon was quoted in People: "Every time a season renewal comes up, we always have a family discussion. Our kids are 80 percent of our family, and if they don't want to film, we're not filming." So, your eight kids sit at a family meeting and get 80% of the vote on the financial future of your family? Get real. Make sure your kids have ample funds tucked away for their future needs, like college.

Be responsible parents. Both of you have provided ample evidence that you've cheated on each other. How embarrassing and confusing for your kids to see all the headline tabloid speculation about your alleged infidelities. Everything is archived on the Internet. If the kids don't know now, they surely will know later. All single parents deserve a private life, but responsible parenting comes first. You've chosen a public life. Accept the situation you've created and strive for discretion and privacy for your kids' sake.

Work to co-parent together. You employ a small army of nannies, production assistants, and publicity agents. Forget the guest shot on Dr. Phil. Commit to working with qualified psychologists and get busy with the hard work of co-parenting. Clearly, communication will be your greatest challenge.

We'd love to know: what advice can you offer Jon and Kate?

Jon and Kate Party

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16 comments so far | Post a comment now
Dr. Michelle Golland June 24, 2009, 7:48 AM

Thank you! I love your article and agree with all of it.

Honoree June 24, 2009, 10:59 AM

I agree with your advice. Its important for them to move through their anger (which is most apparent) as quickly as possible. Its time to look forward, which should include a friendship that is indeed about what’s best for the kids. This will take a lot of personal work on each of their parts. The good news is, the personal work is always worth it. Best wishes to Jon & Kate and their 8.

Honoree Corpron Corder
Author, The Successful Single Mom

Tammy June 24, 2009, 11:23 AM

Sock it to ‘em Leah.

It’s like a train wreck. Nobody wants to witness the carnage, though you can’t help but stare! ugh!

I feel sorry for the kids.

Anonymous June 24, 2009, 1:15 PM

Things to learn from this family.
1) Don’t have so many kids
2) Don’t broadcast your family to national television

judy June 24, 2009, 3:19 PM

Cancel the show to let your kids be kids IOW get jobs so they can stop working especially during this emotional transition which can last for years.

Explore real therapy pre-divorce to either save the marriage or learn how to best negotiate a divorce.

Give up the TV life and get into real life.

anonymous June 24, 2009, 5:13 PM

Judy, I concur and can’t add anything else.Dr.Leah,I agree completely.

Deb June 24, 2009, 5:50 PM

I certainly hope they(the Kids) get 80% of the money too! I think they are going to need the money for a lot of therapy soon! I wish for them that was not the case,but honestly think that they will! I also agree with the Dr.
I don’t think that Jon&Kate have honestly thought about how everything that has been said and reported will be around in the archives,because if they did they certainly would think twice about the way they talk and act!!

Cem June 24, 2009, 6:03 PM

Jon & Kate..u two are killin me!! Your marriage is and should be a seperate entity from your children. You have to BE in love to be there for them as a couple, and if you arent then yes, it’s time to go separate ways. Just be SURE this is what you both want and not the pressure of living under a microscopic public life seeping through. Kids aren’t yo yo’s. What you do and say will affect them forever..remember that. Words..once spoken, can’t be taken back. Take a loooong weekend just the pair of you and see how that goes..maybe you can find that you still love each other and make it work away from the cameras…I surely do hope so.

whatever! June 24, 2009, 7:09 PM

I think Kate is greedy and thats why the divorce was done so fast, I hope they make them wait the two years since she lied about being apart for two years…she will use them kids for her own selfishness and when they grow up and have there own show they are going to show her what its like to be in the lime light when you dont want to be. Ha Mady is the one to watch for…you can tell she is jealous of them 6 and its not going to be pretty when SHE tells all!! they all will make plenty of money when they write there side of the story!

Sara June 24, 2009, 7:14 PM

The whole thing makes me so sad … it’s what happens when power and publicity go to one’s head.

Nanc Johnson June 24, 2009, 9:49 PM

Honestly You should have done counseling for the sake of your FAMILY. Put you kids lives first 8 kids under 10 and you two are to selfish to give them the family they deserve. Unless you go everything to STAY together first you have no business divorcing. Many Family struggle and it has to be harder then a normal family with the 8 little ones. Honestly you both come across as to very selfish people in all this. Jon running away and not stepping up and Kate with the show must go on damn the torpedo’s take no prisoners mentality. You to really should rethink this and get some HELP before it is to late. Put your GREED And Pride aside already.

Anonymous June 24, 2009, 10:25 PM

Perfect advice! Now, to get them to listen…

chantal June 24, 2009, 11:22 PM

Watching Jon and Kate on Monday night brought back a flood of horrible memories from my childhood when my parents got divorced 25 years ago. Kate is giving interviews to People magazine about how her kids reacted to the news. What a horrible violation of their privacy. I hope and pray the Court will order a Guardian Ad Litem to protect the children. Obviously their parents have lost sight of this critical role they should be providing. I am sickened that the children and all the family misery are on display for the world to see. TLC is just as culpable for providing this forum for the parents who have no common sense and profiting enormously from this misery. There are millions of large families in America that make ends meet with parents who have real jobs that don’t involve exploiting their children. I can no longer watch Jon or Kate or TLC for that matter. I encourage the rest of America to boycott TLC and maybe then they will get the message that enough is enough.

stefanie June 25, 2009, 1:10 AM

I am totally disappointed in this whole situation. They should really have gone to marriage counseling and worked out their marriage or themselves and their kids. They never should have got caught up in the whole reality tv thing and cared what people think. They should work on their marriage outside of the cameras.I loved this couple and I still have hope if jon would move closer to his home in pennsylvania.

Jessie June 25, 2009, 9:27 AM

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Ann June 28, 2009, 5:57 PM

Did you not read the article about why she checked off the “not living together for the last 2 years”. It’s all about time frame. However, I don’t know who she is fooling. The whole country knows they have been living together. For crying out loud, it has been broadcast for the past 10 years. She must think the judges and attorneys are stupid and don’t know anything. Let those poor kids have a real life for a change. What a concept not having a house full of people that have become their surrogate moms and dads. They may not even know who their real parents are! God bless those kids.

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