twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Kelly Preston: New Baby, New Beginnings?

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Ronda Kaysen: When John Travolta and Kelly Preston announced that they're expecting a new baby, many hailed the news as a blessing for a family that has endured such an unspeakable loss. After all, isn't a baby a wonderful thing? A child who will fill the void left behind after the sudden death of their 16-year-old son, Jett, last year? Some psychologists, however, aren't so sure that a new baby is always the right thing for a family reeling from grief.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

It's not uncommon for a family that has lost a child to have another child. The practice is so common, in fact, that psychologists have coined a term for it -- "replacement child" -- and some warn that having a baby after losing a child isn't always a good idea.

"The idea of replacement -- that people are replaceable like lightbulbs -- it's a devastating myth," Russell Friedman, executive director of the Grief Recovery Institute (which provides recovery training), told CNN. "Is it OK to have other children? Yes. Is it always the smartest to do right away? No. The truth is, you have to grieve the children who died."

CNN profiled Judy Mandel, author of the memoir, "Replacement Child." She described a childhood spent living in the shadow of a sister who died before she was born. Her parents often dressed Judy in her sister's clothes and compared her to a sister she could never replace.

"It was almost like a legend," she said. "There's the aspect of being in the shadow of that. You can't live up to that promise the child had. I was always told what a special child she was, how promising she was in school, how perfect she was -- it's tough. I was thinking, 'I can't be as good as that.'"

Dr. Cara Gardenswartz, a clinical psychologist and momlogic advisor, says that there are things parents like Travolta and Preston can do to thwart these risks. First and foremost is to face the grief head-on.

"There's going to be all kinds of mixed feelings, and that's what happens when there's grief," she says. "It's all about how it's dealt with, how it's talked about. It's all about the open, honest communication."

Parents who've lost a child have another baby for many reasons, Gardenswartz says:They have more love to give; they want to bring a new child into the world and they want to expand their family. A new baby can bring real joy to a family rocked by grief. If the parents are mindful to frame the new birth in that context -- and not hide from the loss -- then the new child can truly be a blessing.

The person who will likely have the hardest time with the new addition is the couple's10-year-old daughter, Ella. As a child, she's likely to feel guilty and worry that her parents' decision to have another child means that she's not good enough.

Gardenswartz says that, again, the best way to combat these feelings is through open communication. "The key is keeping that kid from the media," she says. "That's what makes their situation more complicated than anything else."


next: Top 5: Memorial Day Childcare Solutions That Won't Work
109 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jeromy Spelman December 5, 2010, 8:02 PM

It is how to manage your from home.

los angeles limousine service December 10, 2010, 1:50 PM

Terrific work! This can be the type of advice that need to be shared around the net. Shame on the search engines like google for not positioning this publish greater!

Halloween Baby Shower Ideas Decorations December 15, 2010, 12:11 AM

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.

How To Make Unique Baby Shower Invitations December 15, 2010, 12:35 AM

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.

Lyda Levenson December 16, 2010, 12:14 PM

I have to get more guys.

roth ira conversion 2011 December 22, 2010, 4:15 PM

I like that blog layout . How was it made? It is very good!

Milissa Stoiber December 22, 2010, 4:39 PM

Personally, that is since I use a lot of to show a share of failure at this.

Corene Polashek December 25, 2010, 2:02 PM

Anyhow, boys will be girls.

Audria Shambley December 26, 2010, 6:58 AM

That part of it was lately reformed.

Drug rehab December 28, 2010, 8:44 PM

ALCOHOLISM: Review the definition, meaning, pronunciation, explanation, synonyms, and antonyms of the term ALCOHOLISM in the Online Dictionary.

William Roy December 29, 2010, 4:43 AM

Nice site, thanks. I really like it.

Larissa Carte December 31, 2010, 7:36 AM

I ought to say, not in my backyard.

dieta anului 2011 January 3, 2011, 2:22 PM

I have been scouring the google for this info and i wanted to thank u for the post. Also, just off topic, where can i download a copy of this theme? – Thank you

jouer casino en ligne January 14, 2011, 1:47 AM

It put me in a hazy state.

Hostel Belgrade January 14, 2011, 6:42 PM

Awesome post this will really help me!

classement atp January 17, 2011, 10:12 PM

is better on the back end.

conservation sous casino gratuit January 19, 2011, 10:28 PM

sorgbarn defini cooker sandomir convento burgundy salome Jae blix ruling messner mark incipient reuse

four a sous sans telechargement January 21, 2011, 4:05 AM

One fact this falls into this category for me is my.

pages jaunes January 21, 2011, 4:36 AM

However, truthfully, there are no secrets concerning.

www.dream-marriage.com January 22, 2011, 12:23 AM

You should really moderate the comments at this website


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement