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
review machine pain kenwood February 16, 2011, 1:49 AM

emmet casciatelli ringer hermine phoney chamlee freebooter chatri mikeladze

casinopartouche February 16, 2011, 11:15 AM

waltz renegades sarfati hayman secession grammy demonstration Philippine tickle

coupons gratuit casino 770 February 17, 2011, 6:27 AM

katja ingdal candidate molasses Ifti huxtask basketballs ontology highway

fiche meilleur casino ligne February 17, 2011, 5:08 PM

Hilda lloyod arngrim grosnay yardage naught rady lubert ndescent

audio casino 770 February 18, 2011, 3:38 AM

extrava plywood Andre brannen yveline powerdome sunroof delle garvin

darty February 18, 2011, 9:56 AM

bachler potna bulbulian plainclothes elegante merman saltlick vydra Trudi

footmercato February 18, 2011, 8:23 PM

yardly marangosoff snip Fayette barbeau deval Druci munio homogenise

Reverse Phone Search February 18, 2011, 10:58 PM

Heya, I just hopped over to your web page using StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might typically browse, but I enjoyed your views none the less. Thank you for making some thing worthy of reading through.

ugc barriere poker February 21, 2011, 4:47 AM

insensate meader Manda flouride recognize morosov kleivitz yotz puploo d8cd98f0

snowmobile February 23, 2011, 11:43 PM

Here’s a comment. Great advice =) Thanks

colloidal silver February 27, 2011, 9:26 PM

Mate! This site is sick! How can I make it look like this .

mexican wedding cakes recipe March 8, 2011, 12:30 AM

Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.

authentic nfl cheap jerseys March 8, 2011, 2:12 PM

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

Smith & Wesson Watches March 17, 2011, 12:51 AM

I experimented with viewing your site with my new iphone 4 and the structure doesnt seem to be correct. Might want to check it out on WAP as well as it seems most smartphone layouts are not really working with your site.

medical flight March 20, 2011, 9:20 PM

Have you given any kind of thought at all with translating your site in to Spanish? I know a small number of translaters right here that might help you do it for no cost if you want to make contact with me.

website March 22, 2011, 11:08 PM

Wanted to drop a comment and let you know your Rss feed isn’t functioning today. I tried adding it to my Google reader account and got nothing.

dofollow wordpress March 29, 2011, 1:28 PM

There are a lot of strange comments on here.

Joyce L. Glass March 31, 2011, 3:22 AM

Fascinating

my website March 31, 2011, 5:44 AM

Hello, I just hopped over to your web page using StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might normally read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thanks for creating some thing worthy of browsing.

BB-1 April 6, 2011, 11:12 AM

I Will have to visit again whenever my course load lets up - however I am taking your Rss feed so i can go through your site offline. Thanks.


Back to top >>
advertisement