Brad Pitt Saga, What Can Parents Learn?

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Brad Pitt is reportedly being investigated for child abuse after allegedly getting “verbally abusive” and “physical” with one of his kids on a private plane . The investigation is apparently being conducted by the Department of Children and Families.

This just a day after news broke that Angelina Jolie is filing for divorce from Pitt after two years of marriage. The date of her filing is one day after the alleged abuse incident took place.

In a statement released through her attorney, Jolie reportedly said of the divorce petition, “This decision was made for the health of the family.” She is requesting custody of their six children.

Pitt is reportedly denying the claims of abuse with sources telling People, “He takes the matter very seriously and says he did not commit any abuse of his children.”

Related: The 5 Worst Case Scenarios for Children of Divorce

We will have to wait for the investigation to finish before drawing any conclusions in the Jolie-Pitt case, but it got us to thinking:

Is it ever OK to get ‘physical’ with a child?

GalTime’s Barbara Greenberg, Ph.D., says ” Unless you are restraining a child who is about to do harm to self or others, any sort of physical discipline is not acceptable. All of the research backs this up. Children learn from positive modeling and from positive reinforcement. Physical punishment breeds nothing but fear, aggression and even depression.”

If a parent does get physical, even once, Dr. Greenberg says it can be concerning. She suggests looking for patterns. If alcohol or anger are involved, “Get treatment for substance abuse and anger management. Be proactive. Alcohol and parenting kids is not a good and safe coupling.”


If the marriage ends and you truly believe there is abuse on the part of the other parent, “You begin with supervised visitation for the abusive parents. They need protection from their own impulses and, clearly, the children need protection.”

Listen to the kids

Even if you aren’t aware of specific incidents, if you feel like something is going on, talk to your kids. “You know when your kids are fearful and are telling you that they DO NOT want to be with the other parent. You use your best judgment. You err on the side of safety.” And, if they won’t talk to you but you know something is off, “You have an objective person speak to the children.”

Most of all, get all parties involved to therapy. Kids need both parents whenever possible.

More GalTime:

Feature Photo Courtesy Instagram: @AngelinaJolieOfficial

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