Credit: Christopher Peterson / Splash News Photo: Tom Cruise and Suri Cruise in New York City on July 17, 2012

Divorce is no fun and being perpetually tailed by the paparazzi certainly doesn’t make things easier on a kid. But it’s starting to look just a wee bit… odd that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are still cradling Suri in their arms like she’s a baby, along with her blanket and stuffed animal. She’s six. Shouldn’t she be walking on her own?

 

Not so fast, says marriage and family therapist Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, who is based out of New York City and the Hamptons. 

 

“Even though she’s six I think they’re doing their best to protect her,” Hokemeyer tells Wetpaint Entertainment. “The poor girl just looks terrified. She appears ill at ease in front of the cameras and uses the blanket and the stuffed animal to bury her head. I notice she also leans into their shoulders a lot. So what they’re doing is being parental.”

 

“What I think is worth noting, however,” he adds. “Is that she seems frightened by the attention while they seem to be enjoying it. Very often, children get used as pawns in a divorce. I would hate to see each one of them use her as a pawn to garner positive media attention. She shouldn’t be used in their battle over who has the better public image.”

 

Fair enough, but Suri’s only going to get older and bigger – she’s got to weigh more than 30 pounds at this point. How should they eventually transition her out of the carrying phase?


“As she gets older, it’s going to be a process,” Hokemeyer explains. “They’re going to have to desensitize her to the media slowly. Right now, they’re meeting her where she is.”


And even though Tom is notoriously against anything having to do with psychiatry or psychology, Hokemeyer believes the trio could benefit from family therapy.

 

“First, the dust needs to settle,” he says. “But I definitely think it would help.” 

 

 

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