The Huffington Post and other media outlets recently reported that the eldest daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, twenty-one-year-old Katherine, is choosing sides. Apparently, Katherine stated: “I’ve always been way closer to my mom.”

Is this choosing sides? In my opinion, with this media release, a problem is created.

It is easy for people outside of a divorce to stir the pot.  And in a celebrity divorce, where there is more scrutiny, the temptation to find something to say that provokes tension is huge. After all, conflict makes for entertaining reading.

In a divorce, like that between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, there is already enough to worry about.  An affair, a child conceived from that affair, two famous people and the unsaid dynamics between them makes for compelling press.

Yet, if a child speaks out and says something about her parent’s divorce, we don’t need to say it’s bad. Children are entitled to their opinions, and their freedom to voice it. Kids often will favor one parent over another. So what?  Often, years later, things can and do change. In reality all relationships change over time, diminishing, developing, growing stronger, and growing weaker. This applies to a parent-child relationship as well. We can’t make any assumptions or conclusions. Katherine was just voicing an opinion.

Let’s leave this family alone. They are going through enough as is. And, despite all the pressure, they are handling it with some real dignity.

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