It's no secret that Kate Gosselin is a bit of a control freak. Anyone who's watched even one episode of TLC's defunct reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 has seen evidence of that. Or you know, even one daytime talk show interview where Kate demands teen twins Mady and Cara to answer when they clam up on national TV.
Now RadarOnline.com is reporting that Kate keeps a secret babysitter rulebook, and some of the demands take her control freakery to a whole other level. Like the fact that she'll "freak out" if they don't landscape, do chores, and take care of the chickens (literal chickens in the coop -- not the children). But the most disturbing rule is the one that demands the sitters to spy on the children's every interaction with their dad.
Jon and Kate split in 2009 in one of the messiest celeb divorces we've ever seen. But you'd think -- you'd hope! -- that even the most vitriolic ex-spouses would be able to put their kids' best interests first.
According to the report, Kate demands that her child-minders "eavesdrop" on all conversations between twins Mady and Cara, 13, and sextuplets Leah, Aaden, Collin, Alexis, Hannah, and Joel, 10, and their father Jon Gosselin.
"ALWAYS listen with one ear to hear what they’re saying," the manual supposedly reads. "You are always my eyes and ears and need to report everything you see and hear!!!"
Apparently they're not given free reign to chat with Dad either. "They may call their dad when they ask permission using the house phone only. You do not have to grant permission if you are busy or the schedule doesn’t allow it ... please keep a listening ear open and have them stand nearby."
One anonymous former sitter also spilled that she had to keep detailed notes if she ever interacted with Jon. She said, "Even if we had a conversation about nothing, I had to e-mail her all the details ... I also had to keep a log of every time Jon returned the [shared] van to make sure he used the correct amount of gas!"
Holy bitter ex-wife, Batman! Now in all fairness, there's no proof that these allegations are true. However, given Kate's personal history, there's a good chance they could be true or at least some version of it.
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Look, I know co-parenting is really rough sometimes. It is so hard to share children with an ex-spouse who you really can't stand, but you have to do it for the sake of your children. So long as abuse or abandonment isn't involved, kids need to have a relationship with both parents. A free, loving, open relationship that doesn't include the other parent.
When my kids FaceTime or talk on the phone with their dad, I actually try to give them some privacy. I respect their relationship with him, accept that they love him just as much as they love me, and I deal with it like a grownup. They need him, and they need to know that I won't get in the middle of their bond or use them to hurt him. They deserve that.
If Kate really is preventing her kids from having contact with their father, she needs to put about a bajillion dollars in their therapy jar, because this is not going to end well.
Do you think divorced parents should spy on their kids' interactions with their ex-spouse?
Image via Kate Gosselin/Instagram