Psychology experts are weighing in on whether Kim Kardashian should moderate Kanye West’s relationship with their four kids amid his mental health struggles and many public scandals — including his frequent antisemitic screeds.
The debate is central to “TMZ Investigates: Kanye West: Unhinged But Unstoppable,” airing Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. The special seeks to address whether Kardashian can deny West access to their kids — if she deems that necessary — or if she should even be allowed to have that power.
“For Kim, I think that she would try to make sure that her kids understand that some of the things that come out of your father’s mouth is not appropriate, is not acceptable,” Dr. Kevin Cokley, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, says in the special. “You can love him, because he is your father. But that does not mean you have to approve of everything he says.”
Many of the headlines in recent years surrounding the Grammy winner, 46, who shares four children with the 43-year-old reality star, have related to his suffering from bipolar disorder and the problematic statements he has made about Jews and the Black community — subsequently derailing his career.
Kardashian has previously gotten emotional when discussing co-parenting with her controversial ex, and all the extra measures she takes to shield her children from the negativity.
Appearing on the “Angie Martinez IRL” podcast in late 2022, Kardashian said, “I definitely protected him — and I still will — in the eyes of my kids, for my kids. So in my home, my kids don’t know anything that goes on in the outside world.”
However, she admitted it hasn’t been easy to continue shielding them.
“It’s really f–king hard,” Kardashian said. “[But] if they don’t know things that are being said … why would I ever bring that energy to them? That’s like real heavy, heavy grown-up s–t that they’re not ready to deal with.”
However, “we can’t shield our kids from everything,” says Los Angeles psychiatrist Dr. Kyle Smith in the TMZ special. “So as long as [Kanye] is not locking them up in a bunker with guns or dangling them over windows or dangerous things of that nature, there’s nothing the law nor the spouse can do about it.”
He adds that when a huge celebrity like Kim Kardashian marries a person like Kanye West, “to think that your children are going to grow up in a ‘Leave It to Beaver’ world is deluded.”
“You marry a person who’s famous for being flamboyant, famous for being erratic. It’s a feature. It’s not a bug,” Smith says. “So when it goes awry, well then I’m sorry!”
Kardashian and the “Stronger” rapper finalized their divorce agreement in November 2022, which including splitting custody of their kids. But per TMZ, the agreement explicitly states that should decisions need to be made and one parent is incapable of doing so, the other calls the shots.