In a new photo posted to Instagram, Michael Jackson’s three children – Prince, Paris and Blanket – happily pose alongside a patient at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The surprise visit was just another indicator of how far the kids have come since their dad’s tragic death five years ago.
And the three know they’re not alone. They’re growing up under the watchful eyes of their many relatives.
“We have a big, loving family, so we’re there all the time,” oldest brother Jackie Jackson tells Closer in an exclusive interview. Adds Tito Jackson, “Everybody helps raise the children.”
Indeed, Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, 83, now shares custody of the kids with T.J. Jackson, Tito’s 35-year-old son.
“Katherine has done her best for the past four-and-a-half years to do right by her grandchildren, but it’s draining for her to have this responsibility at her age,” a source reveals to Closer. “The kids absolutely love T.J. so it’s a win-win situation.”
Not surprisingly, Paris, 15, has been their main concern. “She’s the one Katherine and T.J. have to focus on the most,” reveals the pal about the teen, who has struggled since her father’s death and attempted suicide last June.
To help recover, she entered Diamond Ranch Academy, a Utah boarding school that specializes in treating troubled teens.
“While Paris has been bugging Katherine and T.J. to let her return to LA, she has been thriving, and they don’t want to upset the apple cart,” says a source. Quality time with biological mom Debbie Rowe over the holidays also lifted Paris’ spirits.
With youngest child Blanket only a year away from joining his brother and sister as teens, more growing pains no doubt lie ahead. And the close-knit clan is ready to give them all the love and support they need.
“No one’s perfect – teenagers are always making mistakes,” Jackie concedes to Closer. “But Michael would be very proud of his kids today, because they’re just so wonderful.”