With their mother under guarded medical care for the second time in a month, OK!  spoke to psychotherapist  Dr. Robi Ludwig to get a better idea on the possible long-term effects Britney Spears‘ recent erratic behavior could have on her two young boys, Sean Preston, 2, and one-year-old Jayden James.

"When you have a mother who is mentally ill who is acting out and not taking care of herself," begins Dr. Ludwig, who has not treated Britney, "the child senses it and senses a lack  of safety."

In the weeks leading up to Brit’s latest visit to the hospital, the pop star had been exhibiting trademark signs of being caught up in a manic state, including staying awake for extended periods of time — some sources say as long as four straight days — leading her to seemingly unexplainable behavior like abandoning her car in the middle of the road and speaking in a British accent.

Dr. Ludwig tells OK! that such upsetting activity could actually end up having a negative impace on the "eating and sleeping patterns and emotional stability" of her two children. What both Jayden and Sean need, says Dr. Ludwig, is consistency — something they’re currently only getting from dad Kevin Federline "There needs to be stable family around as much as possible to make up for the instability of Britney."

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