• "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" --Mary Oliver

  • Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the little voice inside you the yells, "can't!" But you don't listen; you just push harder and then you hear the voice whisper "can" and you realize the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.
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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Comments

I'm surprised that so many people pick up on what the Duggers eat. "Tater-tot casserole" is clearly not a 'healthy choice', and it's simply HORRIBLE that it's the Dugger's favorite meal. Right?

Question for you: What is your family's favorite meal? A salad, some pea soup and perhaps leg of lamb? I think not. Ask almost any five year old, and they'll tell you that their favorite foods consist of hamburgers and pizza.

While we're talking about food... So you think these parents are not providing healthy meals for their kids? When was the last time you came home and cooked a healthy meal? What about that pizza you picked up because you'd had a long day? Wait a minute, I forgot, you guys don't eat dinner together: Susie is at her friend Anne's house, Bobbie is at soccer practice, and you and your spouse are just fine with a stop at Wendy's.

All that to say-- they are happy, they are well-fed, they are doing fine. So the girls want to become mothers-- what's wrong with that? You perhaps want your daughters to be educated, to get a feel for life (does that include losing her virginity at 13, getting knocked up at 16, trying heroin at 19? Is that the benefit of your education?)... well, these parents want their kids to have their same values.

So your values are different from their's; you think theirs are too strict-- they think yours are too loose. It's a free country, my friends.

To MD who posted after my last post: So you don't "believe" in birth control, huh? What about women who are living in Third World Country and cannot feed the children they have ... Do you think it is moral to bring more children into that situation than to prevent them until you can care for them??? To me, having children you cannot afford or truly do not want is the epitome of immorality.

I in no way want to impose limits on having children. It is my opinion that this is not a good thing to do for the reasons listed above, but I realize that my opinion doesn't matter a whole lot.

Also, I never saw birth control or any commandment not to use them to be found anywhere in the Bible. When God said to be fruitful and multiply, THERE WERE SUPPOSEDLY TWO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ... Not several BILLIONS! And yes, the world is overpopulated and cannot sustain families having 10+ children each.

Finally, if you can't take in a Foster child due to government interference, then adoption is always a good option. Or would that "mixing" of other people keep you from experiencing a "perfect white world" that you have created for your family??? Give your uterous a rest and reach out to help some children who are suffering in this world rather than living in a Christian bubble in order to feel safe.

I am a child out of a family with many children, and I think that there's nothing wrong with big families. I am very happy to be apart of one. It's the Duggar's family, and if they want to have a big family, that's their business.

I'm a Christian homeschooler, and I see that most people that no nothing about big families, TRY to act like they do. I'm sorry, but you are making it look like we are poor, un-educated people that don't know anything---Well, that's not true. We know just as much as any other person does! My Mom is an amazing person. She can spend time with each of us, make our meals, teach school to us, and to me is the best Mom in the world.

As I can tell, you really don't know much about big families except for your opinion. Remember to "study up" before you write anything. Scientists and all those "looked up to" people brain wash this nation and make it look like it's bad, just because they want money in giving ladies abortions, and keep smaller families.

Please, don't mock or scorn those that just have many children. How would you like the Duggars and other big families critizing people that have 2 children? The world is not over-populating people! As many big families as there are, there are babies being killed today. There are many smart people out of big families---But you all don't want to admit anything, and won't.

Wow, many posts spanned out over a year - took me a while to read through...

Given that though, I do want to add my 3.5 cents. The Duggars chose to accept the national spotlight, so to me, they are fair game for criticism. Just as they are allowed by the constitution to breed and brainwash their children, I have the same right to say they are insane for doing so.

The things that bother me is they look cultish. They keep to themselves. This "buddy" system form of parenting is disturbing. They go out on one family outing a year? Is that all the socialization these kids are getting? They are so economical and humble before God but accept "gifts" like crazy. It seems almost everything in their house is either donated or wait, donated. I began to lose all respect when I saw all of their "gifts" and realized that they are just playing the system.

Plus, I just find them sort of creepy. I can't really explain it. It's like the whole family has this freakish, Invasion of the Body Snatchers look to them. They are all smilling, but they don't look happy. The poor girls look wiped out from all the work. The boys are catered to by the girls. Double standards abound. Breeding doesn't take a brain and it isn't a gift from God; it's called evolution and biology.

Unfortunately, she seems only comfortable with being pregnant. Did you see her reaction after the last two kids? "I can't wait to have another." Honey, your new baby is only 5 hours old - let it sink in a bit. She honestly reminds me of an old woman who collects cats. It must be comforting for her to be pregnant, but she needs to move on.

I think TLC/Discovery should get Animal Planet out there and do a special episode on kid hoarding.

Okay, off my soapbox.

To the person directly above me:

I do have intimate knowledge of a big family. I'm Irish. I think that says it all. I grew up resenting my parents for throwing their parental responsibilities on me. And I'm second to the youngest of seven. My paternal grandma comes from a family of 15. She hardly knows any of her siblings. And family reunions? Holy Lord, I have countless cousins. I gave up keeping up long ago (it's over 50). I, on the other hand chose to have 2 children. I replaced myself and I replaced my husband. That's it. I can honestly say I know what it's like from both sides, so we can all have our opinion now.

This soapbox is getting wobbly.

To answer the person who stated that all kids' favorite foods today are hamburgers and pizza: well, maybe if that's all they get! My kids had a healthy and very varied diet and could eat Chinese food with chopsticks by the time they were four. I cooked their breakfast and dinners and lunch was a brown bag prepared by me.

Bottom line: Michelle Duggar doesn't do the cooking. The girls do it. Michelle doesn't do the cleaning; that's divided between boys and girls. Michelle doesn't do the laundry (girls) or the garden (boys). Michelle doesn't even do the child care, except for the most recent child, until it's six months old and/or weaned, whichever comes first. Then it gets handed off to one of the oldest girls to raise.

Is this parenting? Making out lists of chores for the kids to do, and pasting them neatly on the wall, is NOT parenting. Buying rows of canned goods is not parenting. Running your own ersatz religion is not parenting.

Parenting is welcoming a precious child into the world, devoting the next 21 years to raising it, teaching it everything it needs to know, giving it space, time, attention, toys, equipment, more attention, overseeing its schooling, chaperoning him/her as he/she enters the teen years, teaching him/her by example and precept how to deal with the world in all its variety and with all its challenges. And, to work long enough and hard enough so you have enough money to send your child to college, or get him/her started in a trade, or whatever it is that the child decides to do with his/her life to become a productive and happy person. And then you become a grandparent.

People who indulge themselves in baby-making and then use their enormous family as a venue for gaining notoriety in order to make money from their folly aren't parents. They're abusive and exploitative, they're publicity seekers, they're even hedonists in a grotesque sort of way, but parents? NO.

Sibling to several, I too am a sibling to several-- three girls and four boys. My oldest sister is a basket case because of authoritarian parents who thought they should have even the right to tell her what career to choose.

Life in a big family with little money can be very, very difficult. I never had a new pair of skates, or a bicycle, or any of the toys that today's kids take for granted. The recurring phrase of my childhood was "We can't afford it."

I watched other kids go on trips that I didn't go on, get presents I couldn't dream of getting, and get attention that I didn't get. My mother did her best, but it was harder for her than any of us realized and she had a massive heart attack at age 62.

I spent my childhood babysitting my brothers and sisters, and working odd jobs for neighbors for money that was used to buy bread and milk for the family. In fact, not until I left home on my own did my earnings go to anything but my family.

I comforted myself with books from the public library, and fortunately earned a full scholarship for college or I wouldn't have had a prayer of attending a university, as there were four boys right behind me and it was a given that they would be first in line for any higher education that my parents could somehow scrape up money for. In their turn, my brothers put themselves through college by one means and another, so the only one who actually was supported by our parents through college was the youngest child. I have to say, she's the most well-adjusted and happiest of the bunch of us.

So. when I got married I had three children, two girls, Stanford graduates, who are PhDs and college professors; and my son, who is a computer wizard with his own business. It took all my time and energy to raise those three children, but they had every advantage that I didn't, and it certainly would not have been possible for us to do it, even with the professional incomes we enjoyed, if I had had more children. The three of them are happy and successful. I've been blessed, but I also was prudent, having learned the hard way in childhood that all the idealism or religious sentiment in the world won't put meat in the oven or presents under the Christmas tree. And these things are truly important in their own right. People who publicize their "Christianity" or any other religion by the number of children they have are just being stupid-- and selfish. Children need not only good food three times a day, but a quiet, safe, pleasant place to live, and enough time to themselves to think, and dream, and do their homework. They need new experiences, orthodontics, prom dresses, a first car, in addition to being taught the fundamentals of a religion and of our western democratic society.

It is far from easy to raise three children; having done so successfully, I can guarantee you that raising a horde of sixteen children and doing it WELL is absolutely impossible.

Annette, you sure to make assumptions, don't you? I never said what colour I am. I was raised a third-culture kid and my children are being educated to be multi-lingual. My children have a mixed heritage and their spectrum of shades prove it...moreso than their cousins who all have black hair and brown skin (oh, btw, there are all from a large family also). So much for a little "white world", especially when I know large families from black, white, puerto rican, and mexican backgrounds. I certainly don't get where ones skin shade comes into play here...considering most "white" families are 1) not wholly white and 2) generally only have the average 2.something children. And for your added info, I happen to be adopted! I NEVER said that adoption was out of the question, but it's not for everyone either and no one should be limited to adoption or a particular number of children (whether adopted or bio).

So much criticism, and judgement! These people believe that their children are gifts from God, and they accept those gift with joy. Yes, the children do chores. Mom home-schools all of the children (this isn't work?) supervises, and plans. This is the way family life existed in this country until relatively recently. My mother, born in 1906, was raised in a family of eight children, on a farm. Her mother had ten siblings. They all had daily duties, as contributing members of the household. She had wonderful memories of her family and life as a child. Yes, she went to school, a one-room schoolhouse until high school age, taught by her aunt!

Also, some of you have questioned why the Duggars have decided to make their family life public. I don't think it is for the money; this is a family that has no debt, and has earned and spent their money wisely. I believe that want to share their experience as a tribute to God the father, and his son, Jesus Christ. They want others to know the joy that they have found.

By the way, I am a mother of a grown daughter, who has two sons. I am divorced, used birth control, and a tubal ligation at 35, so don't make assumptions about me! By the way, my television broke when my daughter was about eight, and we didn't get another one for several years. She attributes this "lack" to her love of books and reading.

I think it is important to try to understand the differences of others as well as those who are like us.

I think these people are preparing their children to be responsible citizens. I think we need more of those, not fewer. There are plenty of people out there having babies who are drug addicted, or who otherwise don't give a damn about their children. Let's tip a nod of the head to those who are doing a better job!

I have been reading more of the comments. I never home-schooled, but I have a cousin in Washington state who has ten children, all of whom were home-schooled. All of the children old enough to be in college are in college, or have graduated from college. They are all intelligent, well-rounded charming young adults.

My cousin is a nurse, and her husband is a computer professional, who has published advanced programming manuals. They seem to be doing very well financially, have a lovely home (log home), and built a mother-in-law suite for her mother when she became incapacitated. Her mother constantly nagged her about the number of children she chose to have, ("Is this going to be the last one?").

Regarding the Duggars, go to their website and read their answers to the FAQ's. On the website, and in the first TV program, they state that they had no children for the first four years of their marriage, and Michelle took birth control pills.

Both Michelle and Jim Bob have their real estate licenses, and they both worked and tried to "get ahead" (which they seem to have done very well) until their first child was born. Mr. Duggar is in the real estate business, and they have made money in the real estate market.

Who wants to have these people investigated? You can't seriously believe that these children are being neglected. Is it because you can't see any point of view but your own? What about the cracks about the state of Arkansas, and its residents? What a prejudiced, low, remark! After all, it seems to me that someone we all know graduated from schools in Arkansas, and eventually attained greatness (could that be Bill, the man from Hope?)

By the by, I live in Michigan. If you want to see children who are neglected, just ask a local school teacher or student teacher. Ask them about the 5-year old girl with only one pair of panties, or the 5 and 6-year old kids who have nobody who cares enough to get them to school on time, or to feed them a decent breakfast because they are stoned on crack or alcohol, or meth? These kids exist in every state (even the one you live in).

Maybe you can help some of those kids, instead of picking on a fine family like the Duggars. Just because a family is not like yours doesn't make them bad.

For the person who wants to know what a Christian family does when one of the children is gay? Having seen it happen in my own family (a cousin), I can say that what they do is to love that child.

You can love the person, but not necessarily love what they do. You may not understand a gay person, but you can still love them.

By the way, why it is necessary to know all about the sexual preferences of non-heterosexual persons? My friends and family members know that I am heterosexual, but I don't broadcast it at work or at large in my community.

I don't understand why some folks (both homosexual and heterosexual) think that everyone in the world is interested in the most intimate details of their lives. Guess what? People are not interested!

Dear momto4boys:

Look at the Duggar's website. Michelle mentions that they do public service activities. In her words, "Sometimes we have ‘Daddy Days’ when Daddy overrides the schedule and takes the children out for family time, a field trip or a service project." They also have outings with other families who have similar backgrounds and point of view. In one of the shows, another family is introduced, and they mention that they go out to dinner together as families, and go skating etc.

Besides, who are you to decide what is well-rounded? Who comes in to evaluate your family life? Would you have the intestinal fortitude to put your family life out there, and then listen to the criticism? People do have different ways of life, and it is not up to us to critique.

Personally, I would not say that the public schools are necessarily such a great environment for the "well-rounded" child, though some are better than others. When you home school, you have control over what your child is exposed to in the formative years, and can explain the world to them as you see it, not as a teacher sees it, or another student sees it. There will be plenty of time for these children to be exposed to the big, bad, world, and they will be prepared to meet it.

It is a parents' job to form a child's life perspective, not the community's job, or the teacher's job, or your mother's job. That is what the Duggars are doing.

(applauds PP)

I was a teacher too, in Appalachia, and saw plenty of neglected, abused, and otherwise unhappy children. I've definitely seen the world as it is, and no, public schools are not the ideal as they exist today. But neither is homeschooling conducted by a high school graduate, and based SOLELY on biblical content. If you go to the links on the Duggar family website, you'll be directed to Advanced Training Institute, in itself an offshoot of a cult-like organization that seeks (as it states in its introduction) to "raise up Godly generations." To do this, it is for the believing couple to have hordes of children, remove them from the world, and indoctrinate them in the cult's own world view. In this way, you quickly get many more cult members; the cult can expand exponentially when every couple has at least ten kids.

The cult founder, a man named Gothard, is viewed by many of his followers to be a "prophet." Uh oh-- where have we seen this before? Jim Jones and David Koresh, move over.

It's clear to me that Michelle Duggan has prepared her home to be a headquarters-- as the commercial kitchen she has installed is abundant evidence of this-- for the cult's followers in her region. There are presently about 100 families in Arkansas who revolve around the Duggar cult field headquarters.

There are also other web sites posted by young people who were raised in this cult and have broken away from it, and share their experiences with anybody willing to spend time investigating this particular group.

I invite all of you who think the Duggar family is all sweetness and light to do a little digging and see what you come up with.

I also have major issues with Gothard...however, that was NOT the debate...the attacks are over large families, which many of us have, some due to religious beliefs and some otherwise. By your definition of a cult then the Amish, Mennonites, many Jewish sects, etc are all cults. Sad that there is such misunderstanding based on a few bad cases.

Mrs. Duggar should do something "more meaningful with her life"?? Wow, I'm pretty sure bringing new lives into the world trumps creating a self-absorpbed website like this one! From the looks of it, even with 16 kids in tow, matching outfits, and long hair, she still puts you to shame. I hope you get over your jealousy that you could never do the tremendous job with however many kids you have (I sense you are a "two and through" type) that she does with 16. And PS--I bet those baby piglets grow up to be cuter than your kids ;)

Discussion with Johanna:

I understand what you are saying, and I think I understand your feelings about ATI and Gothard. I can see that you might view his group as "cult like". I think he is building himself a church empire (a true capitalist of the church). After all, he has been in business since the sixties. Not very "Jim Jones-like" in my opinion.

I have no doubt - in fact I came to the same conclusion - that the Duggars plan to use their new home as a gathering point for others who have the same beliefs and lead the same type of life that they do. It reminds me of another kind of community organization - a church. In fact, they mentioned in at least two of the television shows that they have church gatherings in their home. I am also sure you can find children who have "escaped" and are willing to criticize the way they were brought up, and attribute everything to ATI.

The experience of each child, including the "escapees", is/was formed by the individual home environment (in other words, their parents). To extrapolate the bad experiences of a few to the "teachings" of ATI is a fault in logic.

In case you are wondering, I have absolutely no experience with ATI, nor would it interest me. I only know what I have read on the internet, as you have. If I were you, I would take comments on message boards with a grain of salt.

Back to the Duggars. I know that, as a teacher, you can't imagine someone who only has a high school education teaching her children effectively. I can imagine it. Neither of us knows for sure how well Michelle Duggar is able to teach her children. They do take standardized tests on a regular basis, so I assume that the basics are being addressed.

I think we need to give the Duggars the benefit of the doubt. I believe that others who don't think the way I do, or live the way I do, have a right to conduct their lives in ways that they have found to work for them. Until it is proven they are breaking the law, or abusing their children, I don't think any of us need be concerned.

The very fact that they are willing to have film crews in their home for extended periods of time - and I imagine that many of these crew members don't live lives that resemble the ones they are filming in any way - indicates to me that the Duggars have very little to hide.

It is obvious that you find this hard to believe, but fundamentalist Christians are usually very fine and charming individuals who live generally unremarkable lives. They are mostly kind, and well-intentioned. They are usually not evil, and only want to share their beliefs with others. I think, by the way, that is why the Duggars have decided to share their family with the general public. Why else would they bother?

Adds to Johanna,

I noticed your earlier post about your children. I think it is wonderful that they have done so well.

You assume that it would have been impossible with a larger family. Not so. There is always a way, assuming the will.

As example number one, my son-in-law is the eldest of six. They all graduated from college, and one of his brothers earned his doctoral degree and is a college professor. How did they do it? The parents paid for one year for each child, and they worked in the summer, and took student loans, for the rest. The same brother's wife also has her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan in Eastern European languages, I believe. She finished her degree during pregnancy, and caring for three children. She is also a professor.

I helped my daughter for one year financially, but she completed her BA at night at Northwestern University in Evanston, while working full time, and taking student loans. She graduated Summa Cum Laude.

My cousin (mentioned in an earlier post) has ten children. ALL of her children who are old enough are either in college or have complete college. I believe she still has one at the high school level. She home-schooled all of her children.

Raising your siblings, not going out to school, only hearing a christian view point, (possibly)not being given career choices, not mixing with members of the opposite sex, not having individuality encouraged, having to share a room with 5 siblings, etc etc. Separately probably not a problem, however, having ALL of the above present in your life seems like it might lead somewhere unthinkable.

I was slightly alarmed on their website by the letter by Jim-Bob to other fathers where he mentions getting rid of all the books etc and how he though that the reading of 'christian biographies' was fine and also he did this to apologise to his family - I can't help but think that Michelle's miscarriage really affected him and he somehow feels responsible. While I agree it is up to the parents how they raise their kids and it is not my business, I am of the opinion (and I will not butt out as this is a place to post ones opinions!) that variety is the spice of life...

Jim-Bob didn't remove all the books from their home. This is a quote from their website: "Start protecting your family by removing books, magazines, television, or internet that have worldly or sensual content. Replace them with good things like wholesome music, biographies of great Christians, good old-fashioned family fun and games."

They talk about the miscarriage, to educate people about the pill. The pill in the 70's was strong. It suppressed ovulation...along with causing alot of side effects on most women. So the "new" pill of today was formed to lessen side effects. It didn't suppress ovulation anymore. It caused fertilized eggs to be aborted...yes ladies, aborted! The Duggars were affected by their miscarriage, yes. Most families are affected by having a miscarriage.

The Duggar children doen't raise their siblings...watch, babysit, mentor maybe...raise, NO! Don't make judgements about the family from a one hour show. You only see what TLC or Discovery want you to see. Until about 150 years ago, there weren't any public schools. Children were taught at home in a rural setting...for the most part. They weren't messed up by that! And nearly ALL families and schools were taught from a Christian view point...until the 50's I think. And hmmm...now that I think about it, past generations were lessed messed up...go figure! The Duggar children had listed on one of their newer shows what they wanted to be when they grew up...and hmmm...I only remember one of the girls listing stay-at-home-mom as her job choice. In their shows they also talk about some of their outings...with gasp...the opposite sex! They just aren't left alone together...not a bad choice in today's world! I wouldn't say that the Duggars don't encourage individuality...but they also teach team work...kinda like any organized sports or the military. Ohhh and the last dig...having to share a room with siblings...1 or 5...it won't kill ya!

Yes, we are all free to post an opinion...but, at least know what you are talking about before doing it!

I am not basing my comments on a 1hr documentary, I have looked at the website too - and I don't claim to know the ins and outs of their family life thru the website either.

My mother had 2 perfectly healthy children (in the 1980's) while on the pill. Besides there are other forms of contraception!

yes, once upon a time all kids were home-schooled. However that was the norm and kids interacted in other ways. I have no problem with kids being home schooled or any of the other situations which are present in these kids lives. However, the fact that they are ALL present I feel could be problematic, which is my point in my first post.

I also find your insinuations that only those with a christian (read Baptist/Pentecostal) upbringing or schooling can be models of society. My partners family is catholic and 2 of my in-laws converted to the Pentecostal faith. Belive me, the Pentecostal children are a lot worse behaved and have worse manners than the liberal-catholic kids. Please be assured that loving thy neighbour and respecting and doing good for others are not merely the domain of christianity and us non-believers are quite capable of such things! In fact we realised this was the way to go on our own without being told to or doing it in the name of Jesus...

"Besides there are other forms of contraception!"--yes, other forms of birth control, which they don't want to use, and believe religiously is wrong...nothing wrong with that. Pro-choice means letting each choose their own way! Don't call yourself pro-choice if you won't let others choose. BTW, no, I am not pro-choice, because the last time I checked it was a BABY not a choice.

"yes, once upon a time all kids were home-schooled. However that was the norm and kids interacted in other ways."---My homeschooled children live in a child-rich neighborhood. We also have many activities they are involved in, with both homeschooled and non-homeschooled children. Most homeschoolers aren't hidden from the world. Kids "way back when" were separated by greater distances than they are now, and had slower and less efficient modes of travel.

"I also find your insinuations that only those with a christian (read Baptist/Pentecostal) upbringing or schooling can be models of society."---I actually didn't make any insinuations about Christians being models of society. Although, since you can't see me, I can see how you are trying to read between the lines. DON'T! I speak plainly, there is no hidden message. I did say that until the 50's everyone was taught from a Christian viewpoint, and those generations were less messed up...because you made a point to voice your concern about the Duggar children only hearing a Christian viewpoint. Good grief, people and their complexes! I didn't grow up Christian, and we were still good children with giving parents. I never stated what denomination I was, or even if I was Christian, although I am now.

"Please be assured that loving thy neighbour and respecting and doing good for others are not merely the domain of christianity and us non-believers are quite capable of such things! In fact we realised this was the way to go on our own without being told to or doing it in the name of Jesus..."---I didn't know anything about Jesus until my 20's, and I was taught to be kind, respectful, and charitable as a child. I am sorry that someone else has made you to feel less for not being Christian, but it wasn't me!

"However, the fact that they are ALL present I feel could be problematic, which is my point in my first post." ---And my post was telling you that much of what you were concerned about was wrong. Now I am not trying to flame you, just inform you after watching all the shows on the Duggars, checking out their website thoroughly, and being on an e-group with them many years ago, I thought your worries were unfounded.

The Duggar web-site isn't very detailed in my opinion, so even there you can't make a judgement on what their life is like.

i just think that woman needs her god loven uterus cut out there is no sane reason to have all those kids dang !! could someone tell me the real reason to have a big family


this message has been brought to you by abortion helps keep families small since roe v wade

It's very possible to make the worst mistakes with your children even with the best possible intentions. Reason and common sense, and just good old-fashioned prudence have to prevail, and I see precious little of it with the Duggar parents. The fact that Michelle had to search for a new doctor to deliver her 16th child ought to tell you something.

She's gambling with her own health while she has 16 chldren to raise, which is very questionable to me, and shows, at the minimum, very poor judgment on her part. The same is true of the education they're getting. As they leave the nest, what then? Most parents do their best to equip their children for productive life in our complex technological society. It's a huge challenge, and you can't meet it by living out some fantasy of your own creation.

I just watched the documentary, and it kind of irks me to see the way these childern are raised. Im 16 years old. My oldest brother is almost 34. I have 6 siblings, all with the same parents. Seeing the way these childeren whom at my age are expected to keep babies in toe, it strikes a chord with me. From a very young age, my sister and I were raised "communilly": my mom, my dad, my grandma, and two or my older siblings (brother and sister) did most of the "raising" of us. I dont begrudge my parents that. they were both working full time, my dad working for almost 16 hours a day to support us, and give us what we needed. I know first hand that an early teenager cannot be left with the responisbilities of "buddying" up with other childern whom are alot younger then them, and expected to raise them. Its preposterous!
And I constantly wonder, "what do Mr. and Mrs. Duggar do to make money?" I have looked at their website, and I understand some of what they did, but how can they afford alf of the stuff they own? My family was never in a bad finantial situation, and we could not have afforded a fration of what the Duggars have. You see their children with their own bike, their own scooters, I remember when I fianlly got my first bike, and it was a big production! My scooter was even bigger! Where are the finantial values thses kids are learning comming from? Yes, buying used is a good lesson to teach your childern, but you can tell not everything they have was used.
I dont have a big problem with the Duggar family, it is just the way they are using their religion and childern to gain ther 15 minutes, well, I guess they should get 16 minutes of fame, one for each child, which is probably the amount of actual parenting time each child get a day.
I also know the effects on preganacy on a womas body. My mother only had 6 childern, and she is already suffering. Your body needs time to recoupe after pregnancy, and Mrs, Duggar is clearly neglecting her body for the "good" of her childern, which is one of the worst tings a person can do.
Well, I think I am done with ranting for now. Thanks!

Quoted from Kiki:

"I do not think that these children are children, I believe that they are not given the chance to be kids, they are being parents to the younger kids but the mother called it the buddy system which makes you think when do the kids have time to be alone, to do things that they want to do or to even find out what the like and dislike, are they even given the chance to be an individual?"

That's just it, they aren't supposed to be individuals. They are being raised as little cookie cutter Christians, who will be good little sheep and listen to and do what their religious leaders tell them to do. Like the Taliban in Afghanistan, what these people want is a religious state where everyone will be forced to live by religious law. Their religious law, and anything else will be considered a crime. Just have a look at some of the links from the Duggar family website and see for yourself.

There is absolutely NO reason for this couple to be breeding like rodents. There are literally thousands of children in this country, not to mention the tens of thousands in third world coutries, who do not have a loving family and are stranded in orphanages and foster care systems. It would be far better for everyone (considering population growth as well as those children mentioned above) if couples who already have one or two children adopted children if they desire more.

I am getting tired of this debate. If so many of you are Christians than you haven't been reading the Word of God. It says, "Judge not lest ye be judged, Take the log out of your own eye before worrying about the speck in someone else's eye, and love thy neighbour as thyself." Where does it say that we are to openly criticize anyone for their choices in life? And where does it say that having children is wrong? As for this thing on socialization and Mrs. Duggar not spending time with her children, where does that idea come from? She homeschools, takes them on field trips, teaches them to sew, and play violin. How is sending a child to an instituationalized situation with 24-30 children there own age with one teacher to look after them equal socialization in the real world? This is not the real world. Where are the parents of children in a school for 6 hours? At work, not spending time with their kids. How is one teacher supposed to give individualized attention to all 24-30 kids? She can't and won't because they are not hers and she doesn't have an invested interest in their lives. A parent does.

The real world is learning how to take care of a household, learning about the finances, learning a skill such as sewing and an instrument and going to real world places like a construction site to learn about a trade. Most schools are lacking in this kind of teaching, because of budget constraints so our kids have to learn about it from a textbook without the hands-on experience. Why would you think she doesn't spend time with her kids? She's home all day with them training them and learning about them and teaching them about life. Just because the older ones help doesn't make them slaves. The last I heard giving children chores and responsibilities for someone else other than themselves doesn't harm them but teaches them not to be self-absorbed, self-centered human beings. Why is it anybody's business how many kids somebody has as long as they have the means to care for them and love them all. This couple seems to have it more together than most of us. They know what they want, where they are going and the means to get there. They built their house with their own hands and their own money and said they are debt free and don't owe anybody anything and only buy it if they have the money. Many of us would be put to shame if we publisized how we live on credit every month and overdrafts. And what's wrong with kids being told to be sexually pure and only look for a lifetime mate? Has are society gotten so liberal that we don't know that sex before marriage mars the psychy and harms our future relationships? And as for the debate about accepting free stuff. Who wouldn't accept free stuff? Do none of you join contests and try to win? Do you collect airmiles to get free products and travel points? Do you use coupons? Give me a break. You'd take the free products and I bet if most of you had the opportunity you'd go on a reality show if they offered you prizes and money to tell your story. Anybody would. Why do people flock to Oprah shows, and Martha Stewart shows? For the free products and the chance to be seen on TV. Shake your heads folks. The only reason you are criticizing this family is because your probably unhappy with your own and can't figure out how the Duggars seem to have it all figured out, organized and can enjoy having that many kids. They seemed to be the most unselfish, well rounded, financially stable and loving family I have ever seen on TV. It does a heart good to see these type of people actually exist.

Johanna, you are at it again!

"It's very possible to make the worst mistakes with your children even with the best possible intentions. Reason and common sense, and just good old-fashioned prudence have to prevail, and I see precious little of it with the Duggar parents. The fact that Michelle had to search for a new doctor to deliver her 16th child ought to tell you something.

The reason her doctor didn't want to deliver her last child is probably because he/she didn't want to risk a lawsuit in this society that we live in today!

"The same is true of the education they're getting. As they leave the nest, what then? Most parents do their best to equip their children for productive life in our complex technological society. It's a huge challenge, and you can't meet it by living out some fantasy of your own creation."

Is only your "common sense" and your "prudence" valid? Do you EVER acknowledge that people who live differently than you do might just have a different point of view?

As for preparing them to live in our "complex technological society", I believe they have multiple computers in the home, and the oldest son has his own video production facility. They seem to have all of the other amenities that we have in our homes - electricity, running water, indoor bathrooms, refrigerators, washing machines etc etc etc. They DO limit what the kids can access on the Internet, and don't have a television or cable. Those seem like prudent decisions to me.

For all of you who continue to criticize these people: Lay out for me exactly what kind of family life you find acceptable. How many kids, what kind of education, what exposure to society, etc. What occupations should they pursue. What church would be okay with you.

I get the impression that a lot of you are defending your way of life, as much as you are criticizing the Duggars. Or maybe it makes you feel superior.

We can discuss our differences without sniping and criticizing. Tell me about you and why your lifestyle is better. Don't put the other guy down.

Can everybody please stop judging people they don't know? Thank you. (FYI: I don't know them either)

I watched the TLC on this family last night, it was interesting until I felt I was mislead. In the first series before the 16th child was born they were a family with very tight means, but making it - very fundamental - no TV, no internet - just playing together outside - one huge happy family with their convictions. Then as the new house progressed it turned into Home Makeover show with tile flooring, beautiful furniture, New York Interior Designer, grand piano, landscapers -who paid for all of that? I am a little lost on what this show or this family was suppose to be about exactly?? Oh and they are searching on the internet in their home and the oldest son definitely is looking to be in public eye as he narrates the second edition - moving into this designer home? I don't get it - please explain and believe me that had nothing to do with religion.

The Duggars didn't have a problem with money, they were thrifty to be good stewards. The Duggars sold insurance, owned businesses, etc...and became debt free. They own real estate, which is where their income comes from. (read: land lords)

As for the new house, they paid for that, but TLC CHOSE to do the show on the "Makeover" as you call it (this was stated on the show on Discovery), and I can assume TLC paid for the furniture and little touches to the home. TLC asked the Duggar family to let them do the show. With all the controversy around the Duggar family, I don't blame TLC for wanting to do the "makeover show", that show is probably very popular for one reason or another.

Yes, the oldest son said he wanted to make movies or something to that effect, so I don't see anything wrong with him hosting a show on their family. On top of that, the Duggar family will be getting plenty of media attention, I don't blame them for choosing the right place for that attention to be viewed. I guarantee that the Duggars have final say on what will be aired about them. Good for them! :)

I just read an article about the Duggars from the Dallas Morning News (January, 2006). The reporter says that the Duggar's both have real estate licenses, and their income comes from rental receipts on commercial property they own free and clear.

The article states that Michelle Duggar was contacted by Parents magazine to write a story on parenting. Discovery Health Channel then arranged to shoot the documentaries. There were more children and reporters to chronicle the new arrivals.

"This is an opportunity to share and hopefully encourage other families, not only here in America, but around the world," Jim Duggar said.

"A lot of people are amazed to see that you have 16 healthy, beautiful children that are intelligent and all work together as a team. A lot of people are struggling with one or two."

Duggar house rules
Here are some of the rules posted in the Duggars' home:

Always use soft words, even when you don't feel well.
Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated.
Show joyful attitudes even when no one else is looking.
Have sincere motives with no thought of self-gain.
Think pure thoughts.
Always give a good report of others. Never talebear unless physical harm will come to someone.
Never raise a hand to hit.
Never raise a foot to kick.
Never raise an object to throw.
Never raise a voice to yell.
Never raise an eye to scowl.
Use one toy/activity at a time.
Never let the sun go down on your wrath. (Don't go to bed angry or guilty.)

I promise to follow their rules, and Always give a good report of others. No more sarcastic sniping from me!

pp-- does your "always give a good report of others" extend to Osama Bin Laden?
The doctors who delivered Michelle previously refused to do so for #16 because she had already had two Caesareans. As the female doctor who finally agreed to do it commented on TV (in the program "Raising 16 Children") the uterus thins out with each successive childbirth. This thinning, coupled with the already less elastic scars from the Caesareans, made vaginal delivery VERY risky for this mother of 16. Nonetheless, this particular doctor agreed to deliver her, and thank God the delivery didn't end in tragedy. I am sure her former doctors, in addition to refusing to deliver any future Duggars, also strongly suggested that she and her husband seriously consider taking steps to keep from future pregnancies. Against medical advice, she continues to become pregnant, endangering not only her own life, but also that of her unborn child.

You don't need to be a genius to figure out what is going on here: This woman is addicted to having babies. Christianity makes a nice excuse for it, but that's just a specious excuse for her addiction. She's living out a fantasy, and dragging sixteen children along with her in her cultish life. As for Jim Bob, a rational man would quietly get a vasectomy to protect his wife and his already existing family from the tragedy of losing his wife trying to deliver # 17 or 18 or whatever number they may be up to by then.

Johanna-

Really. Osama Bin Laden? Don't be silly. I was referring to you, dear. Try to be a little more logical, and take these things with a sense of humor.

What Michelle Duggar does is none of your business. What Jim Bob Duggar does is none of your business. What YOU believe they should do isn't important or relevant. Your beliefs about Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar's motives, excuses, rationality, cult behavior etc., is clearly your imaginative opinion.

Every day women have abortions, and that is acceptable to a large percentage of the population in this country. I don't criticize these women, even though I think knowingly taking the lives of unborn children - even using it as a birth control method - is a clear disregard for human life. Why is it worse for Michelle to risk another pregnancy, "endangering not only her life, but also that of her unborn child?"

There are thousands of women in this country who risk their lives in pregnancies every year. Do you criticize each of them, or only the ones who have "too many" children? Or maybe it's only the ones who follow "cult" religions. Or only the ones who home school. Or whatever other parameters you have set in your mind.

You say, "you don't have to be a genius to figure out what is going on here ....", then wrap it all up in your own little theory. They are not you, Johanna, and they don't think the same way. That does not make you right, and them wrong. That is all I am saying.

Making your home a church makes it tax exempt.

Johanna,
Actually, her previous doctor didn't say they wouldn't deliver any future Duggars, just wouldn't allow a VBAC (which is a vaginal birth after c-section). Many doctors will not allow a woman to have a vaginal birth after having 2 c-sections. They claim there is a higher incidence of uterine rupture...I think it has more to do with $$$$. Anyone that has had a c-section will tell ya that the incision site has scar tissue, and isn't thinner than the rest of the uterus, actually it is ALOT thicker! Ohhhh the lies we women believe!

Women have been having babies for a very long time, and until recently having many, many children was the norm. With modern advances in science, we are at LESS risk for dying during childbirth. For that matter, if something happens, they can always take out her uterus.

I bet everyone of her children is happy to be alive! I bet #14, 15, and 16 are happy their Momma didn't quit having babies at #4! Johanna, which one of those sweet little lives would you have them send back? Watch your answer honey, you wouldn't want to make a fool of yourself!

I take great offense at it being called an addiction! Being a Mom of Many myself, I don't feel addicted, NOR does my sweet husband. We feel called by God. Had I stopped at 3, I wouldn't have my hard working and smart Logan, my sweet and gentle Noah, and my beautiful and loving Emma. That breaks my heart to think about, and now I am tearing up while I type, so I will leave it at that.

Traci, You said in response:

"My homeschooled children live in a child-rich neighborhood. We also have many activities they are involved in, with both homeschooled and non-homeschooled children. Most homeschoolers aren't hidden from the world."

I didn't suggest that all home-schooled kids are hidden away! I said the duggar kids. Once again, if you read my original post I said that being home-schooled AND not having any/much interaction is not good, I did not suggest this was the case for all home-schooled children. In fact I said: "I have no problem with kids being home schooled or any of the other situations which are present in these kids lives"

Also, I mentioned other contraception because you only metioned the pill, as if because this didn't work their was no other choice. Anyway, I don't think I suggested anywhere that the duggars shouldn't have had this many children, I merely questioned how they were raising their kids. And not once did I say that I am pro-choice - are you reading between the lines, Traci?

"And nearly ALL families and schools were taught from a Christian view point...until the 50's I think. And hmmm...now that I think about it, past generations were lessed messed up...go figure!" Your sarcastic tones suggests to me that you making insinuations regarding non-christians. Must be my atheist paranoia.

"I am sorry that someone else has made you to feel less for not being Christian, but it wasn't me!" Actually, nobody has made me feel less for not being a christian, they certainly would not be able, but many have tried.

"Now I am not trying to flame you, just inform you after watching all the shows on the Duggars, checking out their website thoroughly, and being on an e-group with them many years ago, I thought your worries were unfounded." I think we will have to agree that neither of us know what really goes on in ANY house that we are not a part of - families are very capable of putting on a show for others. I was basing my worries on the facts presented to me, I certainly did not make-up anything that wasn't there.

"And my post was telling you that much of what you were concerned about was wrong" I am glad that you can be so sure about people you don't know. Everyone (including me) thought my father was an upstanding member of the church community until it was found out he was a paedophile..... Maybe this has made me a little cynical, but I just like to reserve judgement.

Caz,
I mentioned the pill because when the Duggars talk about their miscarriage, they talk about the use of the pill. That part of my post was informational on why they talk about their miscarriage and how most quiverfull people feel about birth control.

Nope, not reading between the lines, just assuming that most of the people on here are pro-choice and liberal, after having read all of the posts. I am sorry if you feel I judged you wrongly.

You are reading in sarcastic tones, where there are no sarcastic tones...just a hmmmmm moment! Like I said, I wasn't raised by Christians.

I will agree that none of us know what ANYONE has going on at home. I think we would also agree that from a couple of hour long videos and a not very detailed website that all these critical people posting on this blog are making many wrong judgements on the Duggars while they have plenty of things wrong in their own homes. (no this wasn't a jab at you caz...actually you have been quite pleasant to discuss things with...not ugly and degrading) Most of us have skeletons in our closets...although some have more than others, nobody is perfect.

I too am cynical, but my radar isn't set off by the Duggars, although I don't agree with everything they do. I haven't found any family to be the ideal family. We are all different, and instead of tearing each other down for our differences, I think we should build each other up.

I will tell you though, having 6 children of my own so far, there is no putting on of shows with us...too many people to keep tabs on! What you see is what you get with my family. We work hard to train them and trust me, the places we are lax show quite vividly! We aren't perfect...we don't even try for perfection...we just try to raise good children....both at home and away. I bet the Duggars are the same way...there is just no way to make 16 children act perfect all at the same time...they just have trained them well!

Have a great day!

Can you imagine the trash this family creates?!?! Ugh...

Hopefully there's a sales tax where they live to pay for the services they use. i.e. roads, library, parks... etc.

Remarks by Val about taxes - None of their children attend public schools, yet they pay taxes to support the schools, as do most people who home school, or who send their children to parochial schools.

At least they have an income, and own a home and commercial property, so they have a tax base. Just think of all the people who have children, yet are not "contributing" because they don't own property, and their income is too low to be paying much or any taxes at all.

I think the kids should be allowed to be kids.
I am so worried about their self esteems. They need to be out there with other kids. Do they ever go to anyone else(s) house to play? Do they have individual sleep overs? I read that they don't even leave the house for church.
It is sounding more and more like a cult. And do something with the long hair. I have long hair but it is fashionable. Those poor girls in those ugly dresses! I think Michelle keeps having more children so she can spend a few days in the hospital resting. That is probably the only time she gets time alone.

Reply to: PP

How do they pay for the public schools? Their house is a chuch. Therefore, they don't pay property tax.

I do think of people that use services they don't pay for... and they piss me off.

Val - I don't know whether or not they pay property taxes on their house, as I am not sure that a dwelling used once a week as a sanctuary can be exempt from property taxes. I rather doubt it.

The Duggars are in the real estate business. They both have real estate licenses, they own commercial property, and they live on the rental income from the commercial property. I am very certain that they pay taxes on that property, and on their income.
How do I know that? I read it in a newspaper article in, I believe, the Dallas Morning News, that I found on line. It was dated in January of this year.

Is it only these people who "piss you off", or do you feel that way about other people too?

http://www.arkansas.gov/acd/pdfs/exemption-guidelines.pdf

Anyone that uses a service to which they don't contribute piss me off. Why do you ask?

Val,

Sorry. Don't be so touchy!

I took a look at the pdf that you so kindly referenced. Thanks. In the section regarding Church Property (page 5 of the document), it says, though, that ownership by a church does not automatically mean that a property is entitled to an exemption. USE is the determining factor. The property must be used for church purposes. It also says "a primarily secular use of property used incidentally for actual public worship would probably prevent exemption." Although neither of knows if they get an exemption, I would bet that they don't. For one thing, I don't believe they are organized legally as a church, and Mr. Duggar isn't a pastor.

Don't forget, they also own that commercial property. They certainly pay taxes on that property, and also on their rental income.

Are you convinced now that the Duggars pay taxes? If you want to read more about them, the link to the Dallas Morning News article is:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/registration/register.jsp?fw=http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/121805dntexbigfamily.2bb5559.html

pp - Don't be so stupid and naive. You're a mass breeder too, ain't cha?

Bwahaaahaaahaaa! I love the pictures at the beginning of this post! There is a big, big, BIG resemblance!

Val - You are really a fool. You can't make a valid logical argument, so you resort to what you believe is an insult. Talk about stupid people. Just look in the mirror.

Even though it is none of your business, no I am not a mass breeder. I am a divorced mother of one daughter. She is married and has two sons.

What I don't understand is why so many people want to hate the Duggars because they are different. It reminds me of children on a playground. "Oh look - she dresses funny, and has ugly long hair." "She must be a sick, addicted to having babies."

Listen to yourselves. You really are a pathetic bunch.

Don't you have an alternative email address? I'm sure Marposs would prefer you not use your work domain when you're online calling people names.

Now who's ignorant?

;-)

http://www.us.marposs.com

Johanna, pp and Caz-
The fact of the matter is, if the Duggers piss you off this much, why are you still talking about them? I mean, why is our society so facinated with bringing people down like this? If you dont like what people are doing, dont concern yourself with it. This family has clearly gotten enough publicity as it is, so why do we all her to sit here and whine about them now? We all know you pick your fights on the internest because there is a fear of losing in actual confrontation. I get that this is an opinional forum, but get off eachothers backs, and stop judging eachother when that is not the issue at hand. Youre grown and mature women, act like it.

You are correct, Jaz. This is a true waste of time. The Duggars seem to be fine people. I wish them well. Have fun, all of you.

pp- I read your remarks with amusement. Gee, am I the only one commenting on the Duggar tribe? There are hundreds of web sites and thousands of blogs out there-- just search on Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and see what you come up with. Okay, sweetie?

I'll tell you what I saw, in each one of the now FIVE (count 'em-- FIVE) prime time TV shows on this family (ok, one was a repeat, but you get my drift.)

Michelle is so busy having babies that her oldest daughters are de facto mothers to several of the pre-schoolers. It's a 24/7 job with them, and they also cook, clean, and sew for the family. See, that's the great thing about home schooling: no pesky administrators around to see if the kids are actually being taught by a competent teacher. I don't know what the boys do besides watching the girls do all the work, but they may have outside chores. One of the younger boys cleans the boy's bathroom. Yeah, right. I bet it just sparkles when an eight year old boy gets through with it.

If you think for one minute that proper home schooling means teaching out of those ridiculous "Wisdom Pamphlets" where every lesson begins with Jesus (wonder how they work Jesus into Isoceles Triangles or the value of pi?) then you're just as dopey as Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar.

The one thing they seem to have a good grasp of is how to make money, fervent little capitalists that they are. They even have weekly church services in their home (which incidentally may or may not yield at least a partial tax benefit, but I'm betting that it does). This means that the children don't even get out of the family prison to go to church on Sunday like regular people do.

I don't know how anybody can justify keeping six teenage children at home day in, day out, when the single great task of that phase of life is learning how to live in the larger world.

Scar tissue is NOT stronger than normal muscle tissue. Clearly the doctors would have been delighted to deliver yet another Duggar if it were. The risk of rupture of that existing scar in a subsequent vaginal delivery is about 2 percent-- but statistics do not apply to the individual, particularly this mother who has undergone not two or three pregnancies like normal patients, but fifteen (one of her pregnancies delivered twins). She had undergone TWO C-sections, so if the surgeon went in through the same scar for the second C-section, the risk of rupture is now even greater in a subsequent vaginal delivery.

A uterine rupture is a very serious condition. This woman is now about 40 years old-- not the ideal time to consider a pregnancy under any circumstances, but especially hers.


IRS web site on what constitutes a church.

http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1023/ch02.html#d0e3925

Johanna,
Ignorance is bliss I guess! Homeschoolers have to take the same standardized tests that public school kids do...but we have to take them to graduate! Most homeschool coverings expect a higher than the norm score on those standardized test to graduate too! In fact, the Duggar said on one of the shows that the test the kids. Most homeschoolers however, do NOT use those "Wisdom Booklets". I use a great variety and we LOVE the stuff we use!

Yes, the girls may sew some of those matching jumpers for all the female Duggars, but all of their clothes aren't sewn at home...alot of them look like yard sale and thrift store finds. And, before you go bashing that, I have found great deals on designer clothes at yard sales and thrift stores. We buy gently used clothing when we can. Count their sewing towards a Home Economics credit!

In our house we ALL have chores to do! I don't make all the messes and chores teach children real life skills! But, the children spend no more than 1 hour each day doing chores...unless we are working outside on a project or my 11 yo son is cutting grass (a once a week job). This weekend EVERYONE is looking forward to planting flowers! Everyone takes care of their own bedroom. My 8 yo daughter is in charge of cleaning our bathroom, and with training, that room now SPARKLES! I taught her to clean that room like I would clean it. My soon to be 10 yo daughter is in charge of cleaning the kitchen. Dad and Mom do the cooking, and Dad sweeps and mops. Everyone pitches in after meals with wiping the table and getting dishes rinsed. My 11 yo son is in charge of the family room, and I am not afraid to have people come in! He also sorts the clean laundry and delivers the piles to each bedroom to be folded by the owner. My 11 yo son also self appointed himself the grass mower. My 5 yo son is the self appointed toilet scrubber and garbage man, and he enjoys helping me sort the dirty laundry. He also likes cleaning the yard...he is a hard worker! My 3 yo son and 1.5 yo daughter help by picking up toys and dusting...not to shabby for their ages! What do the parents do you ask? We make all the meals, I wash all the clothes (a huge job here), I do all the shopping, I teach them school, I do all the planning, I drive them to activities, I tackle the largers jobs in each room (like cleaning walls, polishing cabinets, cleaning out cabinets, closets, and drawers, and the list goes on!), clean the master bedroom, shampoo carpets, yard projects, redecorating, my dear husband works all day, he handles the major tasks like plumbing, painting (can't do that while preggers), weed-eating...and the list goes on and on for both of us!!! All my children enjoy cooking, so they take turns HELPING us. Actually my 11 yo son does some cooking for himself. I will say it again because I am sure someone will fuss at me for having my children doing chores...they spend NO MORE than 1 hour doing chores...they have way more play time than that!

I never said the scar tissue was stronger, I said it was THICKER. And, I still say that the lack of VBACs has to do with $$$$$$. They scare those poor women in to having another c-section for the $$$$. I know ALOT of women that have VBACs...and none have ruptured...NONE!!!!!

Ok, maybe a little VBAC education is in order. A C-section puts a mother and child a GREATER risk than a VBAC ever would. And, the chance of a uterine rupture is less than 1%. And, 75% of those uterine ruptures are non-emergency ruptures! You run more risk of Mom or Baby having problems due to c-section than you do with a VBAC. Being pregnant with my 7th doesn't concern my OB nor my pediatrician. Both think I have a very healthy womb! Happy reading!

http://www.vbac.com/chapter38.html

http://parenting.ivillage.com/pregnancy/plabor/0,,j9gw,00.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2111499/

http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/cesareansection/l/blicanresponse.htm

I'm puzzled, Traci, as to what your uterus has to do with Michelle's uterus, since she's had more than double the number of deliveries than you.

The issue is vaginal delivery after C-section. Nobody's arguing that C-sections are entirely safe, because no operation is entirely safe, nor is any vaginal delivery entirely safe.

What I'm seeing is Michelle rolling the dice and flirting with possible disaster with every new pregnancy-- 1. after fifteen deliveries; 2. two of them via C-section; and 3. at age 40 or older. She turns 40 this year, remember. Her uterus is not only rapidly thinning from constant and excessive childbearing, but also now her age is working against her.

Your life is not the Duggar life, Traci. Why does this discussion lead you to recite your life history? I'm well aware of what homeschooling involves. All GOOD parents homeschool their children to some extent, even if the kids are enrolled in private or public schools. Providing intellectual enrichment is a parent's job. The first teachers are always the parents, not the school system.

The Duggars use "Wisdom Pamphlets" from the Gothard religious cult. This is a fact they have attested to.

We're talking about the Duggars, who have chosen to make their family life a public issue. I didn't ask them to do it; they just did it. So we're discussing it. I say it isn't the optimum way of raising children. You disagree because perhaps your way is rather close to theirs.

Fine. You disagree. That doesn't make my statements any less valid.

Hmmm...our chores don't equal a full life history now do they Johanna? Actually, you were saying that her daughters have a 24/7 job, but maybe she is much like me and her children have way more free time than work time. I listed that long list of chores and then the time we spend each day on them...maybe I just didn't finish my thought! LOL Go figure, my pregnant brain...what was I saying? :)

Yes, the issue is a VBAC, and I listed a bunch of resources that say that VBACs are safe. Yes, I have had half as many pregnancies...but my uterus is still very healthy, and I am only 4 years younger than Michelle. Ooooooo advanced maternal age!!!! Many, many young people have very unhealthy uteruses. My point was you can't judge a uterus by age and number of children! LOL

And, actually the Duggars said they used "Wisdom Booklets" and never stated anything about being in a cult! Maybe Bill Gothard is and maybe he ain't...I am not about to make that judgement! And my point when talking about homeschooling was that the Duggars have to have their children tested...so the proof is in the pudding!

Yes, you disagree with me and I with you...doesn't mean I am wrong either!

Imagine what life would be like if everyone had the number of kids that the Duggars are having? Take a minute and conside it.

Granted the United States is not the largest contributor to over-breeding, but we are the third. Maybe you recycle and wear your Earth Day T-shirt, but how many babies have you "blessed" us with? Kids are being mass produced beyond a parent's capacity to raise them and beyond Earth's capacity to sustain them. Bestowing more than two kids per couple upon our little world is the same as saying you don't care if those kids grow up to live in a cesspool. For whatever reason you excessively procreate, just remember that neither prayer nor breeding will solve your existential dilemma. We are all going to die and our time here is not eternal. Enjoy quality not quantity.

Traci seems to have just the views about the Duggars that serve to validate her own choices in life. Believe it or not, when you have seven or eight children, or more, you aren't doing them any favors.

It's too late for your "stop at two" button, Traci, so I wish you well as you face middle age with a housefull of little kids. You apparently don't know, in the midst of all your gynecological knowledge, that 50 is one heck of a lot different than 40 in terms of how a woman feels.

Frankly, most people just can't afford this Duggar type of self-indulgence, so they don't engage in seeing how big a family they can produce. They have one, two, or three kids and do their best for those. This is called "prudence," "foresight," or "planning" and isn't to be sneered at. The truth is, you don't know what you will face as life goes on, and it's wise to provide well for a few children and for your own old age, so that you will never have to burden others with the results of your feckless behavior. Enough said.

I have no problem enjoying my time with my children, nor parenting them...although I am quite sure there are many parents that can't even handle the one they produced! Between Val and Johanna, the hate pouring out of them just warms me to their cause let me tell ya!

Over-population and over-breeding are myths started by Paul Ehrlich when he wrote "The Population Bomb." Even though he admitted he was wrong many years later, he had already started the land-slide.

Those who talk about overpopulation are spreading a destructive myth! It may serve the purpose of justifying abortion, sterilization, infanticide (God forbid!), and euthanasia; however, it is totally contrary to the facts.

There are 52.5 million square miles of land area in the world, not including Antarctica. If all the people in the world were brought together into one place, they could stand, without touching anyone else, in less than 500 square miles! We could comfortably support the world's population in the 2 biggest states of the US, and that would leave more than 95% of the world for agriculture! Going hungry...HA!!!!

Lets talk about the people in India. The Hindu religion teaches that people who die are reincarnated in the form of animals, so it is against their laws to kill rats, mice, cows, or other animals. Every cow eats enough food to feed seven people, and there are two hundred million "sacred cows" in India. If the people in India would stop feeding these cows, they would have enough food to feed 1,400,000,000 people. That is roughly one fourth of the entire world's population!

In other countries, like Sweden, Moms are being paid to stay home and have more children. "The Population Bomb" spread a lie and now many countries are trying to climb out of the financial toilet that book caused them to fall into!

Here is some good reading...and this time really read it!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6040427/site/newsweek/

All my information came from 2 books:
The Birth Dearth by Ben Wattenberg
A Full Quiver by Rick and Jan Hess

I would highly recommend reading The Birth Dearth.

Johanna,
Really? Because I am pretty sure that each one of my children are happy to be alive, and are happy with the parents they have! We don't have a problem in the world spending time with them and loving them!

I don't need the Duggars to validate me or our choices in life! I didn't know about them until after our 5th child. I just hate to see them bashed for their choices!

I am sure for many people 50 will feel old, but the Lord blessed me with much energy like my Mother, and I will be ready to rock Grandbabies after my babies are too big!

Nobody I know would call me self-indulgent or reckless, and I haven't sneered at anyone for having a small family. However, you do sneer at me for my choices! I don't ask for hand-outs and we aren't a burden on anyone...we provide for our own. We have already planned for our future and for the children's education! And, you don't know what the future holds for you either...I may have many loving children ready to take care of their elderly parents...much like my dear husband and I are ready to take care of our parents. You may have a few self-centered children that will put you in a run down nursing home...which I truly hope doesn't happen!

You can throw around all the words you want about large families, but all you do is make yourself look hateful.

? Wow!

Did I address you, Traci?

You read like a very ANGRY person. Are you like that cuz you're "preggers"?

I feel sorry for your kids and husband!

Relaaax, will ya?

Anyone notice how fanatical the people with lots of kids are??? Gee's!

They seem very defensive.

"not counting Antarctica" -- well, DUH!! You also can't count much of Canada (permafrost) or Siberia (same thing), almost all of Greenland, much of central Australia, high mountains anywhere, the Sahara and other large deserts, etc. etc. etc. The amount of ARABLE land in the world is already well-exploited. And, just for your info, India is already WELL on its way to 1.4 billion, having topped a billion some time ago. As has China, which has instituted draconian measures to control its one billion human population.

But we aren't talking about arable acreage; we're talking about the optimum ways to raise children, vis a vis the Duggars and their experiment with a cultish life that is very questionable.

I'm curious to know how home schooling replicates science, math, and language labs such as exist in modern high schools. Physics and chemistry labs in your kitchen? I doubt it. Language labs? Not.

Are these cookie-cutter kids being shortchanged? Very likely, in my opinion, based on the information we have on the family to this point. Are there many home schooled high school "graduates" anywhere in the country being accepted for undergraduate study at Cal Tech and MIT? I doubt that too.

From all that has been said, I suspect that a home schooling high school "degree" is the equivalent of a GED. This will get you into a very low cost community college, highly necessary for families of 8, 9, 10 or more children, where you can then spend two years taking the remedial courses that you didn't get from your home schooling as delivered by your constantly-pregnant mother, if you want to go on to a baccalaureate or beyond. That there are exceptions to this general rule is a given; but they ARE the exceptions and not the norm which I strongly suspect is at GED level or a little above in some cases.

As I said earlier somewhere, it's difficult to imagine that "Wisdom Pamphlets" really do justice to trig functions or a high school level class in computer-aided design, or a chemistry lab assignment.

As you can see, a home schooling mom is convinced that the planet can support x number of people because we'd all fit into one or two states of the Union, standing inches away from shoulder to shoulder, thereby freeing up all the other land for agriculture. This is just laughable. People are large mammals and large mammals need SPACE for their life activities. Even chickens need a seveal cubic feet of space to thrive; large herbivores, predators, and humans need acres or in some cases square miles per person.

It's true that Europe is suffering a birth dearth, with its NATIVE population not even at replacement level, which is approximately 2.7 live births per couple. However, there are plenty of people in the world who want to get into Europe, so there really isn't a population problem at all in raw figures-- the problem is the continuation of European culture in the face of its extremely low birth rate and the burgeoning third world population.

As for the book "A Quiverful," if that is the source of your information, then you would do well to read further. Perhaps a serious book on demographics, instead of pseudo-Christian propaganda, would do for a start.


A novel idea: save your money, invest, put your kids through college so they will be self-sufficient and be able to find interesting rewarding employment, and continue to save and invest for your own retirement.

I have long term care insurance and enough savings so that none of my children will have to take care of me in my old age. This is called "thrift" and "prudence" and "planning for retirement." I was taught as a child, and I taught my children, that one's job in life is to be as self-sufficient as possible and not to rely on other people to solve your problems for you-- or to assume that your relatives' responsibility includes caring for you when you haven't take care to provide for your own inevitable needs.

As for "run-down" nursing homes, nursing homes and hospice care are necessities for many aged people whose care is beyond the ability of younger relatives to deliver. Younger people after all have JOBS that take them out of the home all day, and they need their sleep at night. Hardly anyone would choose to end his/her life in a nursing home or a hospice, but the need for them is one of those stark realities that some people just refuse to face, and something that most people will indeed be forced to face. People who have no savings or long term care insurance can go on Medicaid and have the government pay for their care, in which case the "run-down" nursing home will be far more likely a reality for them than for me. But with comfortable assets and long term care insurance, neither of which I would have been able to accumulate if I had brought ten children into the world, I have every expectation that not only will I be able to end my days comfortably, but will also be able to pass on some remaining portion of my wealth to my heirs.

To their credit, the one thing the Duggars seem to have done prudently is invest in real estate to the level that the income from it supports them quite comfortably today-- that and their TV appearances and other ventures.

As a child, I lived in a neighborhood where there were several families with huge numbers of children: 14, 13, 10, and in one case across town, 23!!! I observed their lives, and being from a large family myself, resolved never to live that way. I saw my own mother worn out and overwhelmed with worry about finances throughout the entire course of my brief childhood-- brief because as one of the two oldest, I had lots of demands put on me at home in addition to school and church.

I've never been sorry for having had "only" three children. I enjoyed them tremendously, gave them every advantage I could afford, and was able to support them through Ivy League colleges (they worked and helped pay their own way with scholarships as well). Anyone can have huge numbers of children; it isn't difficult and for some women it's apparently very enjoyable to be constantly pregnant and nursing, regardless of the impact on their existing children. The problems come in giving all those kids what they need to be well-rounded, productive adults who have real opportunities in life and can grow professionally or in their chosen trade. As I see it, you're handicapping your children when you don't put their education and well-being ahead of your own procreative urges. I'm very leery of home schooling, as there's really no way to oversee it beyond the administration of some standardized tests. The temptation to teach only to pass the test must be overwhelming.

The truth is, as I learned myself very young, people who have huge families don't really look at the real effects on the children, which are mostly hidden until each child reaches adulthood.


Why do the mega-religious always think that Negative (or Zero) Population Growth is a bad thing?

Are you that selfish about your own wants that you can't see what you produce during your lifetime will have consequences after your death? Do you even care about our planet or are you too wrapped up in your own life to care?

The world is OVER populated. We passed 6 billion some time ago. It's not just acreage that you need to look at. It's resources. Our planet only has a limited supply.

It is unquestionably SELFISH and IRRESPONSIBLE not to consider your actions and the affect it will have on our planet.

The buck has to stop with us, the people, to make sure our children and our children's children will continue to thrive on this planet.

Johanna you state: "As you can see, a home schooling mom is convinced that the planet can support x number of people because we'd all fit into one or two states of the Union, standing inches away from shoulder to shoulder, thereby freeing up all the other land for agriculture. This is just laughable. People are large mammals and large mammals need SPACE for their life activities. Even chickens need a seveal cubic feet of space to thrive; large herbivores, predators, and humans need acres or in some cases square miles per person." ----Actually, you read only what you wanted to hear! We are NOT large mammals, more like small to medium size mammals, and yes, if we grazed all day long, we would need plenty of space!

I stated: "There are 52.5 million square miles of land area in the world, not including Antarctica. If all the people in the world were brought together into one place, they could stand, without touching anyone else, in less than 500 square miles! We could comfortably support the world's population in the 2 biggest states of the US, and that would leave more than 95% of the world for agriculture! Going hungry...HA!!!!"---The 2 largest states in the union are larger than 500 square miles each! Alaska (1st in size) and Texas (2nd in size) have 857,095 square miles combined. Texas and California (3rd in size) have 426,031 square miles combined. That is a far cry bigger than 500 square miles honey! I never said anything about us living shoulder to shoulder! DUHHHH!!!

"I'm curious to know how home schooling replicates science, math, and language labs such as exist in modern high schools. Physics and chemistry labs in your kitchen? I doubt it. Language labs? Not."---Actually around here you find a bunch of ex-school teachers homeschooling their children and providing labs for homeschoolers...it is called a co-op! Homeschoolers are also favorites for college professors, and we have many options not afforded public school children. There is a College math professors here that only takes homeschoolers. He doesn't like the majority of public school children.

"Are these cookie-cutter kids being shortchanged? Very likely, in my opinion, based on the information we have on the family to this point. Are there many home schooled high school "graduates" anywhere in the country being accepted for undergraduate study at Cal Tech and MIT? I doubt that too."----I won't speak for the Duggar family, but homeschool graduates are sought by colleges and universities....even the Ivy League Schools. Homeschool kids on average are self-motivated and universities eat that up!

"From all that has been said, I suspect that a home schooling high school "degree" is the equivalent of a GED. This will get you into a very low cost community college, highly necessary for families of 8, 9, 10 or more children, where you can then spend two years taking the remedial courses that you didn't get from your home schooling as delivered by your constantly-pregnant mother, if you want to go on to a baccalaureate or beyond. That there are exceptions to this general rule is a given; but they ARE the exceptions and not the norm which I strongly suspect is at GED level or a little above in some cases."---Well, just like public schools, homeschoolers have some not so good students, but the majority of homeschoolers average 30 points higher across the board on standardized tests in comparison to public school kids. MOST colleges and universities accept homeschool children, and the Ivy League schools (such as Harvard and Yale) are beating down our doors trying to get us to come there!

"Perhaps a serious book on demographics"---I gave one, The Birth Dearth. It isn't "Christian propoganda".

As for you growing up in a large family...I hate to hear that it was so horrible for you. That doesn't mean that it is a horrible experience for everyone that is in a large family. We have had a great time and continue to build great memories that they will carry with them into life. Their well-being and education are very important to us, but then if what you think is true, it was selfish of you to have more than 1 child! My children are given plenty of opportunities and enjoy many of the same activities that public school children are involved in. To name a few activities-Scouts, baseball, t-ball, sewing and pottery classes, swim team, roller-skating, movie theater, plays at the local theatre, cheerleading, dance class, drawing class, field trips (same places public school kids go), camping trips, vacations to the mountains of TN and the beach in FL or the Great Lakes of MI, not to mention the trip to NC and SC, and the yearly trip to DC and Virginia. As for educational opportunities, our co-op offers a great variety! Here is a list of a few classes my children are in: Journalism and Photo-Journalism taught by a local newspaper homeschool dad and myself (an author...college educated too), Robotics taught by an Engineer homeschool mom, Alabama history, College and Career, Art taught by Carnegie Visual Arts, Physical Education taught by a former public school PE teacher turned homeschool mom. And our co-op offers Band, by a former public school band director turned homeschool dad, and Biology and Advanced Biology with Lab, taught by a Biologist turned homeschool mom...and the list goes on and on! And that doesn't include the fabulous stuff I do with them 4 days a week! I am picky about the curriculum I pick out, and give each child the best foundation possible while tailoring to their learning style and preferences....something not available to public school children unless they are special ed.

I don't know anyone who teaches for testing...how boring would that be?!? Most of us want to give our children a love of learning!

As for hidden effects of family life on children, I guess the same could be said for everyone raising one or more children. I think you can't judge a family by the number of children, but where their hearts are! As for me, I won't ever change your mind about large families...you were jaded by your own family problems, so you will continue to judge us all by your families downfalls. I am not angry, but I am a bit defensive of the judgemental and hateful nature of women on this blog towards people with different beliefs. I never attacked anyone else, just defended the Duggars and myself against critical attacks by others.

This is a holiday weekend, and I am going to spend time with my family now.

Happy Good Friday and have a fabulous Resurrection Day!

"This is a holiday weekend, and I am going to spend time with my family now."

FINALLY!

I was reading this wondering why she wasn't spending more "quality time" with her crotchloaf's and poor husband! Ha!

Some folks never let facts intrude into their cherished beliefs. I called my daughter after this latest from Traci, since my eldest represents her department on the acceptance committee of a major northeastern technical institute, where she is a professor. I asked her about home-schooled "graduates" being accepted into her, or other top-flight, colleges and universities. The answer was that on very rare occasions, if the child has gotten close to 1600 on his/her SATs, and has demonstrated some other remarkable academic achievement, that child would be considered. But in general, home schooled children are very deficient, especially in math and science, she reports. Which makes sense; how many high school graduate pregnant mother teachers with seven kids are knowledgeable enough in calculus and other higher math to teach their kids? How many can replicate biology, physics and chemistry labs at home? Her husband, also a PhD and a professor at the same institute, was more blunt. "It would be a disaster," were his exact words. So I don't know what Ivy League colleges Traci had in mind that are "banging on the doors" for home-schooled kids. That's not what the academics in my family are reporting. Bob Jones University, yes. Home schooled kids could probably get in there, or in some other "alternative" college like the one whose name escapes me, but they don't believe in grades like A, B, C, or even pass/fail. And of course there are community colleges as I mentioned earlier, all of which are set up to offer remedial education to the new students. Those are the facts. Maybe they are unpalatable, but facts they are.

Hey i have an idea. Why don't we find the prfect mothers and fathers, those who make enough money, have enough time, have the best values, have the best schools to choose from, are just the way YOU want them. Castrate and give Hysterectomys to all the rest. PERFECT!!!!!! I give thanks to God for the Duggers. Maybe we should all look inside ourselves, look closer at our familys and do whats best with what we have all been given.

Johanna , Your daughter sounds brilliant. Although i don't think she's a statitition. Let's see... how many meth labs...opps...In-home meth labs, are built and constructed by collage grads? Duggers aside. Who picks up your trash every week? Who performs your dental exams? Who runs the admin. offices at these collages? I belive the Duggers will excell at whatever they put thier hearts and minds to. It might not be up to your standards...But who's doing the grunt work. probably not you.

What will happen when the kids want to date? Where will they meet people they don’t seem to leave the house without the family? What happens when they ask about sex? What happens when one kid starts rebelling how will the Duggar Family deal with that? I know it sounds bad but its bound to happen.

This is a story of different World Views. A world view is how an individual sees the world i.e. think of looking through rose-colored glasses. I've read about 1/2 through this post, before it started to repeat itself, and came to this conclusion. I'm not going to tell you who I am or what I do or what I believe. I'm only going to tell you a story. If you know who the author is, great, post it.

There once was a small boy traveling with a donkey and his older father. They were returning from a far-away market and were carrying provisions for the coming winter. They had enjoyed each others company and were excited to tell the rest of the family their adventures.
A few days prior to arriving home, they were walking through a small village. When the townspeople noticed that the Old man was riding on the donkey's back, they commented on how unjust it was that the father was making the boy carry the weight of the load alone and how selfish he was for riding on the donkey's back. The old man and the boy decided to trade positions.
Further into town, they overheard other townspeople commenting on how terrible it was that the boy was making the old man carry the burden of the weight and how selfish it was of the boy. So the two decided to put the burden on the donkey and both of them would walk alongside. They continued through the town towards their village in the distance. All at once others in the town despised the two for forcing such a terrible weight on the donkey.
Both of them looked at each in amazement at as they crossed the borders of the town. Once back on the trail in the fields, they commented how strange it was that the townspeople criticised everything that they did.

What is the moral of this story, taken in context of the above post?

This is a public forum where opinions are being expressed. Now we hear from people who are upset when differing opinions are expressed. I guess we're just supposed to approve of everything that everybody does; that way there are no hurt feelings. Right?

The free and open exchange of ideas and information is what democracy is all about. It is how children learn and how adults function in a complex and demanding world. It is how American has worked for the past 230 years.

If you don't have public debate, you have a monolithic society like Saudi Arabia, where if you dissent from the law that the king and the mullahs lay down-- even just to debate it, you are imprisoned or killed. You end up with a society where people think it's perfectly fine, even good, to strap dynamite around their waists and blow up people who believe differently than they do.

This is the logical outcome of all extremist thinking, such as the Duggars exemplify. They aren't there yet. But give them a generation or two of physical and intellectual isolation and suspicion of any thought that isn't approved by their leader, Bill Gothard.

Home schooling in some cases is probably ok, even though it's quite limiting. And, as one reader posted in a comment, somebody has to do the grunt work. That's very true; but what if your children are capable of more than grunt work in their adult life, but they have been stunted in their intellectual growth by the limitations of your home schooling agenda?

Public schools are set up to permit each child to learn as much and as fast as they can. There are tracks in each school system to accommodate different rates of intellectual growth. Admittedly the public schools don't meet our ideal, but they do successfully graduate thousands of promising young people every year who have learned enough to get into every college in the country. You don't have to be a millionnaire to get into Harvard or Stanford. And, there are numerous opportunities in other career choices for kids with a high school diploma, if they have been taught to seek them and know how and where to get them.

This is what I see lacking in home schooling as it exists today. The quality ranges from excellent in a few rare cases to abysmally poor in far more cases, and there is really no way to monitor it except by standardized tests that the child either passes of fails. The standardized tests are aimed at the LOWEST level of achievement for public high schools. Does that tell you anything?

I don't think anybody has a right to criticize the Duggars. They don't ask for help from the governement. They are self-supportive. They pay as they go. No, their kids don't have designer clothes but at the same time, they aren't spoiled like a lot of kids are these days. I don't see them disrespecting either of their parents as do a lot of kids these days. The only thing I saw that I do not like is the buddy system. I also do not believe that children should be raising children. I think they should be allowed to be a child. I also believe they should have other friends just besides their siblings. But I am sure, Mrs. Duggar wouldn't agree with the way we as parents are raising or have raised our kids either and she probably would not criticize us. But how many of us would take 15 kids to a hospital. Not I. Those kids all seem to be very well mannered. They do a lot of work. They all have chores. I am sure with a househould as large as theirs, everybody has to pitch in. I guess Mrs. Duggar cannot do it all with that many kids. But remember when you were a child? You liked helping Mommy and Daddy. So maybe to them, all they do is fun. I don't know. I am not there 24/7. I know, that with my chidren, we did stuff together as a family a lot since we moved so much in the military. We spent a lot of time together. My children didn't have that many friends moving so much. And they are both fine, well-adjusted adults. They never got into any trouble and they were very responsible and caring. Maybe the Duggars are just one big happy family. Why would you want to go searching for someone to play with when you have a whole school there? haha. I know that I could never have as many kids or do as much as they all do. You have to be a very well organized and tolerant person.

Overpopulation is a fact. The largest problem created through overpopulation of the planet is the use of natural resources. Our planet contains a finite amount of usable material to sustain our species. Once used, it cannot be replaced. We continually search for ways to make resources go further -- e.g., recycling.

Living in a system that contains more users than can be supported by reuse or regeneration of material will result in collapse. Once the process of collapse begins, it will be slow, until the squeeze begins to hurt the mass of the population. Then as the industrial machine slows because of a lack of resources, we will enter into a phase of conflict, fighting over any remaining material. At the end of this revolution, only two methods of government are possible, socialism or anarchy.

However, since the means of production will no longer exist, more than likely, the result will be anarchy. People who do not care or fail to see that overbreeding has an effect down the road are fools.

Re: "This is a public forum where opinions are being expressed..."

Well written Johanna.

I do have one question to ask everyone though? I heard Mrs. Duggar say they dressed the way they did not to call attention to themselves. I know she probably meant modesty. But, to me, they draw attention by the way they are dressed so differently than others and by the number of them. This is not a criticism. Merely a question.

You have nothing to apologise about. These people are abominable--and it's disgusting that TLC is trying to portray them in such a happy, shiny, glowing light.

If TLC had said right from episode one that the Duggar family are members of an Xtian cult called "full quiver" where women are expected to squeeze out as many babies as possible, do you think people would find this show amusing or funny? "Full Quiver" is a cult, and it's irresponsible for TLC to not say this right from the get-go.

I have a few questions:
Why do they dress that way?

Why do the girls only wear dresses and have long hair?

What exactly does their religion believe?

Just wondering. Thanks in advance!I'll probably get a few snarky comments but I truly want to know.

I think that the children in this family are perfectly contented with their lifestyle because they don't know any other way. If I were living in the house personally i don't think I would be able to make it through on day. I am the oldest out of two children and I treasure time alone as one of the most important things in a family. I don't see how 16 children can have time alone! There are only 3 bedrooms, one for the parents, the boys, and the girls for goodness sakes! I know that if I was a 15 year old girl I wouldn't want to have to share a room with a 3 year old! Their new house reminds me of an orphanage! Their "kitchen" is bigger than most restaurants! I don't know how anyone could feel at home in a place that seems like a hotel... as for the "buddy" system, people are only suppose to use that when they are in public and need to use the toilette... in your house you are not suppose to have a buddy...

Why is it that all of the children are forced to play violin and piano. I happen to play both of those instruments myself but not everyone is interested in playing those. They should let the hcildren decide what instruments they want to play rather than forcing them to play those.

As for the Duggar's religion just because they are strict on what they believe doesn't mean that they are some sort of cult. They seem like a good christian family and nice people.

I do agree with the fact that the children probably won't be able to cope when they go out into the real world... I don't think the kids know anything about the real world... it will probably shock them when they leave the house to be on their own, I think that it is always good for kids to know about what is going to be out there and how to deal with it so they don't fall straight on their back once they get out there. It is nice to "shelter" your children from sex, drugs, and violence but at the same time they need to know what they are going to be up against. They might be strong christians but they need to know that on this planet everyone is going to have to eventually face the real world...

The Duggar's are a nice family but i just don't see how having 16 children is practical and how it is possible to spend the time that a parent should spend with their child if you have that many children to worry about.

Hey Val,
Are so so bitter because you can't get "preggers" and are jealous of people who can, or can you just not get laid in general?
Just a question, expressed in a public forum....

IF all it takes to be a fabulous mother is getting laid, giving birth, and then giving orders to more and more children about how they're supposed to run your household for you, then I guess Michelle really deserves her Arkansas "Mother Of The Year" award. I never caught on to that little scam myself. My kids had simple chores to do (clean up your room, set the table, feed your dog), but school was their primary job. They were expected to do well at school, and schoolwork came before everything else. Result: three happy, healthy, productive adults who are intellectually curious, good at their jobs, and excellent young parents themselves. I get a kick out of "Traci" who is pregnant with her 7th child, while her oldest is only 11 years, and obviously has bought into this "full quiver" cult. Having been through the entire cycle of child-raising, I can guarantee her and anyone like her that the easy part is now over. In two years, she'll have a teenager in the house. Then another, and another... Can't wait to hear how that comes out.

Google "quiver full" and see what you come up with. They're into everything, including organic farming. They're huge on the "God will provide" thing. It seems that if you don't have 15 kids, then you're in full rebellion against God. This is absolutely hilarious-- or would be, if it weren't a sure way to raise some seriously confused kids. Some Baptist minister in a seriously backward southern state, himself with only two kids, has actually come out and told his flock that if you don't have a lot of kids, you're not a real Christian. He hasn't explained why he has only two. Even the rhythm method comes in for his ire, because that is trying to prevent conception. He's more Catholic than the Pope! It has been Catholic doctrine for decades that sex is for procreation. Now the Baptists have caught on to it. The Quiver Full magazine is full of chirpy little articles about what fun it is to have a houseful of babies. It didn't say anything about a houseful of fifteen year olds who eat everything in sight and grow out of their shoes every six weeks. Sure kids are fun... until they're in their mid-teens, and then the fun is over as they try to grapple with approaching adulthood, and you as the parents try to grapple with their sulks, demands, real needs, imagined needs, sexuality, vastly increased expenses, and so on. Raising kids is a demanding job. They don't stay babies. They have requirements that must be met by their parents at every stage of their lives, and it doesn't stop at 21. How people with double-digit families can do it is clear: they don't. It's all hot air and gut wind. Words and good intentions don't put food on the table or pay for college tuition. Parenthood is real. It's serious. It's for keeps. It's a lifetime job. People who jeopardize some of their children's futures by continuing to produce more and more children in order to be part of some cult or like-minded group are thoughtless, stupid, careless, and intellectually and morally deficient. They love to wave their Bibles around and try to convince everyone how godly they are. I see them as inordinately selfish. If God didn't want people to figure out the optimum way to have children and raise them, He wouldn't have given us brains in the first place.

Joanna,
What if someone told you that 3 was too many kids to have--that you didn't have the means, the education, that you couldn't put food on the table for them or give them all of the individual attenetion they deserve? Which two, out of your three kids, would you have chosen not to have? Mrs. Duggar wouldn't give up a single one of her kids to make the others "better off", and I'm sure you wouldn't either.

PS--while your three kids do ok at their jobs and are probably decent parents, maybe if you hadn't intervened with God, you'd know what your 4th child would have been like. Maybe he or she would have really amounted something....sad you'll never know

Johanna, you want an example of how they turn out...here you go from a family of 10 homeschooling children I know...

One is in college and doing well, another is on his way to college, there are three other teenagers in the home...yes the general angst, but all happy and well adjusted with goals...and I've seen them go to mom and dad for private discussions. Mom and dad dropped what they are doing and they get their sole attention for any said problem. The younger siblings enjoy the attention of both parents and older siblings. The entire family pitches in on chores, just like smaller families...this includes mom and dad. The parents enjoy being parents.

Sad you buy into the myth that only small families can be happy. I've known many miserable small families and children with no direction and parents too busy with their "own lives". Size has nothing to do with it.

Homeschooling is LIMITING?! HAHAHAHA! I've seen homeschoolers be able to do and participate in things that most psers could only DREAM about! In public schools their "track" system is a farce...the entire class either holds back or moves ahead regardless of another student's needs. Homeschooling permits personalized education and limitless oppurtunities for getting out into the community and working in extra-curricular programs. Most of our area's volunteers are homeschooled...you don't hardly see the psers unless they are just bumming the street or happen to be one of the few to make it onto the cheerleading team.

Ny decision to stop at three was based on several factors:
1. I felt that three was my psychological limit.
2. I had grown up in a large family and didn't wish to do it all over again. And my husband definitely did not want more than three.
3. Three appeared to be the affordable number for us in every way including logistically-- I had three kids in four years.
4. I knew that with my education, and my husband's, we would be able to give our three opportunities that we had never had, to the reasonable limits of our income. My theory was and is that quality is better than quantity.
These were the most important factors in my decision. For me, eventually re-entering my profession was important as well. I had invested heavily in my own education and wished to go on with my adult professional life.
Home schooling? As I said in an earlier post: every good parent is a home schooler. We provided our children with books, films, music, trips to zoos, museums, etc. when they were small, and travel and other worthwhile experiences when they were older. We discussed world events and important issues every night at dinner. We went to church every Sunday and the girls sang in the choir. Our son was an acolyte. At no time in our church (Episcopalian) did anybody suggest that large numbers of children were necessary to be good Christians. We did what Episcopalians are supposed to do: teach the children everything that is good, true, and beautiful. Including, I might add, the value of being prudent about the numbers of children you bring into this world, among other things like being thrifty, being provident for your old age, and so on. I know that these are old virtues that are probably looked on as antique these days by the generation that thinks it invented childbearing and child-raising, but that's the way it was. I knew families in our town who had far more children than they could afford, with multiple problems as the kids grew into their teens and were frustrated and angry because their friends always got to do things that these kids with six and seven and more siblings did not. You see, when you have a huge family, it's your choice, but the consequences are borne by the children throughout their lives. The availability of resources for their welfare is extremely important in their development.
And as for not knowing what #4 would have been like, which is an incredibly stupid remark, I also don't know what #15 or #16 would have been like, or #26 for that matter. I did all I could for three. Since when are you supposed to throw reason to the winds and embark recklessly on a propagation race? Any field mouse can have 16 offspring. What does it prove?

Well with your reasoning, joanna, then how do you know that #3 didn't impede your first 2? What would child #1 have turned out like if the 2 younger siblings didn't take your attention and "resounces", as you put it away? The numbers are relative--don't knock someone who can raise 16 kids (who, 20 years down the road, will probably fare better than your three) just because you could only handle 3. Take responsbility for your parental deficiencies, but don't ridicule someone just because they are more capable than you.

"Hey Val, Are so so bitter because you can't get "preggers" and are jealous of people who can, or can you just not get laid in general? Just a question, expressed in a public forum...."

Did I address you, Critic? (aka Traci)

My personal life is none of your business. I know staying home with the kids is boring, but please!

Now, if I decide to air my life on T.V., I'll be sure to address your question. :-)

"Did I address you, Critic? (aka Traci)"

HA!!! Val, if I were going to say something like that, I would want the credit myself!!! What Val, am I scared...I don't think so! Critic isn't me...not sure who Critic is!

I haven't been on the computer in days...between it being a religious holiday, family and church events, and baseball for my boys, I have been a little busy.

Wow... what an amazing coincidence! You posted 8 minutes after me!

Where do you live? Would like like to get together for lunch sometime? I'll buy!

"Wow... what an amazing coincidence! You posted 8 minutes after me!"---Just happened to be when I had time to get on the computer Val. Just me at home alone, checking my e-mail.

"Where do you live? Would like like to get together for lunch sometime? I'll buy!"----Ok, I had a good laugh on this one...thanks! :) I think Critic likes you alot Val, why not stick with Critic for a lunch date. You would have so much to discuss! The mental picture is just about to much!

Well, critic, if those 16 kids, or any three of them, fare better than my three, I'll be the first in line to congratulate the Duggar parents. But until then, I'll rest on my laurels, because my kids are very successful indeed in worldly terms, and I hope also in spiritual terms. Your hypothesis can be applied to any situation any time, and the results are just as meaningless as when you apply it to me. The Duggars decided to commence their marathon baby factory when Michelle had a miscarriage after taking the pill for four years. Without any scientific proof whatsoever, she and her husband decided that it must be that they had sinned that they lost the baby. Losing a hoped-for child is traumatic, but the hard cold facts of the matter is that there are huge numbers of spontaneous abortions (aka miscarriages) for more reasons, medically, than can be counted. Certainly sin is not a medical cause of a miscarriage, and it would be impossible to prove scientifically. Michelle and Jim Bob operate on the basis of belief, not fact, and they like some others choose to believe what they want to believe-- apparently on the basis of it making them feel good-- whether it's rational or not. This is fine as far as it goes; but now there are 16 children in the picture. Believing that they are doing the right thing does not constitute actually doing the right thing by their kids based on any common sense standard that I can think of. And who knows? it may turn out all right for all concerned. I certainly hope so, for the sake of those children. After a childhood and youth spent raising their mother's children (it's April so little Johanna Faith has now been shuffled off to one of the older girls as a tiny "buddy) they deserve any good thing that might come to them.

Whoa Traci, I thought I was on your side? I applaude you, the Duggars, and all large families. I strongly feel that people who who think more children are an inconvienience are extremely selfish, and probably shouldn't have any! I have no desire to dine with the likes of val and joanna!

joanna, you did mention that you were episcopalian, which is a Christian faith. Did you miss the sermon on "let he who is without sin cast the first stone?" surely you couldn't have been so overwhelmed with your three kids that you would have missed that service! ok, sarcasm aside, what makes you think you have the right to judge the duggars having children any more than the duggars have a right to judge your stopping at three? the difference is, michelle and jim bob aren't spending their days judging the ways of others. YOU are. Funny, don't Christians teach that judging is God's job??

Critic,
I know from reading your comments that you support large families. The comment to Val about y'all going to lunch was sarcastic! LOL The comments flying between the two of you would make that an interesting lunch date! I would love to be a fly on the wall for that! I don't have the guts to say to anyone what you have said...in person or otherwise. Thanks for the support!

Traci-
Haha just making sure--it seems as though supporters of large families are unfortunately the minority. If that lunch outing ever occurs, I'll send you and invite;) God bless you (as he already has!) and each one of your children:)

http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49074

The contempt shown to parents of large families

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Posted: March 2, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

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© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

A funny thing happened to me the other day when my wife and I had, thank God, another baby (a boy). Many of my friends didn't seem all that happy for me. Sure, they went through the motions of smiles and congratulations. But it was evident that many thought me insane. Why would a young man and his wife ruin their lives with eight children? Who could afford the Jewish day-school bills? Didn't we want to live life a little, and not just be burdened with kids?

It got downright surreal when a European film company, pressed me, while my wife was in labor, to finish shooting a segment that had an urgent deadline (I obviously told them they were insane). And the next day, I was mildly criticized by a Jewish organization which was supposed to be hosting me for a lecture for having to cancel on them because the lecture clashed with the baby's bris.

I don't mind that the world doesn't really love babies, just that it pretends to. It's time we got honest about our priorities. Most people get a new car every two or three years, but one or two babies through the life of their marriage is plenty. You can get drunk on an airplane, laugh hysterically with your mates, and still not really anger people. But if you dare bring a crying baby on board you will be given malicious looks as if the little thing is a package that ticks. If you walk your dog along the street, people will stop you to tell you how cute he is. If you walk down the street with a baby, you might find a woman or two who coos, but for the most part, you'll be utterly ignored.


Indeed, the contempt shown to parents of many children is the last acceptable prejudice in our society. As a father of a large family, I find myself apologizing wherever I go, as if I committed a crime. The frequent and loaded stares from scornful onlookers imply that the famine in Africa was caused by my selfish insistence on overpopulating the earth. Long ago my wife and I discovered that few hotels were prepared to accommodate so many children, even if we took three of four rooms, which is why we bought an RV for travel.

How strange to live in a world where loving children casts one in infamy. Having a family with many children implies a backwardness and primitivism that is deemed unbecoming in the developed countries of the West. Large families, it is thought, exist only among religious weirdoes or the teeming hovels of the Third World.

Rich countries, by contrast, prefer to increase their standard of living rather than the number of the living. Looking at Western birth rates for the year 2001, the United States averaged only 14.2 births for every thousand Americans, and the birthrate among white Americans is so low that the United States will soon lose its white majority. Indeed, one can go for days in a wealthy city like Manhattan without encountering a single pregnant woman. Riches and children have become inversely proportional such that the more of the former, the less of the latter.

Hence, the high birth rates of extremely poor African nations like Uganda – at 47.52 births per 1,000 – or Niger with 50.68 births per 1,000, are deemed to be prime causes and indicators of their penury. The abundant fertility and unconstrained sexuality of these countries confirms the unspoken Western mindset of these country's inhabitants as being just one step above savages. Contraception has become a synonym for civilization.

A Christian mother of six once wrote to me, "I find it troubling to worry about getting pregnant again ... because I don't want to face the criticism of friends and family. Why do people not see children as a blessing?" A fair question which deserves a fair response.

Why is it that even many snagogues today are not children friendly? Why are people impressed that Jay Leno owns 20 motorcycles, but disgusted that some religious families choose to have 10 children?

Let's not finesse the response. We all know why. A world that has lost its innocence has trouble appreciating beings who are innocent. A world that has become selfish has soured to the idea of leading a life of selflessness. A world that has become grossly materialistic is turned off to the idea of more dependents who consume resources. And a world that mistakenly believes that freedom means a lack of responsibility is opposed to the idea of needy creatures who "tie you down."

They can go fly a kite.

By just looking at my children, I become more innocent. By loving them, I become more noble. By spending my money on them rather than myself, I find transcendence. And by being a father and liberating all of the love in my heart, my spirit soars free. I work hard to support a large family and I give up no pleasures in doing so because my children are my foremost pleasure.


I am often asked by women dating men how to tell whether they are marriage material. I tell them, "See if he enjoys children." A man who loves children is playful. He will spend his life joking with his wife because he loves to see her laugh, and will flirt with her because he loves to see her smile.

There was a time when husbands and wives worked hard to ensure they could afford the blessings of a large family. Today, the higher your earning bracket the fewer children you have, but then we always knew that many turn money from a blessing into a curse.

Before he died, the Lubavitcher Rebbe launched a campaign asking parents to have one more child than they originally planned. It is a campaign that a dwindling Jewish community should revive as it continues to disappear.

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