• "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


I think anyone who can criticize this family is jealous that they aren't as calm, organized, unselfish, and unaffected by what the world thinks of them. I think anyone who can criticize this family has no concept of lasting, eternal values and treasures. It is plain to see that these are happy, well-adjusted, joyful children, not your spoiled-brat, materialistic, self-centered variety we are so used to. The secret to happiness is in serving others, not yourself. Having 15 children is not for everybody, but it is very obviously for them. I also think that the real reason someone would be so critical of what they are doing is because they despise their Christianity, not the fact that they have a big family.

I saw the documentary on the Duggar family and was so impressed that I would love to meet this family. My only wish is that i would have had the knowledge I have now so maybe I could have done something like this with my children. I had such a rough first marraige that the trauma changed me and changed my children. These people are wonderful and are enjoying life as a family and teaching all the children God's values and laws. They have fun, I watched the outings and saw their faces. I wish them the very best and will continue to pray for them and maybe one day I can go and spend a few days in Arkansas and meet this wonderful family. Don't put them down if you do not know what is in their hearts. a friend from afar m

Hi, it's your old buddy Emily Elizabeth here. I liked your juxtaposition of the Duggars with the mother pig. Piglets and the Duggar children are both cute - I've actually gone to a fair, picked up a piglet, and kissed it on the head. Maybe you should have more children so you can do better things with your time that criticizing other people's decisions. And have you actually adopted any children?

Regardless of one's religion, the reality is that it is not a healthy situation. First of all, it isn't physically healthy for a woman to spend so much of her life pregnant. There are activists who protest such treatment of cows; it is defined as physical torture. Secondly, there is no reason to have so many kids. The world is already overpopulated, and with recent and continuing advances in artificial reproduction it seems that it's only getting worse, even without people like the Duggars. And finally, the way these kids are being raised is very emotionally unhealthy. They are being completely isolated from the rest of the world, hearing and seeing only what their parents present to them. How are they going to form their own personalities and beliefs if all they are exposed to is their parents’ opinions? Of course they’re happy, they don’t know that life can be different. This type of treatment has been defined as brain-washing. In the documentary it was articulated that they only go out as a family, maybe sometimes with family friends, the children are home-schooled; even in their new house that they are building, there will be two huge bedrooms, one for the boys and one for the girls. So a 16-year-old boy is going to share a room with a 2-year-old. A 16-year-old should be socializing with kids his own age, thinking about his future, what he wants to do for a living—not chasing after his younger siblings. Despite what they want us to believe, they are not The Duggar Family-they are 17 individual people with different interests and personalities. By lumping them all together, it is easier for the Duggars to address them as one child without having the intricate individual conflicts that comes with cooping 15 children up under one roof. But raising children is not easy because not every child is the same. The Duggars are raising their children without any sense of individuality, and while family and unity are important, the development of one's personal identity is what makes us people. They share a home, a heritage, and a last name—there is no reason why they should be forced to wear matching outfits and spend every waking moment together.
The Duggars claim that God has given them all of these children. While that may be true, we all know that those kids were not the result of Immaculate Conception. One thing that God expects of us is self-control, and the Duggars obviously have very little. The opposite of self-control is lust, which is one of the seven deadly sins. I myself resent the way the Duggars use religion to justify their lack of restraint.
I also pray for the Duggars (yes, I am a Christian.) I pray that when those kids are released into the real world that they can somehow find in themselves in power to overcome such an upbringing and equip themselves with the capacities that they will need to become strong, healthy individuals capable of living productive lives.

I am actually watching the documentary of the Duggars now, and had to come searching out comments on this situation. Good for them that they have faith, unity as a family, organization, and the love to go around. But dressing them all the same? The girls have probably never got their haircut in their lives. I know many of the outfits are made, but do they have to wear the same patterns as their same sex siblings (I could understand dressing the younger ones like this for easy identification if they were in a crowd) But they are so isolated from other kids, and it is an injustice to them, especially the older ones who will lack real world social skills (if) they ever get out into the real world. I think they should DEFINATLY stop having kids, and encourage the ones they have to get the hell out of arkansas, find a career (go to college!) and not just become baby breeding factories!

I think that Mrs. Duggar is an incredible woman. Praise God for her and her family. The world needs more women like her. Any woman that can do all she does is amazing. I have only two children and don't do a fraction of what she does. She is really an inspiration!

If you continue to watch the show you will see that its the kids who are stuck doing all the work.

I wish the people that critisize the Duggar Family would just be quite and stay to their own lives. I'm glad they are raising their kids like they are. The kids don't need to be spoiled brats and have to deal with all of the EXTRA trappings that kids NORMALLY have to deal with. I have 2 of my own and I wish they didn't have to deal with all of the pressures of a normal upbringing. But I'm glad we have God in our lives to pray to to help guide us through our daily life. As for Mr. and Mrs. Duggar, you keep doing what you're doing. Beside which, Ive seen their program several times, they get out, they do things out side of the home, the kids act like they are fine to me.

Yeah, I guess I just better be quite.

Yes, but quite what?

I am obsessed by the Duggars. They seem so happy, yet creepy at the same time. But it is strange that the older ones wouldn't be a bit curious about the outside world. I wonder if they plan to go to college? I thought it was a bit odd too how Michelle was teaching them about bankrupcy law in their home schooling lesson, are their more appropriate topics for elementary students. I wonder how the kids will function in society w/o the family with them. I also think Michelle doesn't look that bad for having so many kids. If she got an updated haircut she is actually pretty.

you wonder how they can provide for 15 children's emotional needs? By NOT allowing them to think they are the center of the universe - that's how. Stop and think about it... most people 'shelter' their kids by showering them with attention and stuff.
I have looked at the curriculum the Duggars use - it's very interesting. All you saw was a 10 second clip - how can you judge it in that time? There are provisions for younger children - but she can't teach it all at the same time. There are 3 different levels of instruction.
As far as dressing them all the same. The only time's I noticed them all dressed alike were when they were at formal events (family photo above, ceremony at the state house).
We also have trusted God for our family - in 12 years we have had 3 children even though we don't use birth control. I don't consider myself irresponsible or sex crazed. I could just as easily have had 12 kids in that time but that wasn't God's plan for us. God has different plans for everyone - don't judge. I would never go on a website and say "I think it's irresponsible for that woman to have just one (or two) children JUST BECAUSE she thinks the planets over-populated or JUST BECAUSE she wants to shower them with attention and stuff and she can't afford to support any more, or she CAN'T BE BOTHERED to budget any more time in her day for her kids. That would be judgemental.
Our kids share everything but underwear when it comes to clothes too. Alot of families do that - it's very thrifty. They don't want their clothes in their rooms, they'd rather have room to play or do whatever. I think it's BRILLIANT to keep the clothes near the washer/dryer. She'll never have to worry about kids clothes all over the floor.
And that leads me to one more CRAZY idea... kids should actually be expected to do housework. YUP - because someday they will be on their own and will have to do it. As for her being LAZY and making the kids do all the housework - take a few minutes to read their website. She does alot.
I could go on but will end there... for now.

There are so many things I have to say about this family and when I was watching the special there were also many emotions but none of them were of good.
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?. They all do the same thing, from dressing to playing.
The things that really got me was when the girls were speaking and every one of them said (that could talk) that they wanted to be a stay at home mom and have lots of kids when they grow up (omg will someone give them a mind of their own)
What was the thing that one of the girls said about the larger house they are going to move into? Oh yeah the thing that she is most looking forward to is a larger laundry room so she can get the laundry done faster, and she was like 11 years old. Is this something that an 11 year old should say?
If the kids are doing all the cooking and cleaning what are the parents doing other then reproducing? Obviously they have time for that.
To me these kids are being deprived of a lot of things that a child needs to grow. They probably don’t even have the chance to make mistakes which is important in learning.
Let them watch TV and play video games, give them a drum set. Allow them to dress themselves and be alone when they want and need to be, they should be able to spend 1 on 1 time with their parents when the need, They need to know that you don’t need to have a large family to be happy and that there is more to life then cooking and cleaning.
I really can’t see any of those children becoming a doctor or lawyer because if they leave the family and enter the real world they will have the shock of their life. It’s sad that they don’t have the opportunity to discover who they are as an individual, its amazing what children can do with their life if they just had the time and encouragement.

I agree with the person who started this dialogue at the top of this page.

One of the most unfair things a parent can do is force some of her children to raise the others. SHE got a childhood. On one documentary I saw, there was a picture of her in a cheerleading outfit. Now, if she had been stuck at home being homeschooled and raising her MOTHER's children, she wouldn't have been a cheerleader or have met her husband probably.

Children should get to be children. I believe that they can live psychologically healthy lives as long as their environment is loving, as the Duggars' appears to be. BUT, kids shouldn't have to "buddy up" with SOMEBODY ELSE'S KID and help raise them. Don't have them if you can't do it without forcing the older kids into parenting the younger ones. It's selfish in the end.

Furthermore, life ain't a big, rosy bag of "Christian values." Life is a wonderful mix of people, cultures, experiences, sorrows, successes and desires. These kids need to be around WAY more people than just their siblings. They need to go to college or at least be able to strike out on their own. They need to be able to experience LIFE and not just Christianity.

And to Andrea Wright: People who criticize this family are NOT jealous and disorganized. I'm a trilingual law student and mother who also works and whose child has special needs in school but is doing GREAT because I love him and life and I'm basically NEVER lazy and mostly organized. I'm not jealous of the Duggars (although I think you might be). As a person who had lived in three countries on two continents by the time I was 23, who spent most of my 20s living overseas and who has had the fortune to have a couple of good careers, I FEEL SORRY FOR THESE KIDS who are getting NO exposure to the great wide world there is out there! There's much more to life than the Bible. It's a shame these kids will only know about childbirth and more childbirth so that they can grow up and experience even more childbirth.

I'm agnostic, but if there is a God, don't they think he or she would want their kids to explore all of the wonderful facets of this planet he or she created? If there is a God, I can't believe he or she would want us to live such LIMITED lives. And regardless: Life is just way too short to waste it raising your sibs and standing in line for a bathroom, while having no school experiences that expose you to life and other kids.

I've read that Michelle is about 6-7mths. pregnant with their 16th. child. (Just saw the repeat of their show on tv this morning)

One comment here just jumped off the screen at me: the derisive one Kiki made ("omg will someone give them a mind of their own") in reference to all the girls wanting to be stay-at-home moms when they grow up. Somehow I doubt she'd have made the same comment (at least, not in that tone of voice) if ANY other child on the face of the globe wanted to be, for example, a legal secretary, or an exotic dancer, or a flight attendant, or whatEVER...just because her mom had found fulfillment in that career choice. There's nothing wrong with a child admiring his/her parent and wanting to be like them. Why on earth would it be preferable for them to admire/emulate a total stranger?

Why do so many people feel so THREATENED by this beautiful example of Christian child training? Or by the fact that they actually seem to enjoy, even prefer, each other's company to that of the entertained-to-death, sex-crazed, MTV-watching ps teenagers?

How many of your own kids do you wish could match socks, or iron a shirt collar properly, or mix a batch of cornbread from scratch? All this talk about "letting kids be kids" (read: training them to worship entertainment and self) results in nothing more than 20-year-old kids who are released on the world with party and recreational skills, and little else besides.

Up until the middle of this century, it was fairly universally understood that kids were in training to become adults for the rest of their lives, and while chores done responsibly often resulted in free time earned to spend in healthy recreation, there was no assumption that pursuit of worthless frivolity was an inherent "right" of childhood. On the contrary, time spent in pursuit of skills that will serve them well once they are no longer kids (i.e., for the other 50-60 years of their lives) seems to me a good investment of time and energy.

Mary Calvin's comment "Of course they're happy, they don't know that life can be different" seems like a case of sour grapes to me. I would simply respond "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

There's absolutely nothing wrong with following in one's parent's footsteps, as long as one has the CHOICE to do so. I know of a family of teachers, a family of police officers, a family of doctors. It's all good. The kids knew they had choices, admired their parents, and concluded that their parents' career choices were right for them, too, as INDIVIDUALS.

My own mother was a stay-at-home mom until I went to kindergarten and, in all my five-year-old bravado, told her that she could go to work! (My sister was fourteen at the time, so my mother had been a homemaker for fourteen years, never mind her having had to take care of her three younger siblings before she married my father.) There is no way in hell, though, that I would voluntarily chain myself to house, home, and offspring. And it's all good. I take care of my home and have a career outside of it. I continue my education. I have wonderful friends. I am childfree. Those are my choices. I have friends who have children, who do not work, or who have wildly different religious beliefs than mine. Those are their choices. We don't force our choices on others. Live and let live, and all that.

The point is this: my mother didn't shelter me in a Duggar-like fashion so that I would believe I had no choice other than HER choice. Doing so would have been irresponsible parenting.

Best phrase to describe this family: ignorance is bliss.

I am disturbed by sooo much of this, but most of all:

1. the girls wearing nothing but dresses (ice skating in a skirt??), & goodness gracious, did that one say something about a petticoat? what century is this?

2. the 'evolution is a lie' bumper sticker...::shiver::

I watched this documentary on the Duggar Family and I have to say there is something so creepy about the whole thing. These children while they may seem happy and well adjusted now, will have a difficult time entering the world outside of the Duggar Household. They don't seem to be individuals. They are all J. Duggar and that seems to be all that matters.

The mother said something about the baby that really bothered me. She said that she would be the new baby's "buddy" for a couple months until it was weaned and then it would be passed on to whoever needed a buddy. What kind of mother passes her infant child on to her other children?

The children do all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and taking care of the other children. One of the girls even said she was responsible for cleaning her parent's room. I'm sorry, helping around the house I understand; fold the laundry, set the table, clear the table, dust, clean your own bed room, but they seem out of control. It seems that the mother homeschools the kids and then takes the rest of the day off.

Then there is the whole issue of religion. I am a Christian. I go to church on Sundays, I pray, I read the Bible, I don't just say it, I live it. That said there was something extremely off putting about the Duggar's use of religion. The fact they have a church out of their living room is suspicious. These children literally never are away from their family's belief system. I think that it is important for a child (or 15 children) to be raised with a strong set of values and beliefs, but it is also important for them to hear the other views, to see the other side of the coin and then be able to say what they, themselves, individually believe to be true. I kept watching this thinking these poor children seem brain washed into thinking that they have to believe exactly what their parents believe and that there is no other way. I actually have a sister that is in a religious cult, she has been since before I was born. I have two nieces and two nephews that were born into it, and these Duggar children talk like my nieces and nephews do, and I know my sister and her children have been brain washed into a wrong way of thinking. (By the way the cult apparently started innocently as a nice family that got together for church meetings in their home and grew into a larger group and the leader got a little off track.)

I was raised in a Christian home where I learned right and wrong. Yet I was also allowed to make my own mistakes from time to time. I was raised to learn responsiblity through chores, yet I was allowed to go play with my friends and have an actual childhood too. I just wonder how many off these kids will grow up and resent the way they were sheltered from the real world. Yes they are learning how to fend for themselves, but you should not necessarily be able to fend for yourself at age 7. I agree with what was said about the sixteen year old not needing to be sharing a bedroom with a one year old. If they were building such a big home, why not throw up some extra walls and create at least 5 bedroom house? To each their own I suppose, I just get concerned for these children, because I have seen my own nieces and nephews suffer from living a situation that seems strangely close.

Sorry this was so long and random.

The Duggars horrify me, but not just because I'm childfree (trust me, that's a whole 'nother kind of soapbox). I just wonder how they can justify having so many children in a world where there is so much hunger and poverty? It seems immoral to me, even though I know that from their point of view, having as many children as possible is a moral imperative. Our country statistically is usually amongst the first in consuming the resources of the world, and usually last in donating its wealth (by percentage of gross national product) to the world's poor.

I grew up in a place where large families were a religious duty for some people, so part of my discomfort with the Duggars' choice comes from the rejection I felt from the kids from those "big, happy families."

Mostly I'm horrified at the cult-like aspect of the children's lives - their whole existence is this family and its beliefs. That's in addition to the lack of individuality they seem to exhibit in photos and on the documentary. I feel sorry for them and wonder what will happen to them in the future.http://www.holy-innoc

What if this kind of choice were the norm? What if it became the only choice in this country? I realize that's unlikely, but a lot of people support them and hold similar views. This creeps me out no end.

What sometimes gets to me about the childfree movement is that while they demand respect for their choice (which they should), some of their members are not so willing to respect other people's decisions. I could see their criticism of the Duggars if Michelle and Jim were deliberately having babies while on the public dole or if they let the children run wild. But neither seems to be the case.

I don't see really the problem with the Duggars' choice becoming the norm as long as it's not obligatory for everyone. Most likely it won't become the norm. I'd personally be much more worried about having something like China's one-child policy being shoved down people's throats whether they liked it or not.

All is not as rosy as the Duggar's would have you believe.

Mr. Duggar blamed his oldest son (16 at the time) for his losing the election. It was "determined" that their was "sin in the camp" - and that sin was the boy's sin.

Mrs. Duggar does NOT spend that much time with her children one-on-one. The older children are in charge of the younger children. She births 'em and breastfeeds them, and then the older kids raise 'em. Don't say for a minute that I don't know.

Their children are cloistered. One of the teenage girls makes lunch EVERYDAY and the other teenage daughter makes dinner EVERYDAY!!

It's easy for them to exploit their sexual appetite in the name of "we love kids", but they are also exploiting their kids.

They say they only spend $1,000 on food, and she claims to sew, ha!! They get tremendous amounts of donations. Folks who believe that these "wonderful", "glowing", "good" Christian people should be role models are mistaken. Wait!! They are role models...the modern day beggr. If you knew half of it, you'd be angry, not pleased.

They also practice blanket training. Know what that is? It means placing a baby on a blanket and then hitting all around the edge of the blanket with a wooden spoon or a stick as a threat to the baby not to get off the blanket. If the baby tries to crawl off, and it does, baby gets a couple whacks (usually on the back of the legs).

Once baby is "trained", then Mom can leave it there while she talks with others.

Oh, Mrs. Duggar has also put her kids down for a nap in their carseats, so she wouldn't have to have visits with her friends shortened by the children's naps. An older daughter is then in charge of watching the children in their family bus while Mom contentedly chats with friends.

I wish the media would stop parading this family as though they were the role model for America. For one thing, there are many families with over 12 kids in the USA, but they don't seek to hog the spotlight.

Oh, yes. Remember, these kids aren't grown up yet. Let's wait and see how they really turn out before we decide how perfect mom and dad are. This family really needs some closer scrutiny.... Often these kinds of families raise children who don't grow up, don't think for themselves, they just grow older. That's why they have to keep such a close watch on them - or there may be 'sin in the camp'.

If it weren't for the fact that he is almost family with Jim Holt of Arkansas, he'd probably not get this much coverage and "protection".

Life isn't as sweet in Duggarville as they'd like you to think.

And no, I am not jealous and yes I'm Christian. We can well afford to take care of our several children and help other families as well who don't try to fake it on t.v.

By the way, your blog was right on. Too bad Discovery, TLC, and the other media are so naive.

first off, i'm a 14 year old very strong Christian. no, i don't have any children, and don't ever plan to have 15. but, for all of you that say that you are Christians and constantly criticize the Duggars, please sit down and think about what you are saying.
If you are truly a devoted and strong Christian, you know that living by the Bible is your life's purpose..that following your calling from the Lord will lead you down every right path. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have truly taken that to heart. For those of you that go to church, have you heard this contemporary worship song? "every move i make, i make in you. you make me move, Jesus. every breath i take i breathe in you. every step i take i take in you, you are my way, Jesus. every breath i take i breathe in you" The Duggar family is devoted to their faith and prides themselves in spreading the Lord's love and never-ending forgiveness. what's better than that?
it amazes me that so many of the people that have commented here think that this large family is unacceptable. if these parents can support this family emotionally, spiritually, and financially, then they have every right to live this way. these children are obviously very happy with their lives. they will most likely grow up to be dedicated Christians with one purpose in life: to serve their Lord and Savior. this is the way their parents have raised them..why do so many people have problems with that?
no, being a teenager, i wouldn't be a fan of wearing matching clothes and dresses every day. but this way of life saves money and teaches these kids to value the important things in life, as opposed to the clothes they wear or the hairstyle they have. i see it every day: kids my age judge people by their appearance. why is it so wrong to teach children to be non-judgemental and appreciate people for what's on the inside?
no, i don't know the Duggar family. but what i do know is that these parents must be extremely dedicated to the Lord and their family. so what if the kids help out around the house? some of you accuse Michelle of being lazy or taking advantage of her children. how can you say that? she and her husband pay the bills every month so that these kids can have a quality life. Michelle buys the groceries and clothes. She homeschools all of the children. she makes sure that thing around the house are in order and that everyone is contributing their part to help the family. and, as for Jim Bob, he is busy working to earn money for these kids. he is building a new house so that they can have more space. how can you accuse either one of them of taking advantage of these kids?
next, what is the problem with family outings? the kids are socializing with children their age. they are participating in fun activities, just in a family atmosphere. there is no way that these parents are depriving their children of having a good childhood. the documentary (which i have watched multiple times and it never ceases to impress me) on DHC shows them running outside, enjoying life with their siblings. they clearly have developed meaningful and lasting relationships with their siblings, which will only benefit them in life.
last, these kids have a right to make their own decision. if the girls choose to be a stay-at-home moms, then that is their choice. as long as they enjoy it and continue to provide for their family, then why should you accuse them of being "brain washed"? i'm sure these young people will make their own unique choices, go their separate ways, and choose a direction in life that suites them and their talents. i have no doubt of that.
i apologize for this being so long and repetitive, but i wanted to make it clear that the Duggars are living a Christian lifestyle, and that should only be praised, not ridiculed.

Think About It, by saying that you respect Michelle Duggar's choice even if it would not be your own, you've shown a lot more maturity than some of the "adult" posters on this board.

"I would never go on a website and say "I think it's irresponsible for that woman to have just one (or two) children JUST BECAUSE she thinks the planets over-populated or JUST BECAUSE she wants to shower them with attention and stuff and she can't afford to support any more, or she CAN'T BE BOTHERED to budget any more time in her day for her kids. That would be judgemental. "

Of course you wouldn't go online and judge someone like that, but you would go online and judge someone's opinions. Yes, they are opinions. And you are as judgemental as they are. No matter how passive-aggressive that paragraph was, you are as judgemental as everyone else in this discussion board.

As for the Duggars, nothing is more hurtful to a child than to isolate them from society. If they do prefer each others' company, fine. But it seems to me that they do not have (or are allowed to have) many oppertunities to mingle with the ouside world.

I agree with the poster who said to not sing praises to the mother and father until the children are grown. Teenage brats can grow up to be responsible adults, and good kids can grow up to be druggies. Just because they believe in God doesn't mean they are perfect parents that are moral pillars to today's society.

And last time I checked, most children who watch MTV and play video games are well adjusted.

I just watched the Discovery program this weekend after hearing so much about this family.First, I am an early childhood college major and trained to work with mentally retarded children. I have volunteered to work with many children's groups over the years. I have never married but when growing up my mother had many friends who were mothers of more than four children. Without exception, they all told me they were very sorry they had larger families because they did not feel they could spend enough personal time with each of their children. And, some of these women had husbands with large enough salaries to hire maids to help them clean the house and they still did not feel they had enough time to spend with their children. What has happened to Michelle and Jim Bob is that their children have taken over their lives. They and their children have no time for anything but to just get through the day as best as they possibly can. I worked for five years at the Department of Welfare in Portland, Oregon and saw the results of many women who had children close together like this family. They ended up with many permanent health problems as a result of too frequent childbearing. Michelle has been lucky that her health has not yet been damaged. Most women by the time they have had about 10 children, the damage is done. Once this happens to her, her health will forever be changed and not for the better. My main problem with this family is that they are asking children to raise children. PARENTS are supposed to raise children. We are not just talking about watching a younger child for a few hours as all siblings do, but we are talking about full time responsibility for a child being given to someone who is only a child themselves. Those older kids do not know how to parent a child. I also agree with the other posts that these children are not being exposed to any other outside socialization or other ideas other than their parents ultra religious view of the world. Many persons who do not marry and have children make great contributions to our society. The Duggar children are being taught that unless you are a parent, your life is worthless. Two persons who come to mind for me are Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul. Would anyone say that because these two persons did not marry and have children, their lives were worthless? The Holy Father and Mother Teresa loved all persons and supported the santity and dignity of all people. It is sad to think that this family sees no value in other but a married lifestyle and is basically brain washing these children to believe that without marriage and children their life is not worthwhile. While I certainly agree that birth control pills are dangerous and should not be taken, there are other forms of natural and artificial birth control to help couples space their births. The goal in having children is for both the mother and child to be in good health and to consider the needs of other children already born for the successful integration of the newborn into the family. I don't know how many more children this family will have but I believe this is very irresponsible of the Discovery Channel and Learning Channel to present this couple as the ideal family. They are not. They are persons who have a very narrow view of life. There is a lot more to life than just trying to see how many children you can conceive. All this talk about God giving us gifts is misleading. God expects us to make wise choices with the gifts he gives us. God gave us a free will. When we abuse the gifts God has given us, nothing good can come of it. This couple have children because they want to have children not because God gives them children. They have allowed their desire to always have an infant in the home to become their only reason for being. I was taught at my church that our reason for being was to love God and to love one another. Once you allow your own desires to take over your life, whether it is lust for power, money, fame, influence or negative things like drugs and alcohol, these lusts dominate and control your life to where they become your only reason for living. This is exactly what has happened to the Duggars.

Hi, um, I there is a book called 14:Growing up Alone in a Crowd and the author is Stephen Zanichkowsky and it's basically about how screwed up you are in a family that large because you're just a number.

I have a friend who is one of 9 kids and none of the first five of the nine have children because you know, they have already raised a family.

How could you possibly raise that many kids with a middle class income? Why--sponsoring the family out to television shows for interviews and documentaries probably only pays the bills for like, 6 months.

Opps, they did it again!

Arkansas Mother Gives Birth to 16th Child
Oct 12 1:55 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


Michelle Duggar just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again.

Johannah Faith Duggar was born at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and weighed 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces.

The baby's father, Jim Bob Duggar, a former state representative, said Wednesday that mother and child were doing well.

He said Johannah's birth was especially exciting because it was the first time in eight years the family has had a girl.

Jim Bob Duggar, 40, said he and Michelle, 39, want more children.

"We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them," he said.

story continues ...

Calling all therapists, you will be needed by each and every child in this family. Better start working with the ethics board on how many Duggars you can takeon.

PS - I wonder if the kids (future spouses and their kids) could qualify as some type class-action against Jim and Michelle Duggar, the State of AR, etc ?

Riddiculous! Have these people even considered giving a home to some well-deserving orphans? There are lots of them who need homes desperately. These people are not only crazy, but selfish. How in the world can so many children possibly have a decent relationship with each of their siblings, let alone their own parents? ...maybe this family should just move to a cave in rural Utah or Wyoming... I hear they'd fit right in.

Well they honestly have the right to do as they are doing. As a devoted Christian myself I wouldn't say that the way that they are being raised is necessarily bad for the children although I don't agree with the way that they raise them. (Please note that they most certainly are not my children and I have no say in how they are raised I'm just stating my opinion of how I would do things.) I agree with them to some extent raising their children focused on the bible and on christ. However I disagree with home schooling. First I have not seen from the TV programs that the mother is well qualified to school her children. Plus all the children are taught at the same time putting younger children in a bit of a bind trying to catch up with their older siblings. Secondly Christ asks us to go out into the world and baptize others in the name of the father, son and holy spirit. Seperating these children from the world does not fulfill that commision. Nor does it allow their children to fully apprechiate the brokenness of the world.

Also the way that they keep their teenage children away from people of the opposite sex. (As in not ever allowing them to be alone with them) is in my opinion a mistake. I understand the temptation to protect your children from harming themselves by having sex too early and before marriage. However doing this to me shows a gross mistrust of their children. If they have done a good job in raising their children then they should be able to trust that their children will do the right thing when they have the opprotunity not to. It would be similar to my parents having gone through my room on a weekly basis to make certain that I am not building a car bomb in my spare time. The children are mature and thats to their credit although sometimes I wonder if they are not too mature. In an interview for the TV the eldest boy stated that he wasn't really looking for dates as much as he was a life partner. Now perhaps its just me but I don't really think a 16 year old should be looking for a wife.

I agree that its not right to force the older children to raise the younger although from what I've seen that is not happening as bad as its being portraied above. Although naturally the eldest children get responsibilities that they would not normally have in smaller families. I certainly would not myself have wanted that kind of responsibility.

All in all I don't think what they are doing is bad but I am personally of the opinion that they are seperating their children from the world too much. "Go out into the world and make diciples baptizing them in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit." Not "Take your wife hunker down and make many children and do everything you can to keep them from being exposed to the world. (Forming their own church with one other family is an example of this.) I fear the children may be a bit ill prepared to face the world outside of their parents home.

Who is paying for all these kids? If they are getting welfare or free health insurance, then they need to STOP breeding.

Now lets think about whats not selfish and what is. I cant think of anything more selfish than not having 16 kids --can you? I mean be fruitfull and multiply is the phrase of the day. What is the division between this and the muslem zealots of palestine--get the picture. They couldnt be both zealots could they? There is no way in this world that you could compare zealots. You know a long time ago the good name of the lord got transposed into hate---stop it.

As someone who knows the Duggars personally, I am both bemused and appalled at some (many?) of the comments. They are "for real," organized and industrious. They should be applauded for teaching their children to abstain from sexual contact with the opposite sex before marriage. The problem with our "society" is that we are still running on the humanist rant of "If it feels good, DO IT." Those who would wait, and (hopefully) COURT the one they would marry (in the case of the young men), and when marriage happens, THEN "love the one they're with," a whole host of social disasters would be averted, and true intimacy would ensue. There is hardly sense of fidelity and consonance anymore, and "carnal knowledge" outside the safety fence of marriage is a chief cause.

Jim Bob has his own real estate business, and they are soon to move into their own 7000 square foot home. What is it to anyone who bewails a world THEY think is "overpopulated." The thing which irks antichrists the most is that this is a WHITE and CHRISTIAN family, and they shudder in their boots at the thought of a white, christian society and (Bible-mandated) government, where all are accountable to the Architect of the Universe, and His only begotten Son.

God bless you Jim Bob, Michelle and lambs. All hail the power of Jesus' name, let angels prostrate fall, Hail Him who saved you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of All...

Romans 8:28

I know you probably just want attention with these comments but Ill give it to you anyway. IF you have seen the show then maybe you forgot the mother's comments. They are doing what they feel is right for THEM. They in no way tried to imply all women should do it. Also, they are better off finacially than most people with no or few children. No debt, money to spare. They are on no assitance at all. They are a great family and are instilling great values in their children. Much better than allowing them to be seduced by this evil society. God bless them and help you.

What I have to say is how dare anyone criticize this beautiful family. Those who have unkind words and opinions toward this family obviously cannot comprehend living a pure unworldly life. I've become accustomed to seeing this kind of lifestyle met with negativity mainly because the values of members of society today are based on television, video games, meaningless possesions and poor examples for living that call themselves parents. Your little comment about large families and lower education with deviant behavior I'm sure could be true in some cases where the parents have poor values, possibly multiple partners to their children and lacking the love and faith of this family. And until you get evidence on a family such as this and their children turning out to be deviant then you should keep your comments in context. I absolutely believe and know this lifestyle isn't for everyone you have to have a strong faith and a strong marriage to endure through the struggles and controversy surrounding a family such as this, but to say that this family is wrong is such a mis-justice and whoever says it should be ashamed. These are some of the most well-behaved and mature children and young adults that I've seen in a very long time, and seeing how people raise their children today I'm sure these 15 children individually get more attention than a 2 children family in today's lifestyle. May God continue to bless this family and may you realize the error of your opinions.

>For those of you that go to church, have >you heard this contemporary worship >song? "every move i make, i make in you. >you make me move, Jesus. every breath i >take i breathe in you. every step i take i >take in you, you are my way, Jesus. every >breath i take i breathe in you"

I hope Sting sues...

i think what they are doing is great. i think raising children with Godly values and morals is awesome. children should have responsibility (i.e. doing chores helping around the house) the problem with many kids today is that they are given everything they want without having to work for it.

I would love to be like the Duggars when we have kids, probably not as many as they have but raise them the same way with family prayer and reading of the Bible, of worshiping the Almighty God. They are an inspiration to me

I am a Catholic and I have four children ages 12, 10, 7 & 2
That said, the Duggars have had 16 children, too late to do anything about it now but they SHOULD stop having anymore and quit asking the older kids to have so much adult work, c'mon, let them be little, why do these kids have to grow up so fast?
What is wrong with having some chores but also time to read and time to yourself and time to make friends that are not your siblings??? My kids all have chores, they love eachother and play well together but they also like some time by themselves, time to play with the neighbor kids, going to a friends house, being in baseball and basketball, this Duggar family won't even allow these kids to know that those things are out there, why? Becuase they might want to try it, they are BRAIN WASHED, the only way these people can say their kids are not is to start letting them do things without their siblings, have time to themselves, be allowed to have friends and activites and since mom and dad had the babies they can take care of the babies and do the cooking and cleaning, shame on the Duggars for making slaves, shame!!!!!!!!!!

I'm watching their documentary tonight on the Discovery channel at 8:00 P.M. (10/19/05). I just heard about this family a few days ago and I'm intrigued. I've heard and read a lot of opinions, but don't want to pass judgement because it's not my life, it's theirs. They are not hurting anyone in my eyes, most everyone gets to raise their kids the way they want to raise them (unless they have a nasty history and Children & Youth services come calling, then good for them!). We are naturally a very judgemental society and are always looking over the fence at crap that isn't our business. I grew up in a family of 5 kids. My four brothers and I. I had a great childhood, regular chores and always had someone to play with. We were raised protestant and went to church at least once a month. I did play with other kids in the neighborhood, went to a public school, etc. Probably the only thing they should do to me and from just the little bit I've found out so far is expose them to more outside things and opportunities. Nothing wrong with getting married and wanting to have kids, but give them the option for more education. Also I read that BOTH parents have real estate licences. So... at this point I don't believe they will stomp on any dreams they may have if they want to continue their education. We certainly don't know what they say behind closed doors. People are just judging by the little bit of we've seen and heard. I knew a kid who was home-schooled and also came from a family of 7 children. These kids also had a lot of homemade clothes, were homeschooled and stuck together, etc. They also all went to scouts, both boy/girl scouts. The last I heard so far is the oldest did go to a university in Pennsylvania and is now a CPA and works at home and is probably laughing his way to the bank. We are already planning out these kids futures and judging when we really don't have the right to do that. We certainly do not know what's in store for them. We should concentrate on the wackos out there that are pedifiles (sp?) or rapists, drug dealers, etc. and not waste our time on crap that isn't ours to worry about. I say, to each his own. By the way, I am married with two boys ages 20 and 9, same marriage for those nosy people who are wondering!! and I feel lucky to have the kids that I have and I'm sure that the Duggar's are too.

Do any of you people siding with the Duggers remenber Waco or Jonestown? Do you see what happens when these wacko-religious people start their engines? They need to take their Bible and shove it up her baby-hole so no more of these poor, brainwashed, deprived kids come popping out. This whole country is bashing Islamic Extremists because they say they are terrorists, but aren't the Duggers Christian Extremists? Uh-duh!!! How stupid can you possibly be? Yes these folks are stupid to the max. I have many Christian friends and there are Christians in my family, yet none of them have a thousand kids and they are all a part of this world we share. These kids are so screwed up now, I hate to see what happens they are released into society. We'll have a clan of sociopath Duggers running around. Of course we need to teach our kids to do chores, to be responsible for their own actions and so on, that's common sense! But we also need to teach them that there are MANY religions to choose from, and if they choose to not even practice an organized religion, that that's okay too!!! Education, opportunity, love, hard work, travel, culture, science, FACT---real life--these are among the things that are important to humans. Not teaching your children that there is "one book" written thousands of years ago that human animals and all other animal species have to abide by in order to be worth anything. All you suckers need to get a clue and get a life!!!

This girl from my sisters highschool class was 1 of 10 kids. Her mom died of a heart attack pretty young. I have a boy and a girl and can barely give them both attention. I can't imagine having 15. I wouldn't home-school. I'd be like, get out of my house man- go to school. Leave mommy alone for a few hours!!!!!

This girl from my sisters highschool class was 1 of 10 kids. Her mom died of a heart attack pretty young. I have a boy and a girl and can barely give them both attention. I can't imagine having 15. I wouldn't home-school. I'd be like, get out of my house man- go to school. Leave mommy alone for a few hours!!!!!

What, exactly, is so threatening of a family larger than is what is accepted by mainstream western society?

I'm from a large family of six (not as large as the Duggers, but still three times the size of the average american family) and no I'm no psychological wreck, or one in training. No I'm not socially repressed due to my family's choice. Has anyone taken a psychology class? If they have they'll know that part of a bias or prejudice is finding evidence that represents their point of view and ignoring or overshadowing the overwhelmingly large amount of data that negates their ideal.

Yes the kids dress the same, but it doesn't recommend them to the next cult practice. Yes the mother chose a traditional mother role and topped the scales in birthing rates. But that does not give credence to the need of comparing her to that of a litter of pigs. What I also see is a family that loves and cares for each other, that enjoys their close-knit relationships, and in many ways (not in numbers) should be the envy of an aspiring productive family. A few lessons could be learned from them in what really comes first in our day to day: our family. What is wrong with that?
As a member of a large family there are some sacrifices needed. You don't get to do everything you want, especially as the eldest, and there are a million things and places to go and do. I wouldn't consider that bad, in fact I'd consider it more of a blessing. What is life if it isn't making a few sacrifices?

As for their childhood...some show concern that it'll be shortened from these sacrifices. Yet the documentary showed them playing and having fun all the time. They were still kids, but they knew they had responsibilities. And I'd consider that better training for their future than many teens seem to be getting today. Speaking as a teen, I see kids who do nothing but play. They're often directionless in their life. In them is no sense of time, money, or the simple difference between needs and wants. Sometimes I can't help but wonder what they will become when the time comes to leave their homes when they can't do something as simple as fold laundry...or turn on a washer or dryer for that matter. In my English class, a sophmore from college came back to her former teacher saying she'd finally gotten her head screwed on a little straighter and had slowed on the binge drinking. Mind you, my English class is advanced...they're not academic idiots.

I'm a senior in High School, I'm deeply religious, and find the comments and the defensiveness to a simple family and their choice in lifestyle bemusing if not a little ironic. We disclaim a woman for having a large family, for she MUST be stretching herself thin; yet we say nothing about the woman who works full time on top of motherhood. We are shocked by a happy family and desire to find only fault. Often, in the same breath, there is a proclamation of tolerance as one condemns something that does not follow their own belief structures.

I would not want to have a family as large as theirs; I don't want one as large as my own mother. Yet I can see in both the positives that is brought to the families as well as plausible set backs. If they can live with whatever difficulties they may face, I'd rather take my hat off to them than mock or belittle their decisions.

sometimes big families are good. I'm not sure why so many people try to defend the Duggars and then point fingers at others saying "you are not a good christian."

it is weird to have that many kids. flat out weird.

how de we know they are all happy? because the parents say so? because the kids smile and play sometimes?

I think we should not jump to any rash conclusions about who is and is not happy in that family. giving your children advantages is not a bad thing - not all children are spoiled and ungrateful. the so-called "christians" who are posting hatred on here should remember that the message of jesus was love and understanding, not derision and hatred for those who do not share your views.

turn the other freaking cheek.

"How do we know they are happy?"

I come from a family of 8(+?{maybe more!:)}), and know what it's like to have another sibiling. It is a blessing from the Lord! We all love having more. When the children are close in age, say 1 to 2 years, they are friends/playmates. All of my family are 2 years apart and they all like playing with different ones at different times.

I like the way they are not "afraid" to let the lord discide how big their family gets!

Somebody said Michelle would look "better" with an "updated" hair cut. Well ever read this in your Bible?
1Co 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Some say shoulder length is "long" , but how long is long? Let God decside!!
Thats all I have to say, except that I hope they have more!!!!!!

It is interesting reading through all these posting. The one thing I have noticed is that everyone who talks about how wonderful it is to grow up in a family is not an adult. Nor does anyone state where in the line of children they are at (oldest, middle, youngest...etc.) I grew up in a family of six as the oldest. It is amazing for me to look at my nieces and nephews as they grow up and think of the responsiblites I had at their age. I grew up extremely sheltered, not very different from the Duggars (except we did go out to school - although half was in private/Christian and church). Like one post said, if these children go out "into the real world" it will be an adjustment. Unless you stay in your sheltered group people will expect you to understand why you believe what you believe. Believe me, it can get very confusing when you realize that you are talking rhetoric. Children are often like parrots repeating what they have heard. For me discovery my own identity did not happen until my mid twenties and of course continues.

I'd like to see some postings by adults that grew up in a large family, along with noting where you were in the line (I can guarantee that perspectives will be differnt when you compare the post of say child 1 to child 3, child 3 to child 6, etc).

I hope Michelle realizes that after age 35, the chance of concieving a child with Down's Syndrome increases every year. It is genetic, not from God... maybe if she does have a child with this illness she will consider stopping having children.


I am not against her having a lot of kids, they seem happy doing what they want... but her body is aging, and her eggs' chromosomes are aging. Physically it's getting time to call it quits. She can enjoy the children she has, and use NFP or other natural birth control to prevent any more pregnancies.

I have 5 children, 4 boys, and 1 baby girl. My family is not huge, but big by most standards today. My children are treated as individuals. We struggle, but there is nothing my children miss out on. They all play soccer to the highest level in the state, and between the 4 boys they get to a total of 16 training sessions a week, not including individual training my husband takes them for. I admire the Duggars, and have taken some of their hints, like one big basket for socks, and I combine training strips now as well. My children find it easier. For all those people who pick at the kids doing household jobs there is a flipside. Those kids will have life skills in running a house when they leave home. I am an only child, and consequently left home with no real life skills like cooking, and cleaning. All my children help out. My eldest son is 14, he washes, irons, cooks and cleans. It is the one thing I swore my children would be able to do. Those kids seems happy, and definately more adjusted than a lot of other kids, you know the ones, in families where both parents work 60+ hour weeks and have a nanny or daycare to bring up their kids.

I liked the different postings. Originally I was intrigued yet baffled why someone would want to have so many children? Now, I am against the idea. SInce there is no going back in time, I hope for the sanity of these kids the parents stop and try really hard to give individual attention. Daughters can help. Mom: order pizza's and make your SONS load the dishes. I am one of five kids. I am the second to last child. I have three children (11,8, and almost 3). And it is fair to say I could've used more attention as a kid, but received a lot. And its fair to say my kids get my attention (I am home 80% of time)but the individual, read to and play games indiviudally-doesnt really happen. And we are christian, we are somewhat religious, but my husband and I wnat to pay for COLLEGE for our children, so if we have more..it will be one more. Not 13 more. Thats just nuts. Put the bible down and cook your family a healthy meal OR DON't. But leave the kids to have a life. School, and go to the mall. let them watch some Teletubbies and Disney movies, etc. Yuck.

I typed fast and left parts out.. one thing I want to clarify, was the daughters should help mom, but Mom chose to have so many-it should be she or her husband that prepares dinner. A daughter cooks and everyone cleans up? It must be a typo from the documentary. Why would one person could and then everyone come help clean? Mom needs to spend more time with the kids--no doubt, so order out, then if there are any dishes have your sons clean up. Just because it wasnt said, I realize it may happen--the sons need to help as much as the girls. My sisters and I looked for husbands that knew how to take care of themselves and the house. Our father cooks, irons, does laundry every day,and works 40-50 hours a week.Good luck finding a lot of pinch and savers to marry ten years from now. Get serious. its 2006, not 1986. get a life Jim Bob.

Last night, I saw the TV show on TLC. That was the very first time I ever heard about the Duggars. Today, I decided to search online for info. Wow! Along with their own website and information about the TV show, they have made the news a number of times, but the thing that caught my attention was the numerous forums and discussions generated by their very existance. Amazing. It's amazing to see the deep emotions that well up in people's posts critizing or defending the very right of being able to have a large (very large) family. The thing that I particularly enjoy is the fact that people are talking about it.

Happily married 20 years
Mother of nine great, happy, responsible, well rounded kids

I had seen this hour long show once before but it was played again last night at 3:00am. After watching it again I was happy to find a site that was voicing the same opinions that I have and are not heard very often. Most people thoughts praise the family. Oh how great they are. Oh how organized they are. I think its terrible what they are doing. I agree with the original poster. Their older kids are raising the younger kids. What kind of childhood are they having??? They are mini parents. They are home schooled. They have their own church every Sunday at their house with one or two other families like them. At what point do they let their children out of the bubble? One day they will have to let their children out of the house to meet other people. How are they going to act??? They are not going to know how to socialize with anyone other than themselves. Part of school is learning social skills that prepare you for your adult life and the adult world. They want their children to be little clones of each other. One point. Their clothes. The girls wear white socks, the boys black. They are generalizing each individual child. Each child learns two musicial instruments but if you notice, they are all the same instrument. What if one child actually wants to play the piano over the violin. Also, there is no way, no way that those parents can pay attention to each child on an individual level. I was one of three girls and my parents paid attention to each one of us. My sisters and I are completely different from each other and our parents were able to let each of our talents grow. The parents said that they were going to have as many children as God would allow, well, God also created the man who invented birth control and I believe maybe they should look into it.

I must say, I find it offensive that the Duggar family is being compared to a litter of piglets! Also, studies have shown, along with many 20/20 like shows, that larger families tend to be BETTER educated, and are MORE successful.

You can't possibly know what the Duggar girls do, or are capable of, from viewing an hour long show. How judgemental!!! I remember seeing some of the girls helping with the house construction!

I guess if you don't have so much of that selfish "ME-TIME," and the constant running from one school to another, various activities, talking on the phone, computer time, etc. then you could spend time with your children...even if there is 16 of them!

My mother was the oldest of 5, and alot fell on her due to being a military family, and both parents working to make a living. She taught us NOTHING that prepared us for the real world, because she didn't want our lives to be like hers...well guess what Mom? You sent me into the world unprepared!!!!!!!! I couldn't cook...I couldn't clean...I had no idea how to fold laundry! Thank God for a patient, hard working husband!!!! I applaud Mrs. Duggar for preparing her children for life...God forbid we have people that know what hard work is! Feel this is harsh...nope, it is honest!

Anyone that thinks that is wrong, well great. So you can send out a bunch of self-centered, spoiled, over-indulged brats out into the world! Enlightened people...HA!

What really bothers me about this debate is the woman who runs it, and any other woman who downs the Duggars, is that instead of women supporting each other, even if we choose different paths, we tear each other down! You haven't walked in the Duggars shoes, so you can't know how they live!

Being a Mother of 6, soon to be 7, I don't have any problem spending time with my children, or my husband. I don't have all the activities (nor the TV, video games, etc.) that many of you have and keep you from spending time together. My children are with me all day. We homeschool. We enjoy our time together. We have Fridays to visit and socialize with other homeschool families.

Discovery Health Channel will be running their newest show on the Duggars, "Raising 16 Children." Here are the air dates (all times Eastern):

March 15, 2006 at 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm
March 19, 2006 at 3:00 pm
March 26, 2006 at 9:00 pm
March 27, 2006 at 12:00 am

TLC will be running their newest show on the Duggars, "16 Children and Moving In." Here are the air dates (all times Eastern):

March 11, 2006 at 9:00 pm
March 12, 2006 at 12:00 am
March 13, 2006 at 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm
March 19, 2006 at 1:00 pm

Happy viewing!

"We desire for our children to be responsible so we are training them to ‘replace’ us. You could say we are working ourselves out of a job." --Michelle Duggar

I guess that says it all. I feel really sorry for those children.

I admire the Duggars. I've seen the show several times and I plan on watching "Raising 16 Children" on the 15th. There is nothing at all wrong with having 16 kids. I want to have a family that big...maybe even bigger.

Forget God
Forget what you think about the "J-O-Y" method
Forget the morality of letting older kids raise the younger ones

What about simply that in a time of world overpopulation and ecological decline how can anyone rationalize having that large a family?

The carbon footprint of that family is enormous!

Wow. Lots of comments on here to make me think. Can't say I am surprised at the varying attitudes, as I have grown up at the center of such a controversy myself. I am 27 years old, and the second in a family of 15 children. Our ages range from 29 to 5 years old. I was the oldest girl and had a lot of responsibility growing up. When I was young, I didn't really know any different. It was my family, it was the way it was. As I have gotten older and married, I have found that I don't have the desire that my parents had and many of my siblings have for a large family. But it's in no way related to my upbringing. We were raised in a normal environment like everyone else. Did we have a lot of chores around the house... sure. But that was the way it was. And as an adult, I can appreciate that my parents instilled in me a good work ethic and an appreciation for a job well done.

My mother was and is the hardest working woman I know. She was and is constantly doing laundry and cooking and cleaning. But I never felt left out or unloved or abandoned in the "crowd". Each and every one of my siblings has received total attention and love and care from my parents. We never received welfare or social assistance. There were times when I am sure it was tempting, as there were tough times and a lot of mouths to feed, but my parents never stopped trusting that we'd be provided for.

I find the Duggar family interesting. I can see elements of their lives that remind me so much of my own life. I know how it feels to be stared at and counted as we would walk in a restaurant. I remember feeling embarassed sometimes by my family, but I didn't always know why. We never dressed alike, or were made to feel like just one in a crowd. We took pride in our individuality and unique personalities. Now that many of us are adults, we find that our upbringing has made us able to better understand the many personalites we face in that great big world out there.

We are a close family. (Though we never shared underwear, thanks! LOL) We still remain close, even though many of us have married and spread over several states and 2 countries. I think we have all turned out pretty normally. We have homes and families of our own... all diverse and interesting in their own way. We have started to have kids of our own and make our own lives, away from the family. But I think we all have a sense of who we are and where we came from.

Sure, it's hard to grasp if you haven't lived it. I get that. Sometimes it's overwhelming even for me. I sit in my office at work, glance at the calendar and think "oh, I think it's my sister's birthday." LOL. Fifteen siblings is a lot. And I don't claim to know each of them as intimately as the other. I feel sad that I haven't had as much time with my younger siblings as I had with the ones closer to me in age. But we are happy and loving and support each other. And that is what a family should be. You can't really knock it until you've lived it.

As a teen male, I can't imagine being a forced to spend all my time with 15 other brothers & sisters. They even all sleep in only two rooms. I would be out of my mind without having any privacy. One thing that came to my mind is when and where do the older guys have time to masturbate? I know some of you probably think touching yourself is a sin. Get a grip. (No pun intended)

I saw the 16 & Moving In tonight. This was my first time hearing of this family. I missed the first 1/2 hour so I was watching this wondering "where did they get the money for this?" And paid close attention to what they were saying.

"We buy everything second hand". But that new furniture didn't come 2nd hand. "We want to buy a grand piano one day" and huh, whaddaya know, a grand piano is 'gifted' on them.

Shots of the pantry...come on, you mean to tell me a family of 18 people who make their own clothing resorts to prepared foods? Freezers full of sugar laden goods? All those bottles of juice? With TWO kitchens, one a commercial kitchen...they don't prepare from scratch? When I raised four kids I sure couldn't afford to buy them stuff like that...that is what bulk foods are for. And one heckuva lot healthier.

Run the credits...special thanks to ..... In Hollywoodspeak this means that company donated those goods or services. Guess that is what is meant by the "The Lord will provide".

My brother-in-law & his wife remind me of the Duggars. Evangelical Christians. Had 8 kids. Home schooled, etc. Oh yes, they also held fast to the "spare the rod, spoil the child" theory. Fast forward 10 years, the kids all had children out of wedlock (17 in all), and the girls all have several and all but one are on welfare. On the other hand, our kids were raised in a spiritual household where ALL religions are considered and none is held over one as being 'right'. Kids were taught fairness, no gender specifications in chores or opportunities. Our kids were also the same age as BIL's. Yet, our kids are in great careers, one is engaged to be married, they're all self sufficient, 3 of the 4 live outside the home in their own places. The 4th is still in highschool. We refused to hit our children, punishment was done with consequences (you do something against the rules, you lose a priveledge). We have no grandchildren.

BIL and family hold fast to the "Lord will provide" theory. And, I guess He does...they always get someone to bail them out and provide them with free stuff.

We think the Lord has provided us by giving us minds and bodies to think and use to help ourselves, and He provides us with peace of mind. Not a piece of the pie.

None of you posting comments know this family personally and none of us have a crystal ball... Jealous? Hardly. Fearful for how these children will turn out? Definitely. God's not opposed to the rhythm method. He is opposed to becoming a celebrity for fathering 16 children and then using that celebrity to squeak into government. TAKE YOUR BLINDERS OFF, ALL OF YOU.

Anyone noticed that day care centers have mandatory child:teacher ratios? Know why? Because children need adults. Having a "large family" is one thing, but honestly, how can you give each child personal one-on-one attention when you have 15 others desiring the same? That's what got me. I was also a little sick at the idea of having a "buddy" system, where one child takes care of a younger child. Those children need a childhood, not to be a permanent babysitter.

I'm a Christian, too, but I've made mistakes through the years and I've learned from them. You can't keep your children sheltered from the entire world and call it "healthy". Character isn't hiding in a 7000-square-foot house in Arkansas with your own miniature family-city, it's going out in to the world as your own person and still having the personal faith and courage to stand up for what you believe in.

I just wanted to say that birth's by c-section can be dangerous and it is not good to have more than 2(maybe 3). I know I had three, so the mother of this family better listen to medical advice and realize God gave us doctor's for a reason! They know better than she does.

I checked out this family on the internet as well, after viewing the program on television. I came from a large family and you bet it takes its toll -- I am the eighth of ten and my two kids are amazed that my mom never read bedtime stories to me. Like the Duggars, we all learned to work which is great for anyone. I'm glad I'm don't have to resort to a handyman or tailor or whatever everytime something needs to be repaired.

My criticism of this family is their unwillingness to acknowledge all the obvious freebees they are receiving by doing these programs. And all that canned food! It's really not good for them. I saw the one daughter feeding the baby peas right out of the can -- lots of salt in those canned veggies. Why don't they raise cattle and other livestock, plant a big garden and not contribute to what must be a mountain of garbage coming out of that household? It would make all their "golly gee, the Lord is so good to us" a bit more believable.

I agree with most people above that are against having some many kids. I came from a family of 5, and I lost my mother at the age of 3. It was a harsh experience, for obvious reasons. If the parents died, statistically speaking, the odds of having all the kids adopted would be fairly low I would say. The odds of having all of them adopting together would be impossible. Finally, what bothers me the most is that how they are portraired as in not having any problems. Like I watched another show about the little people, where they show that like every family, they have problems in their relationship and so on. Its life. It's real. The Duggars, have no problems whatsoever. Everything is perfect. And where does the money really come from, paying cash for everything? The church must gave them money, or they inhereted or what? How can you make that amount of money withoug really working, since he is always busy with children?

I was an only child (not by my parents choice) I always wanted a large family because I never had it growing up. God has blessed me with 4 beautiful boys. I had wanted one more either by birth or adoption but God has had other plans. I am always interested in "big" families and the reason why I watched the Duggar's show.

I was very uneasy watching that family. I nursed all my kids through toddlerhood and we practised barrier birth control in order to space our children out. All four boys are 3+ years apart. I was able to "baby" the baby. It seems to me that Mrs Duggar gets pregnant at soon as the baby most likely starts sleeping longer (this is when I found my periods returned while nursing (I was super fertile as my period returned when my babies were around 4 months old and only on breastmilk) Those children are only a year apart in age (the younger children). Another important thing when you have a large family is to make individual time with EACH child. My husband and I rotate in spending alone time with each of our children through out the week.

A one year old is still a baby and NEEDS their mother not an older sibbling! I could not imagine weaning my babies at a year old and tossing them aside to an older sibbling just to make room for another child, that is just down and out selfish on her part and not being a mother to those children when they are babies!!!

I was also creeped out by the fact that they have made up "their own church". What is the problem with going to church? Did they not say there was a church right next door to their house. They can't walk? So Jim Bob thinks he is a minister too? Christians are called to go OUT into the world and MAKE disciples of ALL nations. Christians are supposed to LIVE in the world and not be of it. I don't see them following Jesus' commands. Those children are not learning a thing about discipleship or doing for others.

As far as homeschooling.... I am a certified teacher (working at home)and my husband is a principal in a school for special needs children. There is a time and place for homeschooling. I also live in an area in which homeschooling is really big. But just because someone is a mother does not make them qualified to be a school teacher for their children. People think that all you have to do is workbook pages to teach children. I never had any intention on homeschooling because I think "school" is a wonderful experience for children and they need it. My 4 LOVE school, they love seeing their friends every day. It is important that children see that there are different ways and people have different opinions. Working and getting along with others as children builds upon being able to work with adults when you get a job in the real world. You can still send your children to school and be a Christian and still teach your children Christian values. I wonder what other language Mrs Dugger is fluent in that she will be able to teach the older kids. Where I live in order to get a high school diploma a child must have two years of a forgein language, even if they are homeschooled they must also meet that criteria.

The clothes thing creeped me out too. Granted they were being filmed so most likely the children were in their best digs for the camera.... but come on now.

I find the family to be facinating for some reason. Personally, I think 16+ children is morally wrong because of environmental problems, overpopulation, etc. Also, there are MILLIONS of homeless, hungry, abandoned children in the world ... Perhaps the lord would actually prefer that this couple lend a hand to some truly deserving children rather than dropping one into an overpopulated world every year. Just a thought. They seem to be truly decent people who should care a little more about the world around them and put some of their unlimited energy into helping those in need as Christ commanded us to do.

Man, there's a lot of debate here! I'm going to put my 2 cents in. There are many things I agree with. As a single woman myself who's always wanted to be married and have children (I'm not desperately pining away for this - it's just always been something I've wanted, but I'm content in my life right now), I'm thankful for people in the world today who aren't afraid of having large families. To be honest, I do think that children should be raised as individuals & allowed to develop their own styles - within reason. There are certain styles that are just plain disgusting, & I agree with the Duggar's stance on modesty. Still, there are ways of dressing modestly that are still modern & allow a person to be an individual.

Overall, though, I'm pleased that the Duggars are raising their children with strong, Christian values. I'm a Christian myself & I know that doesn't necessarily mean large families & stay-at-home moms & homeschooling, etc., but I also applaud families that do this & do this right, as the Duggars doing. They're not ashamed of their life & their not ashamed to be living out God's call to them for a large family. My prayers & support go up to Heaven for them. May God continue to bless them & their children, who all, by the way, are very healthy & well adjusted & not feeling any lack of attention. As some other people wrote, they're not selfish or attention seeking & they each know their place in the family. That's lacking a lot in many families today.

OK, OK! So I'm single & without children myself & am not an expert on raising any, but I can still write as I see & make my observations. Anyway, these are just some of them.

It is one thing to not be afraid of having a large family as you would not believe the rude comments when I was pregnant with our 4th child. I received comments such as "trying for the girl" to "was this an accident".

But when chooses to have a large family you also have to be a responsible parent to "can I meet the needs of all the children". Meeting needs means more then puting food on the table and making sure they have clean clothes. It means am I able to spend quality individual time with each child. My children love being together but they also love having alone time with either dh or me and doing special things.

I would like to know if the Duggar children are allowed to be involved in any outside the home activities such as boy scouts or girl scouts, youth groups or even have individual friends. What would mom Duggar do if one of the child's "buddies" decided to go over to a friends house?

I also feel the way those children are kept away from the world is a shame. There are so many wonderful a glorious things in God's world to experience that it seems as if their only place is in the home caring for their buddy and doing their jurisdictions.

As another poster stated that the children are not selfish or attention seeking is because they can't be because that large of a family you can't have any of that. But I do think Mom and Dad are pretty selfish in the fact that they shove off the youngest child to another child so they came make room for another.

So, does anyone know if they had more kids after #16?

I am wondering the same thing???

From what I understand they have not had any further children but want more. I think its ridiculous! The children are never allowed to be children! As she pops the kids out, they get handed off to the older kids to raise! No individual attention from the parents. Mom (according to the Duggar's website) doesn't do anything...one daughter cooks lunch, one cooks dinner, they all have chores. They are raising a cult.

I hope they hold at 16. I truly feel sorry for those kids. They've never had time to be kids. Whatever scripture you want to quote, I'm sure God never intended for kids to be forced into raising their siblings. Do they ever hug their kids, do they even know anything about them, their wants and needs, did anyone see any toys? I didn't see 16 happy and smiling kids. I saw little robot, worker bees. I know the kids don't know anything different, so to them it's normal, right now, but if they ever get out of that house, they are going to know what they missed. Child welfare authorities should check them out. This is a cult. Jim Bob bought 20 acres so all their kids could build houses on it. What for, to enlarge the cult? I am angry that that someone would intentionally deprieve their children of allowing them to have their own identities, wants and needs. I am angry that child welfare didn't stop this baby making woman, before it got out of hand. I am disgusted the TLC Discovery channel has glorified these poor kids into something to be aspired to. Shame on you Michelle and Jim Bob, you had a childhood and made life choices, why can't your kids?

I personally think that the Duggar Family has some good qualities and bad. I do believe that children are to help around the house. My daughter is six years old and she has her daily chores. Some of these chores is to put her dirty laudry in the hamper, clean her room, put her clean laundry in the proper drawer, and make her bed. I think this gives children responsbility. We do reward her with movies or ice cream trips etc. So when I saw the episode that the Duggar Family has everybody help around the house, I do agree with that, But I disagree with the children cleaning the parents room, making supper every night. I feel this is the parents job.
One thing really disturbed me was the oldest boy, I think his name is Jason. When the family went on vacation to the convention, to meet the other families that have the same belief system as the Duggars. He stated that he was coming to this to look for a future wife. HUH???? His parents are teaching him not to have a girlfriend or just friend that is a girl, but to look for a future wife, so he can start the tradition all over again. What is up with that??? I just cannot believe this. Thats sick!!!!
I feel if they can support 16 or more children meaning putting them though college, then I say its ok for them. But if there comes a time when they start to live off welfare or need the states assistance in anyway, then they need to get on something to stop having children.

I agree it's irresponsible for the Duggars to have 16 kids. You kniow very well that those older kids are not living like kids should be living. These parents are very creepy, it's like the parents are trying to be more of a cult. These kids don't get to go to school with other children their own ages and make friends, they don't get privacy. My hope for them is that they get to experience some life as the rest of us do. I hope they get to devolope their own beliefs. hopefully these kids don't experiance life as most of us know it, and go all crazy. They're brainwashed by their parents.

I'm obsessed with the show about the Duggar's on TLC. They are the perfect family. All of these kids are going to grow up, and be better people than any of you who criticize. :)

As women who have choosen to pursue careers, we believe that women are not destined to stay at home and have children. But should a woman decide to have children, that is her choice. But a mother, not her other children, needs to raise the child. A child's responsibilities should not include raising their siblings, changing dipars and helping with homework. These children need to be experiencing life. They need to be exposed to other children and make their own conclusions on the world. They are being deprieved of their youth.

These children are not exposed to the hardships of the world, they are not going to be well-adjusting adults once they enter the real world. They are going to be exposed to things they are not equiped to deal with.

The female Duggars also need to know that they have other options in life besides having children. There is a huge world out there and they need to experince it before commiting themselves to child-rearing.

This has nothing to do with relegion or finances, it has to do with the sheltered lives of these children, the extreme responsibilities placed on them and the lack of attention/relationship they have with their parents.

Goodness Gracious! I can't believe how judgemental some of you are being. In a world where babies are disposable we find a close family teaching and raising their children in a loving environment.

OK. Since this family offends you, why don't you tell us what the acceptable rules are? What will it take to appease you? How many kids are acceptable? How much play time is required? What length of hair is acceptable? How far away should they live from each other after the kids are married?

This family is happy, well adjusted, talented, hospitable, and God fearing. They have never said that other people are doing things wrong, they are just living out what they believe. They've never used even one food stamp. So Please think twice before you judge them so harshly.

Years ago when our grandparent and great grandparents were children there never would have been a question about it being normal or detrimental to kids to be from a large family. Large families were the societal norm. They worked together, played together, and grew together. Yet no one questioned whether they should have more children or not. Some were taught deep religious Christian training, some were not. All grew up to be productive members of society that went on to have their own children and raise their own children the way they wished. Today the norm is maybe 2.3 children.......and thus anything beyond that is basically seen as abnormal. We have only seen excerpts from their lives. My children have chores and I teach them how to do those chores....we talk and have a good time doing those things together. We also do Bible Study as a family....this is a great bonding time in which we voice opinions, ask questions and really just enjoy being a family. Granted we only have 2 children and are expecting our third, however, teaching a child responsibility is good. They dont learn to do what they do by osomosis.......it must be taught and shown to them by example. Why is it so wrong for them to have so many children? Our grandparents, greatgrandparents and their parents did it. Some of those families were very deeply religious and guess what......ended up producing a President of the United States. I dont think having many children and teaching them to help with their siblings, Bible principles etc makes them bad society members. They learn to respect the feelings of others. They learn to listen and communicate. I do not know the Duggars but I say if you can care for them, provide for them and love them it is your right. Those children look and act like well adjusted, polite children. To those that say they live a sheltered life, according to the shows I have seen they go on vacations together, they go on trips, they explore their world. Why must people judge others without truly understanding.
Mrs Tee.......

I wanted to add my family also spends time playing together, reading together and much more. Just because the family has "buddies" does not mean the mom NEVER spends time with her kids. Where in any thing that was written or shown about them does it say she NEVER spends one on one time. She was speaking about how she helps her family run smoothly.

Having 16 children is just crazy. How can you give them the individual attention that they need and home school, the kids are just sheltered.Say it with me BIRTH CONTROL!!

Why is Christianity constantly used as an excuse for the breeding habits of these strange people? "The Lord" doesn't make babies-- people do. "The Lord" gave humanity intelligence and free will. The combination is supposed to be used to get us out of the messes we create.

Any fool can have a baby, and many fools have way too many of them. If female value and worth are to be measured only in kid output, then any rabbit or mouse wins hands down even over Michelle Duggar. Reptiles and insects do even better in gross numbers.

There are too many anomalies in this endless story about the Duggars. First and foremost, how many families have their most intimate moments-- e.g., the birth of the latest Duggar-- televised for a national audience? These people are publicity hounds; they've learned it pays. And pays handsomely, if you look at the furniture and the new house, and the trip to the dude ranch, etc.

I'm one of a very large family, and like every other of the first kids in a big family, I spent my childhood and youth raising my brothers and sisters. There are pros and cons to such an arrangement. I had no spare time, but my mother got a lot of assistance. But at least we had our own beds to sleep in. I knew families of 12 and 14 children where the kids slept where they dropped. It was the Catholic thing to do in the 40s and 50s, and a lot of post-war couples produced these enormous families, perhaps to prove their excessive piety. But of course, from the child point of view, there was precious little to go around, especially the things that matter most: parental attention, privacy, time to discover oneself, a quiet place to do homework. And the harsh economics of such families are learned very well by the children, who invariably grow up and have one one or two kids of their own, if any.

Jim Bob and Michelle have chosen to pursue notoriety, and they are cashing in on their children. Sooner or later some, if not all, of the kids will catch on to what they've missed in all of this circus. Then we'll see what really has happened, about the time one of them writes a "tell-all" book about it.

I agree with Johanna. These people have to be getting paid to be on the TLC network. I doubt they are doing this out of the graciousness of there heart. Why else have so many? Maybe to be on the TV or have interviews? And the only reason people have so many opinions, is because nobody has really ever seen anything like this. Its called Freedom of Speech. If I choose not to believe in it, then guess what its my opinion.

My Dad (who is not pro big families, mainly because he worries about the money aspect) pointed your page out to me. He saw the Duggar family "documentary" and thought what a neat family they were. He said it touched him enough that he felt a little weepy. He told me he couldn't believe there were people out there that would actually criticize this. I couldn't believe this was coming from my dad. He actually pitied you.

Before I say more, I am a Christian who believes that the Lord should be in charge of "family planning". My dad is not a Christian and thinks we're a crazy for even having more then 3 children..BUT..he adores our family of almost eight. Why? Because all of his "stereotype" thoughts have passed. He thought we wouldn't have enough money..we do. He thought the kids might not get their individual attention..they do. I could list much more from homeschooling to behavior. All negative thoughts of his have passed..he's told me so! The point is, if you've never experienced the joy that we big families have, you probably will never understand. Kind of like having a child? You just can't explain the joy to someone who hasn't..they just don't fully get it.

Now there are some people that though they do not understand our way of life, they think "hey, that's cool for them if it works" and those that might even be envious.. crazy huh? :) But then there are those that would criticize it because it doesn't fit their idea of "normal"? You know, there are actually people out there who think YOU are doing a disservice to the world by procreating at all. Look at all the orphans out there? (Obviously I don't share this belief).

The Duggars (or anyone else who shares their views in life) are not immoral people..there should be no criticism. They are raising wonderful, respectful, clean-cut, well-rounded children, a PLUS to society (though that does not justify them being born of course). I applaud them..not because of their big family..God may give them 18 and another person 3. I applaud them because they are not conforming to the norm to stay in the "safe zone" (then there wouldn't be ANY criticism)..I applaud them because they are raising their children with honor, etc. I am thrilled to see that other people feel the same.

It is sad to see you being critical of such a nice family, and I can see that others feel the same way. The pig picture was just mean of you. I agree with my father; you are a very pretty woman, but it doesn't seem that your "inside" matches your "outside".

Sorry Ashley, but I totally disagree with you in regards to your comment about the children being "well-rounded". Those children are far from being well rounded when they are not allowed to experience life outside the Duggar house.

For homeschooling child to be well rounded the parent must get the children involved in outside activities. They should be playing sports on the town's rec teams, they should be going to art classes, they should be involved in 4-H etc. I would like to know if Ma Duggar is teaching the high school age children a second language (which is required in MA to get one's high school diploma). The kids should be having computor lessons etc.

I am a teacher and I have seen homeschooling work and not work. The parents that make it work have a room that is set up just like a classroom. The mom also spends a lot of time in the car taking her kids to extra curricular activities in order to have the children "well-balanced".

Are the older Duggar kids involved in service projects to the community? Where is serving your neighbor, making meals for those less fortunate etc.

I also have to comment... I don't have a problem with parents that want an "extra" large family as long as the children are tended to and cared for by the parents. But from what I have seen Ma Duggar hands over the youngest to an older sibling to be raised. Anyone watch the clips on the Discovery channel website like the Christmas one? I never see Ma Duggar holding little Jackson, you never see this mother kissing her children either. It is like she breeds them and then after 5 months she looses interest and hands them over to an older child to do the rest of the raising. If this woman really followed the Bible she would be breastfeeding till the child was a toddler and her fertility returned naturally which would put a much larger gap between children. But instead she weans so that she can get pregnant again ... that is so DARN SELFISH on her part. I feel so sorry for those little babies!!!!! To Ma Duggar it is about how many kids she can squeeze out of her body not about quality of parenting.

If you also watch the Christmas clip on DH website, Ma Duggar is going on and on about what they will have for their "holiday" meal. Cripe she is a Christian and in public she can't call it their "Christmas" meal???? But she goes on and on mashed potatoes, stuffing, canned corn etc... and if you watch to see what they are loading into the cart.... canned veggies, box stuffing, box mashed potatoes!!!! YAK!!!!! I cook for 20 plus people during the holidays and I would never think of serving fake mashed potatoes or fake stuffing or canned veggies YUCK!!!! YUCK!!! YUCK!! This woman can't even peal potoatoes? or rip up bread to make stuffing????? It is much cheapier to buy a few bags of potatoes and bread to make the real stuff and get some real vitamins out of the food then the fake processed stuff that family eats !

I saw the original program, the one where two of the teenage Duggar sisters were (as usual) preparing the family's main meal. It consisted of a tater tot casserole. I kid you not. I mean, aren't whole fresh potatoes a lot cheaper and more nutritious than those god-awful, salt-and-fat-laden tater tots? So, the casserole was: ground turkey, canned green beans, frozen tater tots, and evaporated milk. This slop was hyped as "the family's favorite meal." Omigod. Those poor kids.

One of the big sisters makes the girls' clothing. The kids were obviously numerically challenged, and Michelle herself, married at 17 with a high school degree (for whatever that's worth in Arkansas, not exactly the leading light in the nation for education), purports to be teaching those kids in the computer age? Gimme a freakin' break. I have a BA and an MA and I still wouldn't be able to teach my high school kids the required math these days. Or science-- these kids are learning about proteinase in the ninth grade in public and private schools, staffed by people who actually know something. Whereas, in the original program, Michelle is sitting at a huge table, "instructing" all her children over age 3 on...bankruptcy!! which, incidentally, she could barely understand herself. It was pitiful. Imagine home-schooling a five year old on the subject of bankruptcy. Now I ask you: where is the Arkansas Commissioner of Education with this family? Why aren't they looking into this and a number of other issues? Is everybody falling for this nauseating spectacle? Furthermore, any mother who whacks an infant for crawling off a blanket should be in prison, not having even more babies. If this story has any basis in fact, where are the child welfare people, and why aren't they looking into the situation vis a vis the infants? And, while I'm on my soapbox, how about "involuntary servitude?" Those older girls are slaves, purely and simply. They have NO LIVES of their own, and they are NOT paid for their endless hours of raising all of mommy's kids who are over the age of six months. They make nearly all the meals, shepherd the smaller children, sew the dresses,-- is this how people want American children to be raised in 2006? The Duggars have chosen to become public figures. Now they can enjoy having a spotlight turned on their REAL activities, not the saccharine pablum that The Learning Channel hands out; and I suggest that the authorities in their home state get busy. The Duggars are no more representative of Christianity and proper parenting than The Dog and his motley family are representative of American law enforcement!!

How would we go about making the authorities, child services, etc. investigate these people? I'd love to know because I'd like to get a petition going to ensure that this happens. Any suggestions?

The only thing I want to add after reading since my last comment is:

How do we know what this family does when the cameras aren't watching, how much she cuddles her children etc.......how much footage ended up on the cutting room floor? I really dont think it is fair to judge by what is seen on television. You do not live in their home or walk in their shoes. For example the Nanny 911 or Super Nanny shows......those shows are vastly edited just to show the behaviors needing correcting so they can fit it into a 1 hour show. You can't know from a television show about their life.....nor is it fair to judge them on just that alone. Just as it would not be fair to judge anyone posting on this topic from what they have to say on the subject.

My concern is for the daughters. They're sewing and cooking and raising children while they are children. I'm the oldest of four children and I basically raised the last two. It is completely impossible for Michelle Duggar to be the angelic mother she is. God blessed her by giving her 2 daughters after the 1st son, because there's no way she could have trained boys to raise babies- i think that goes against their code.
Those children are probably messed up, but their resilience up to this point proves they can carry on far if they try. My prayers are that the young women don't just become baby factories, and that they go on and live fulfilling lives by getting a college education. Getting married and having a few children is very rewarding; i just hope they go beyond that, because if they don't, its a waste, because they seem like once they are un-brainwashed they could be very bright women.

Oh, one more thing: I wonder how many of these christian children are going to turn out to be gay? The odds are at least one of them is... i pity that one the most. look for a suicide by 2020.

please give them a break.

I'm a mother and maternal instinks work overdrive. The need to care is very well protraded. Mrs Duggar my hats off to you. Buddy system is a caring and resonable way for children to learn and respect the instudute of life.

everyone makes typos. But instinks is pretty hilarious. hard to take the one seriously. i wonder if ontario home schools, hah. sorry couldn't help it.

no I don't home school.

typos or not

The point is well understood!

Ontario, the point wasn't understood, what was your point? FYI, the buddy system wasn't developed for children to raise children. The buddy system was originally developed as a swimming aid, i.e not to swim alone. So....the point, please!

Cynthia did you ever do chores watch your bother or sister when you were growing up. Help your sis, bro tie his\her shoes get dressed etc. That is all part of life why wouldn't you help, like my mother always said "earn you keep". Wonderful life lession. They help them read and spend time with them. That is not only good for the little buddy but the buddy it self. There system may be different but who wrote the book!

I must admit, I, too, have a morbid fascination with the Duggars. However, consider this - many other religions, cultures, etc. favor similar types of "families" - e.g., the Jewish Orthodox tend to encourage very large families; like the Duggars, they exist within their own tiny community of other families subscribing to the same ways of living, etc. Michelle Duggar is quite fortunate that all of her children are seemingly healthy. If any one of those children were born unhealthy or with a chronic illness - that would surely wreak havoc for the family. All of the Duggar "women" have a healthy head of long hair. I would like to suggest that the Duggar girls (and Michelle) all donate their hair to Locks of Love (the charity that manufactures wigs for children suffering from baldness and various diseases). Doing so would give the Duggars a chance to use their "popularity" to promote a great cause. Perhaps TLC or Discovery Health could feature a segment with all of the girls getting their hair cut and ready to send to LOL.

my comments are not meant to be hurtful, because I am aware of how religious the Duggars are; but there is a time and point throughout life when you say to yourself, "If I stop putting my family out there for everyone to see then I won't have to deal with negative feedback". As a Psychology major at college I have been introduced to so many things, one is to think of all aspects not just one; taking Child psychology this semester has taught me a lot so far, and I am eager to learn more. I believe that these children won't know what to do when they get out on their own, or decide to move away from the family(if they even consider that an option) because they are used to the lifestyle they lead; which causes a problem because you tend to usually lead the life you have always known. But I do have to say that no matter what is said, it is a matter that any decision of the children's lives is up to them when they become of age to make their own decisions. Plus you can't make it their fault for living in a family that has known nothing but that family and religion will get you through anything. well sorry to the Duggar family, but reality check...the real world is filled with unforseen circumstances that not religion or family can prevent...do you also teach your kids that because i am just wondering, but I would like to see the family on TLC's what not to wear, because there is a time and point where clothes and hair need to fit the personality of each individual. Good luck Duggar family, because until you put your family out of the spotlife there will always be people out there who can't see why you do what you do, and that is have babies and raise them along with your other children and husband. Next time you might want to direct the T.V show yourself, so your seen in the way you think is best, because for most people we just saw a houseful of a non realistic way of living.

I just recently watched the three Duggar special...

1) no I don't like the curriculum they use or the association they belong to...for personal reasons. However, it's not our business.

2) the people within ATI do not believe in public assistance and neither do it...at least not for Christians part of a Christian church or community. Like some other religions, I believe the Church should help those amoung them. Unfortunately the Church is leaning towards the secular each man for himself theory. Beyond that, their finances are none of anyone's business...sounds like they have things in control.

3) Their sex life is no one's business. They may have 16 children and have sex less than someone with two children...only difference is they choose not to use birth control and happen to be very fertile.

4) Big deal if they received free products in exchange for having media interfere with their life...that's their choice and that was the payoff...I'm certain there are many single childless persons that would do the same.

5) to the person insistant on knowing if they teach a second language...what business is it of yours?! You graduated in MA...they live in ARK. If you want to be that nosey, then look up the state statutes. Each state has it's own. BTW, did you learn to play two instruments using the susuki method? Every school and homeschool has it's strengths and weaknesses. Most people I know coming out of college lack common sense and basic living skills. I've been to college, but I know more of history and the sciences from what I've learned on my own OUTSIDE of the formal educating community. I'm constantly being asked, "what's that?" by some of my degreed friends. Their education was pretty limited, to their degree...mine was pretty broad (I was a library rat and my living room is FULL of books!)

6)Even the APA has stated that TV and video games are not healthy for children, particularly young children. (however, please note that the oldest Duggar boy had his OWN multimedia studio with equipment one could only dream of!). Their children were outside PLAYING like a child is SUPPOSED to...not zombied in front of a monitor.

7) clothes...uh, I think some of you are isolated from other cultures and communities. Matching clothes are very popular in mennonite and amish communities as well as various other sects. Girls throughout history have PLAYED in skirts and dresses. BIG DEAL! My girls also wear skirts and dresses due to our religious beliefs. Oh, and we cover our heads. So do various cultures and religions throughout the world. As for petticoats (and bloomers!)...well, that is simply our answer to slips and keeping our legs warm in the winter. Please excuse some families for not wanting to make their girls into "eye candy" for the perverts and pediphiles out there.

8) the "real" world...the real world is work, getting along with others, etc. These children are learning that. They play also...obviously, they DID show that! By age ten, myself and most of my friends were helping to raise siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews. It didn't hurt any of us...in fact, I believe we are less selfish and more patient than those in our school that didn't have those kinds of "burdens". In fact, I earned a good living later as a nanny. If I hadn't chosen to get married, I could have continued as a nanny, car provided and education paid for. I chose instead to get married and start raising my own children.

9) Individuality...if anyone saw ALL the Duggar programs, they would note that the children were listed and varied in what they wanted to be (and they listed actual career fields for those paying attention), and what their favorite foods were (lasagna seemed to win hands down...the constant pointing out of tater tot casserole seemed to be a producer joke, which our family also eats occasionally). Those children ARE individuals. The programs, however, were geared toward showing HOW individuals within a large family pull it together.

10) the IDEALISM...actually, Mrs. Duggar pointed out that they WORK towards the ideal, but rarely strike it. She also had to LEARN how to manage her household. It did not come naturally, and doesn't for any of us. The show was not about their faults or their dirty laundry (ie the election or sins of the family). We all have them, that should be a given. Personally, I think we all work toward an ideal. There were some good ideas on the program for ANY family...and other ideas that we would all do differently (ie, I prefer gardening and freezing to ALDI's). As for politics...I believe anyone can enter politics and don't all politicians show their "look at our ideal" side? I remember articles on Hilary and her being SUCH a good mommy, with pictures of Chelsea, before Bill became president. No one complained then. The only difference is, this family is more traditional, has more children, and (gasp) they are willing to show their three year old throw the "I don't want to take a nap" tantrum on tv.

A little about me...since some seem to think that qualification is needed. I am the oldest of 6. I came from an educated background (everyone has a degree in my family...I've been to college, but have chosen to delay my degree), am married, about to deliver my 7th child, homeschool, and we hold strong religious convictions (what religion? does it matter?). BTW, my children get PLENTY of Mommy and Daddy time, plenty of time to themselves, they also buddy up for certain things, and have chores (gasp!).

Personally, I am against having so many children when our planet is OVERPOPULATED and therre are MILLIONS of unwanted, abandoned, or abused children in the world. Why not forgo having one of your own and take in a foster child or adopt one??? Having said that, I do like the Duggars. They are not perfect, but these children are better off than a lot of children in this world! They have two parents who love them and siblings who are there for them ... They also have a beautiful house. The husband and wife seem to have a very loving relationship too.

As for their diet, Michele said that there favorite dinner "in a pinch" (meaning, they are too busy to fix a big dinner) is tater tot casserole. One of the posters said that she makes homemade mashed potatoes, etc. for meals ... Well, good for her. The Duggars eat as well as most Americans, and they seem to be healthy enough!

As for everyone's fear that they are not receiving a good education b/c they are home-schooled, Michele said that they take standardized tests every year to make sure they are on track. It isn't hard to meet the minumum expectations of most public schools!

Finally, to all the religious zealots who believe that God should decide how many children one has or that we are commanded to have huge families b/c the bible says be fruitful and multiply: Get a grip! If everyone were to have 6+ children in this crowded world, there would be even more starvation and damage to the environment. God gave us a brain for a reason!!!!

Why forego having our own? Three reasons: 1)I was told I wouldn't have children (part of the reason was due to prior birth control methods used and their long term affects)...I'm thrilled to be blessed and have had them. 2) I don't believe in birth control...and there are many others that believe the same way. 3) if ppl want to speak of expense, it is more difficult to foster or adopt a child than it is to have one of your own...many of us don't want the government interfering with our lives or beliefs. That is what happens when ppl choose to foster a child. You have to let them into your home, tell you how to do things, and can't raise the child as your own (ie, homeschool, etc).

As far as overpopulation...that is up for debate. We have more than enough room. Most of the poverty issues in the world are government/business created...not population created. God gave us a brain and a told us what the rules are. I choose to use mine and not disobey His commands.

You want to put limits on childbirth, then move to China. But don't step on another's religious freedom when it comes to such personal issues.

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