• "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


Yea, seriously, I think that children are a blessing, and God may offer you so many, but I don't think you should have so many kids if you can't give them personal attention. not spoiling them, but giving them alone time. Jon and Kate plus 8 give all of their kids alone time. The Duggars don't seem to.

For Real though, God offers so many illnesses too, but do the Duggars use medicine? or get vaccinations to prevent illnesses? Why is that allowed and not an "interference with God's plans", but birth control or condoms are not acceptable?

and really Cherie... being a Christian does not mean daily study and meditation. it means being a goodhearted person who respects others and loves mankind. you don't have to go to church to be a good Christian or even read the bible. You can just live it and thank God.

and Carrie is right... if they trust their kids why can't they explore the world on their own? why can't they go online? Why can't they go off to school?

It is important to teach your kids right from wrong, but at some point you have to have faith that you have taught them and they can sink or swim on their own.

You wrote, "I can't see how anyone can have the mental/emotional/temporal resources to provide the level of attention that a child needs to fully thrive to fifteen children."

Of course, there is no "temporal" resource- THEY ALL RELY ON GOD, silly.

I have been watching this family for years and years and think they are flippin' AWESOME! Michelle is the #1 role model in the world for "showing restraint", frankly. Her tone of voice is always sane. She is patient, loving and kind. How anyone can imply they do not show "restraint" is NUTZ! That was just a nasty implication that there is too much sexual activity going on....what a stupid, stupid thing to say. She's jealous! This family is having way too much fun for some of you to handle. :O( Go whine somewhere.

Upon reading even more posts here I am just gobsmacked....arguments that it is immoral for the Duggars to have so many children when there are already hungry children in the world. Then STOP! NOBODY HAVE ANYMORE CHILDREN, PERIOD!

And that this family was interesing and creepy at the same time....oh, please. Not creepy at all! THEY LOVE EACH, LOVE ALL THOSE children, each and every one of them and they all take care of each other.

There were posts bashing them for homeschooling. It is their right to do so! Unreal. The whole world should see children for exactly what God says they are--BLESSINGS and, therefore, we all should applaud the Duggars. I am a huge fan....the rest of you....you just make me laugh. But your criticisms are so sad. I hope you rethink your positions. I really do. What's not to like?!

I cannot believe the outrageous things that some people have to say about this very special and Godly family! Those with low oppinions of the Duggar family ought to take some time and watch the TV series to get the whole story. It seems that more than a few people have misinterpreted what they've seen, and its ridiculous.

God's plan for the human race was to be fruitful and multiply, He also states that "Children are an heritage (blessing) from the Lord".

And as for the children not socializing with the rest of the world, please! Have you taken a serious look at this world of ours lately? It's full of wickedness and sin, hardly a place I would want my children to socialize in. If they were left to themselves out in the world, they would end up pregnant, into drugs and thrown in jail if they didn't get killed first. Who would wish that on anyone?!

I am seventeen and the eldest of a family of six, and I have never had a problem taking care of my siblings. I socialize with other people that have the same morals and standards that I do, and have never felt "sheltered" in any way.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's oldest son, Joshua, was married September 26, 2008 to a very Godly young woman from another state. He didn't meet her on Facebook, Myspace, or any dating sites but rather at a homeschool convention where he and his family were able to socialize with families who believe as they do in a family like atmostphere.

It seems the Duggars are doing just fine without worldly socializing, don't you think?

As Christians, we are to bring Honour and Glory to our Maker, and to win this world to the Lord. How can we possibly do this when we are going out into the world and becoming like them? It is impossible!

I have come to love the Duggar family for everything they stand for and believe, they have taught their children how to behave and you will never see either Duggar parent screaming, yelling or cursing at one of their children. Every member in that family does his or her part, including the parents, just as God planned!

If this is the natural, God-designed plan for our lives, why question it at all?

I think people waste too much time criticizing others when they should be raising their own children and working towards a Christ-like peace in their homes. Don't you?

i completely agree with this post, and am linking it to my own comments on the duggars (http://bittersweetlife.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/meet-the-duggars/)

but i also wanted to comment on what "Think about it" said above--that if the girls want to be stay-at-home mothers, then it's their own decision. is it really their own decision? maybe if they hadn't been so isolated and were able to attend school with other kids who have diverse ideas, lifestyles, etc, they would be able to think on their own. the duggar parents may be very good people, but their lifestyle does not encourage open thought. the last episode i saw portrays this issue: the eldest boy becomes engaged to a girl he has not even kissed. the parents of course are happy and encourage this. do you really think that the other children WOULDN'T feel guilty if they kissed, let alone did more with someone? and that's pressure about something relatively unimportant. what about if one of the daughters DOESN'T want to have a dozen kids? what if one of the sons never gets married? i just don't think that such sheltered children even have the opportunity to truly think for themselves. and when you're getting married at age 20, at what point do you actually experience the world??

Wow...all I was doing was looking up what their religion was and to see that people actually have enough time on their hands to critize other people's decisions is so lame. The dugger's do say that God gave them their children,and he did! Everytime a conception occurs, it's truely a miracle. If you watch them on TV they don't get too much time with their children, but their children know that their parents love them. My grandfather came from a family of 10(I know that isn't quite 17 with one on the way) but those were well raised children back then, and the morals instilled in the Dugger's are the same as the dieing breed of elderly people who honestly could have cared less who's underwear they were wearing...shoot my mother only got a dime an an orange many Christmas and she's only 55. A perfect product of my grandfather who learned to appreciate all he had a prospered unlike the majority of this nation who only relys on walfare.

WAY to go Dugger's.

and to bittrsweet about the comment of exploring the world if your married by the time your 20, then obviously you have done that and then some...I was very wild in high school and met the love of my life(we married when I was 19) and now have our first child on the way...I didn't have respect for my classmates that chose not to settle down and could have cared less if they never found happiness, as many times as I told them it wasn't at the end of a bottle of vodka or nicely rolled joint. Don't get me wrong I participated in all those things, and you really need to consider that those children may say the things they do, but when it comes time they can make their own decisions...this is TV, no matter how much of it is their lives.

I will never regret getting married at 19 and loving my husband for nearly 4 years so far...I know who I am and hopefully the Dugger's children do too.

I have read all your comments and would like to comment back. First of all everyone choses to view the Duggars T.V. Show "by choice". In addition, if the majority of the public did not want to view the Duggar Show then there would be no show. Obviously the "world" watches and tapes their shows not because they are critical of them, but because the "world" is in "Awe" of them, and want to learn from them. Every single one of you will not admit it, but that is why you all watch, including myself. As far as brain-washing goes every child at public school all wear the exact same brand name and style clothes, shoes, hair-cuts etc. Where is the "uniqueness" here or the "free thinking outside of the box", and how much does it cost you to fall for the "crowd". Would any of your children go to school in anything less, or different than the other kids are wearing, I think not and that is because they are all cloned into one way of thinking they would lose thier "identity" and not know how to handle themselves if they did not "conformn" THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME. My question is why are you all so concerned with the Duggars childrend dressing the same. Statistices prove that "uniform" schools have higher scores, no one worries about what the other one is wearing, they are all "eqaul" and they learn better. Guess what,the Duggars children are home schooled and do not have to pay thousands of dollars to attend a privated shcool system, how smart is that. And, have you noticed that not one child is "Fat or Obese" why is that, because they are healthy and do not get plopped in front of a T.V. or computer to be used as a substitute for a baby siter, or parent. Nor do they get over-compensated with sweet snacks to shut them up. They play outside like we all did when we grew up, and they jump, and swing, and play hide-and-go-seek, and tag, and breath fresh air. Cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, ironing, vacumming/sweeping,laundry are the FACTS of life. How many of your "high school" children know how to clean their rooms, cook simple meals, wash dishes, can even turn on a dishwasher, or know how to pour detergent into a washing machine. They have never been taught, and further more they think it is your duty as a parent to do that for them. Statics prove that children that are not taught simple home values in life fail when they go off to college or when they get married. Every one of these kids know when they wake up in the morning that they have chores, school, play. Statistics prove that children "thrive" on "structure". Oh and by the way, how many of your childrned out there ALL play an instrument, and play it well. The Duggars DO NOT keep up with the Jone's, why, because they have not been "brain-washed" into that culture, they are too smart and strong and have all the power to resist, as you all can see they are thriving and doing quite well at it. If you notice none of the 18 children are crying that therr parents do not understand them, or that they hate Jews, Blacks, Indians, Gays, the Irish, they accept everyone into their life, there is no hate, animosity, jealously, or hostility among 20 people. If this family does not turn you on then go watch The Nanny, where you will be able to view tons of families with horrific, appauling, and hostile children. The Duggars are tax paying citizens and pay taxes just like you and I do, and a chunk of all our tax monies is distributed to the 12 year old mothers of this world that wish to live off of welfare system which in return contribute "highly" to our poverty issues. Do not blame the Duggars for the poverty in this country, they are taking care of their children, and further more both parents and all 18 kids are not begging in the streets, are on perscription drugs just to get throught he day, or alchohol dependant or cigarette/nicotene How many of you can say that for yourself. If the "world" choses to donate out of love and repesct to them, then what is wrong with that. What is wrong with buying lightly worn shoes, or clothes from the Good Will Store because your child will only wear them one season, who are the smart ones here. They live in a gorgeous home that most would die for. How many of you can say that you paid cash for the land that the house is built on, and built the house almost morgage free. How many of you have bought commercial property and live off the rent. Yeah, the Duggars certainly do not know what they are doing now do they. The bottom line is, the Duggars have ALL the same problems that we all have, no one is spared of childhood up bringing. The differnece is the Duggars are a two parent family that work hard together, and both parents have a high respect for each other and that takes great control and commitment to do. How many of you out there can say that. How many of you are whining that you can not control your one or two children. How many of you pass your children off to day-care for someone else to watch their child for 8 to 10 hours, just so you can work to keep that second car, is that child a happy well adjustend child?. The poor excuse that an eight week old on up to three years old needs to confir with other children in order to be ahead of the game, is simply ignorant and "denial". The one thing the Duggars never had to do, was to drop off thier 8 week old baby to a stranger at a day care and cry all the way to work, and wonder all day long what their child is doing. The Duggars have seen their childrens 1st steps, and do attend to them when they are crying and need their mother. Those are the kids that will grow up to be doctors, lawyers, and those are the kids that I will vote for to become president of the USA. Right now our children are ALL of "our" future. We need to nurture & love them from a young age in order to advance in this world and make progress and a difference. The Duggars have it all over us, and we should look up to them in many ways and make a better world for our children. The Duggars are not perfect, and they have never boasted that they are, nor have they claimed that they are better than us. They have bad days just like we do, the difference is they do not whine or dwell on it. They believe in a higher spirit as we all should. The parents wake up each and every day and embrace the day with Optimism, Confidence, Hopefullness, and Great Expectations for both them and their children along with respsect and they pass that down to the children. They do not tell their children that they can't be this, or they can't be that. Nor do they yell obsenities to their children like I see so many parents do. The proof is in the pudding, ALL the children are happy, well adjusted, well spoken, confident, proud, and have respect for their fellow man. What more can you ask for! WE NEED MORE DUGGAR'S IN OUR WORLD. GO DUGGAR'S! GO DUGGAR'S GO DUGGAR'S.

You are ridiculous....

You are ridiculous....

I was reading your very unfair assessment of the Duggar family this evening, and I had to write and tell you that you don't know what the hell you're talking about! You said that the Duggar children don't have individual attention. I absolutely disagree. Michelle Duggar has become a sought out expert on organization and schedules. The children do have individual time with Mom, they may have to schedule it, but it's there. Michelle also spends time with each child when she teaches them. You said you don't understand how a person can have the emotional/mental/temporal resources to handle such a situation. It's not exactly same, but teachers all over the country have 25 children or more in their classroom, then go home to a house of children. We have to find resources to help us handle our students and children just like Michelle does. YOU may not be able to handle having so many children, but obviously Michelle and Jim Bob have "something" figured out that works for them. Every time I see this family on TV, Michelle ALWAYS has a very calm voice and demeanor about her, and always has a smile on her face. The children seem to be well adjusted and happy. Truly, the things that amazes me about their family are they are not in debt, they are raising very nice, helpful children, they have their priorities in order, and that Michelle and Jim Bob are able to "be together". I think it would be much more irresponsible for Michelle to become pregnant and think that she can use abortions as birth control.
Another thing that really disturbed me about your assessment of this family is that you said, "Family size is directly correlated with lower education and higher rates of deviant behavior by children of these families." Again, I absolutely disagree! Obviously Jim Bob and Michelle are extremely intelligent! Michelle home schools her children and in order to do that, she has to have lesson plans, she has to understand how to teach, and her children have to meet the state requirements in order to graduate to the next grade. I am a teacher and know about the requirements of home schooled children. Did you do any research to support your assessments and opinions? Where are the facts in your article? I would love to see the source that explained how family size is directly correlated with lower education and higher rates of deviant behavior of the children. For example, I am the youngest of five children and my parents are very highly educated. My brothers and I all went to college, one of my brothers is a doctor, one of my brothers is a lawyer, several of us have master's degrees, several of us speak other languages, I play instruments, and we all have traveled all over the world. We may not have 18 children, but a family of 7 is larger than most. I understand that some women on welfare have more children because they receive more money, and I understand that that is not a good situation. The Duggar family is not in that situation. Jim Bob is not in debt nor is the family on welfare.
As a teacher, I see some deviant behavior from children. I witness deviant behavior every day. I could describe several children from different family sizes, different education levels, and different income levels who were out of control. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Columbine) came from educated families and they each had an older brother. Deviant behavior comes from parents who aren't consistent in their discipline (if they discipline at all) and ignore problems.
You said in your article that the girls in the Duggar household only want to be mothers because that is all they know. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE!!!! Obviously you didn't do your research! The girls have many different interests and have many different goals. One of the girls wants to be a midwife. Everybody in the family plays the piano and violin, and some of the children have branched into other instruments like the harp (look at the Duggar website!!!!) Many of the children love to ride horses. It makes me so mad that you not only wrote this article, but you wrote it obviously without doing research! Besides all these FACTS (because I did my research), who are you to judge these girls if they want to be mothers? I personally become very upset because people judge me when I say I don't want to have children. It is not anybody else's place to judge a person for wanting to have children or not have children.
Perhaps you need to look at your assessment and think about the lies you wrote about. Perhaps you need to get in touch with the Duggar family, talk to the children about their hobbies, interests, and goals. Perhaps you need to educate yourself before you make such unfair assessments and not make unfair assessment or judgements.
Thank you for reading my letter.
Jen Gurd

Just wanted to state my OPINION. While I think they are a very organized family and I do believe they love the Lord, I think something is wrong with their placement of the responsibliities of child rearing on the older children. They place all this responsibilty on other children who should be enjoying having a childhood of their own. Ms. Duggar is going to wean the baby then pass it off to another child to be it's buddy??? Does this not sound strange to anyone else? If a school teacher did this because she had so many children in her class she'd be fired for neglecting the child she was PASSING off.Their system works god for them because they HAVE to inlist the help from older kids to care fr the yonger ones, but that doesn't make it right.No way could she tend them all individually. Of course the tenage girls are happy doing what they are told...they have never know any other way. They don't understand that they are not living a normal life. They are going to snap one day, maybe when they each have 10 or 12 of their own, and realize they missed out on life. This is when we wll see the story on the news: "Mother of 12 murders her own children for some peace and quiet." and all will be blamed on her parents for never letting her have a childhood. Geesh....the Duggars have said the Lord blessed THEM with so many kids....THEM being the operative word here....If the Lord gave the kids to THEM....why don't THEY raise them instead of letting the older children do it. Like I said, they all seem so happy....it's because they don't know any other way of life. Everyone needs time alone, not just the parents. I see a ticking time bomb here...one day one of the older kids is gonna explode. I don't remember reading anywhere that Mr. Duggar's name is Abraham!Is he trying to father a nation of his own?

The most disturbing thing is they use some fictional character called Jesus to justify their behavior.

The most disturbing thing is they use some fictional character called Jesus to justify their behavior.

Even Grandpa Duggar wants them to stop. Michelle needs to keep her legs crossed. Jimbob needs to be fixed, hell they both do. They are not raising their children. The teenage girls are raising the younger children. This family is a cult. The kids don't socialize with other kids. The only people they socialize with are people in their church. These kids are being brainwashed. There is nothing wrong with church and God, but this family is in some weird cult. How the hell can they afford that many kids? Many people have a hard time with one or two. They don't even encourage the kids to go to college. How can Michelle teach all those kids at once? They are all in diffrent ages and grade levels. Why do all the kids have to learn piano and violin? Each child is different. Jimbob has a tight grip on this family. He won't even let his wife and daughters cut their hair, because he likes long hair. What a pig! These kids need to be taken away. There is no way that you can give that many children the love and attention they need.

In your post you say that "deviant behavior" is directly correlated with family size. Where in the world did you get that? Look at these children - they are the antithesis of the spoiled, selfish, rebellious, shoot-up-your-classroom American kid. I would love to know where you got that idea from, honestly.

You point out the truth that there is no way two normal adults could possibly take credit for raising 18 happy, healthy children by themselves. They themselves do not take credit for it! They give all the credit to the Lord. It is God's grace and their reliance on Christ to meet the emotional needs that no other person can meet - and the proof is in the pudding. These kids are happier and more well adjusted than 99% of the kids you see in public school from the typical 2 working parents with 2.5 kids American household.

But did God not tell Adam and Eve in Paradise to “be fruitful and become many and fill the earth”? Yes, yet nothing in the Bible shows that we are under that same command today. It seems somewhat contradictory to apply to [billions of] human beings the same formula that was applied to the only two inhabitants of the planet.

Not everything in life can be planned. But would you buy a car or a house without giving serious thought to what is involved? A car or a house can be sold again, but children are not returnable. When planning a pregnancy, then, should not the husband and wife’s ability to provide life’s necessities be considered?

Surely, we would not want our family to be undernourished, nor would we want to be a burden on others. At the same time, besides food and shelter, children need education, moral values, and love.

Couples thinking about having children ought to consider that, as the Bible foretold, we are surrounded by a world filled with crime, famine, war, and economic uncertainty. Genuine love for children will help couples to be realistic regarding the world we live in, appreciating that raising children is in our time a great challenge.

So rather than just letting things happen and having as many children as come along in hopes that everything will turn out right, many prefer to choose how large their family will be so that their children will enjoy a greater measure of happiness and security.

If you are a woman and you look down upon another woman for having a lot of children, you are obviously missing something. Women's God-given role is not to be a man. We are not just a prettier version of men so we do everything they do. We have the ability to have children and be mothers. That is a big responsibility. Our society teaches that children interfere with freedom to party and relax. That is selfish. So many women abort their babies or prevent them from being born so are you really afraid that the world is going to be "overpopulated?" You believe that God made this earth but is like, "Crap, everyone stop reproducing!!!" No. The more you can have, the better. It's a very unselfish thing to give your time and energy so that another human being can live. I do have an issue with making your older children raise the younger. But these children are guaranteed to not go out and do drugs and party and have promiscuous sex all the time. Also, the Duggars are not lustful and sex-crazy! They probably have sex less than most couples cuz she's always pregnant. You women need to re-evaluate your role and realize the good that you are capable of.

I live in TX and homeschooled my only-child daughter. Now why did I have just one child? Because I wanted her to grow up well-adjusted, secure and happy and to be able to go to college for as long as she likes so that she can have choices in her life. Mrs. Duggar obviously does not think these things are important for her children. This morning on The Today Show Mrs. Duggar said that what is important in her family is "obedience". In Homeschooling I met a lot of women like Mrs. Duggar and a lot of controlling Mr. Duggars. They are self-centered, egotistical folk who think the world will be best if they populate it. Why do I care about them? Because they and their litters are taking up too much room. If their offspring were AKC-registered, PETA would be banging on their doors doing a puppy mill report. Instead, because they are human beings, they are being given a TV show. We are such a self-centered species.

Just found this site.

While I will never have as many children as Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, I do have many. When you have a large family like they do, you do have to learn to delegate. Isn't that what we want our children to do in business etc.? Don't we want them to be good with other people, diplomatic? Don't we want them to all be hard working, like we are?

I believe the Duggars are good hard working people. No, not everything can be as peachy as their family is on T.V. and probably they have some really bad days, just like I do. But aren't we all human? Don't we all make mistakes?

As for people "in the know", I'm sure that your life is'nt as ducky as you pretend either. I'm sure we all have skeletons in our closets that people would be just as appauled to find out. But it is just that.... One person has been raised one way and another person is raised with a different set of values and when they cross, each is appauled at the other.

I think our society has degraded over time, to become as pessimistic and degrading as possible. Anyone that finds something that works for them, is automatically scrutinized for being "Different" than everyone else, whether it be Christian, Agnostic or Islamic values, English, Chinese or Russian Values, everyone is suddenly wrong, just for believing differently.

I do believe children need to be children, but to an extent. There have always been boundaries for children.... And there should still be boundaries. But these days, there really aren't any boundaries between children and adults. These days, our governments have given children so many rights, you can't even raise them with standards. If you try, they cry foul, if you don't, they cry foul. Our children are being allowed to "raise" themselves and be the parents instead. Parents have no rights when it comes to their own children any more.

I don't want my children to be spoiled rotten little brats, but at the same time, I don't want them as slaves either. I think that the Duggars have found something that works for them and I wish I could do the same with my own. Until recently, I haven't had my children doing much around the house, but I have become overwhelmed and the only solution has been to have them help me.

My kids have regular chores now, cleaning, laundry, cleaning the cat box, helping with some of the younger siblings while I help the others and yes, I ask for help at dinner time too. These are all tasks, save babysitting, that I had to do when I was younger. I chose to babysit for others and was paid for that. But whatever I did for others, I was always expected to do for my own family, so if I had more siblings, I am sure I would have done that too.

I guess the point I am trying to make, is that if this works for them and the kids are not overburdened, then let it be. I bet they will be more responsible parents than the kids I see down the street or even my own. Frankly, we need more responsible adults.

If they do some of the teaching and some of the educational stuff is together, and it works, then no big deal. I'd rather see my kids at home for school, as I don't think their schooling is always accurate or decent. My children get A's and B's and yet they sound so uneducated and no one is calling them on their grammar at all. It is disturbing.

If they only have each other, 18 kids and counting, that is a lot of kids to play with and converse with.... But honestly, they all have the same values, so they aren't being subjected to as much teasing, foul mouths and bad behavior as when they go to school. My 14 year old went to a school activity / dance the other day and was trying to be friendly with a group of kids, they were nasty to him, I mean, foul and for no really good reason. I was terribly appauled and agast that someone in our small community would treat him or anyone like that.

And shoot, if they do the cooking and cleaning around the house, when they get their own place, I'm sure they will be able to take care of themselves..... hooray for them. I saw they even taught their boys to cook and clean and their girls to work on the cars and house.... OMG that is my dream. I want my boys to not have to rely on a woman to mend their clothes or to clean and cook. I want them to be a help to their wives, should they ever get married. I want my girls to not have to rely on their husbands or boyfriends to help them change their oil or fix the water lines because they keep leaking under the sink. Shoot, they have more freedom that way and both girls and boys can be independent, self reliant.....

As for their dress code..... Well, have you seen the inner city kids? Some large public schools have been instituting dress codes, requiring the public school students to wear uniforms, like the catholic schools have always done. It's so they don't have individuality, because if you are an individual in some schools, it could cost you your life. When we go to work, you are sometimes required to wear a set uniform or dress to a certain code. How are the Duggar kids being misled? It would make my life easier too, as then my kids wouldn't fight over who has the blue shirt, red shirt, levi's or wal-mart special...

Hair? The girls at the Duggars give each other their own perms and cuts. Dang, that would save my family a lot, even with one cut per child that would save my family the cost of my groceries for a week.

Brainwashed? I don't think so, I have listened to the older kids as well as the younger, they have similar thoughts to my own children with similar ages. I had similar thoughts growing up and I had many less siblings..... A lot less siblings.... And the older kids seem to be quite articulate, being able to voice an opinion separate from the others... I heard Michelle tell that the girls wanted to be stay at home mothers, but even she expressed a desire for her daughters to do more and at least one daughter expressed an interest in not having so many children and another said that she wasn't sure. Would the world be such a bad place if more parents stayed home with their children? I think our world might be a better place, if we did spend more time with our children. And regardless if each waking moment was spent with a child, they are still going to do what they want. And also, even if you spend all that time with ALL 18 kids at once, all the kids are going to benefit from that. I have seen it first hand.

Shoot, all said, the only down side, is if they are used to discipline the other kids and I haven't seen that on the program at all. I have seen the parents organizing the kids and directing them to work together. I have seen them give them other tasks because they were upset about things. I have done most of the things they have done, but they do it better. I wish I could be as calm and collected as they are.

I have kids in counselling, not because of me and my husband...... Their counsellors have told me, that in order for me to be a good parent I need to find outlets to help keep me calm. A couple of my kids need a lot of attention, by alot, I mean more than my 2 and 3 year olds together.... Anyways, my point with this part of my post, is that if Michelle needs to sit with friends and talk, OMG, it's not the end of the world. If the older kids or buddies, need to watch the younger kids for a bit, it's still not the end of the world. Adults, with 1 child or 18 need time for themselves, as well as together as a couple. OMG alone time for the parents too? I know, it's sacrilage... OMG, they might copulate, together, a married couple...

I don't remember where I read in the bible, but somewhere, it states, "Go forth and multiply" and "replenish the earth".... What did anyone think that meant? God doesn't put a limit on the blessings or children you may have, people and society do. God had no referrence, that I have seen, about birth control, that is a modern advance.... And yes, you should use restraint, but if you are handling what you have, what is the big deal? Also, you should not have so many so close together, but if you are taking care of yourself and I think Michelle does, and get yourself the medical care you need and I think Michelle does, then what is the big deal? She's not brainwashed, she knows what happens without birth control. In fact, I would say by now she is an expert....

Anyways, before I diversify my rant again, I'd just like to say, that I think the Duggars are an amazing family. I aspire to do as well for my own children as they do. I aspire to have as well rounded, smart children as they do. I aspire to be as calm and collected as they are. I wish that the world would be more accepting of large families like theirs, because at one time, all families were large like theirs and I think we do ourselves and injustice by not having families as large. When you grow up as 1 - 3 kids in a family, you expect a lot more and don't truly appreciate what you have. Honestly, I don't think most people in the world today, know what they have, they never will know.... That is sad. I don't believe working kids to death, like we used to, and some 3rd. world countries still do, but a bit of work never hurt anyone. Kids today feel entitled to sit on their butts and do nothing if they so feel, hence all the obese children and adults we have today.

The Duggars, they know what they have. I wish I had even a small inkling of what they have. You can raise children on a shoestring budget. You can raise them well. But I think they have shown us that in order to do so, you honestly do have to be thrifty and the modern world is anything but thrifty. We are a society that throws EVERYTHING away......

I find it odd that the Duggar parents do not allow their children to watch TV yet they now have their own TV series. I also find it odd that while they allow their children to embrace products of science and technology such as electricity, cars, computers, etc., they are told that the study of the theory of evolution is a fruitless pursuit of enlightenment. Yeah, well, people were once appalled at the prospect of the earth being round! Before the late 1800's, Physicians didn't believe in sanitizing their own hands, before or after surgeries. Or upon making rounds. Ever hear of puerperal fever? It was very common in pregnant women near the end of their terms or after delivery. Symptoms included discharge from pelvic area. Dr's would make rounds in the hospitals, poking a prodding at woman, trying to help them, but at the same time spreading the disease like wild fire simply because they did not wash their hands, and just moved from patient to patient. It just frustrates me that deeply religious people embrace scientific methods, ideals, theories only until it opposes their religion.

I am going to set aside my religious beliefs and my fear that the Duggar's may be building their own Christian army to try and evangelize all of us who are too secular. Instead of focusing on these obvious issues, I will confront the very real environmental harm of having such a large family. From their own website, the estimated amount of diapers used is 90,000. They also do 200 loads of laundry a month. Disposable diapers are one of the least bio-degradable products in existence. Now, I am not condemning anyone who uses them; I am just stating the facts. I am going on a hunch that the Duggars do not spend their money on green cleaning products, so the 200 loads of laundry are releasing god only knows how many chemicals. Now to address the assertion that the United States is not reproducing at a quick enough rate: This problem is more likely in Europe and Japan where fertility rates are leading to negative population growth; however, the United States, where the Duggars live, is the only industrialized nation still growing, which is leading to vanishing open spaces, soil erosion, and water and energy shortages; so while the Duggars may be able to pay their bills, they are using scarce resources and contributing more pollution. One way that overpopulation can be countered- (and overpopulation is in fact the case in our country and the world)-is for families to stop at two children. This would greatly reduce the population problem. Now, I am not aiming this at the families who have three children, four children, or even a couple more. I am DEFINATELY not aiming this at any family with many children who they have adopted, fostered, etc. But 18 biological children is greedy. If this family feels that they are called to raise god's children, why can't they help the millions of children throughout the world who are already here and need a home? My last issue with the Duggar family is one concerning their "buddy system" and the building of their house. In my field of social services, we call the duties the older children have in taking care of the younger children "parentification." And the episode in which the young children all had their own personalized electric drills was not amusing. I would not let my young child use an electric drill if I was able to be towering over him while he used it. I cannot imagine that with eighteen children that the younger ones were incredibly monitored while operating dangerous machinery.

So in conclusion, my main concern is that people are not understanding that just because the Duggars do not live off welfare does not mean they are not an example of extreme environmental negligence. My final word to all the supporters of the Duggar family: Josh (20) and John David (18) are currently running their own car store. Josh's profile says he wants to be an attorney. Is he enrolled in college in addition to running his own business and being given his parent's blessing to go forth and multiply? Can one go to school while raising a family and working a full time job? Sure, but do good parents encourage their children to pursue that type of lifestyle? I think not.

Wow I was searching for their site and yours came up. What a small world you live in to so strongly come out against them. I grew up in a large family and there are many benefits large families have that you couldn't possibly try to recreate in a smaller family. Not that I'm against smaller families I think each situation has it's pluses and minuses and really the differences in the parenting are what creates different ways of thinking,functioning etc.. it's the different outcomes that balances us all. We need each other and our differences it keeps us strong and balanced.

It is so amazing! Marvelous! I liked it.

They're all @#$@#$@#$ nuts.

I just wanted to tell you that I agree with the majority of what you say about the Duggars. When it comes down to it, they are very creepy and so conservative that it enters an entirely different category...they are stuck in a different era. Just the way they all talk is even creepy, wide eyed and non-stop smiles. I guess they think it isn't Christian to show feelings. They honestly don't seem human.

You seem to be getting a lot of flack over posting your thoughts on the subject and I wanted to tell you that there are plenty of people that share the same opinion. :)

Yes, I agree that the "evolution is a lie" bumper sticker is scary. These poor, poor children are being schooled by an ignorant pair of parents. Perhaps that with the education they are undoubtedly receiving (a no-science, all-feeling, hocus-pocus load of crap) maybe we want them to remain in their house forever. I mean, they'll never be of any use to our modern society. IF you don't like it, don't stay in America because the USA is awakening to FACTS that have long been known...facts like, oh, evolution IS A FACT and you cannot dispute it. If you do, just as this family is, you are an idiot. It's that simple.

They are all a team. I think it is great. I see way too much bashing about their religion and size of their family. What if they weren't religious or all the kids went to public school? These kids are very well-rounded. Sheltered? OR LOVED? Pull the beam out of your own eyes before picking at their teeny splinters!

Duggers = Selfish, egocentric, Ignorant and unevolved. Not only is it horific, and in my opinion child abuse to have so many children, but a scourge upon the earth which as humans we are destroying by our unabashed disregard for the fragility of this beautiful planet which was a gift. We are here to be guardians and caretakers of the earth and everyday we corrupt it more by our unconcious and arrogant attitude of self entitlement. The Duggers supreme disregard for anyone's future but their own, is so offensive they should be in jail for what they cause by contributing so abominably to overpopulating this world..

I say shame on them, Like the judge told OJ, they are the epitiome of ignorance, arogance combined...and in my eyes no better than anyone who commits murder for they are murdering our planet.


What is it about the Duggars that frighten people?
Here we have a large family living for God. They have established that large families can support themselves. The family unit taking care of its own. Older children taking care of the younger children. This is not only appropriate but establishes a familial bond.

Responsibility is seriously lacking in today’s society. The “ME” generation has taken over and laid waste to the American way of life.
We see families such as the Duggers and it frightens us. Here is a very large family not only exiting but thriving. The family community cares and nurtures it young. This family forces us to take a hard look at ourselves and a hard look at “responsibility” and we cringe. So instead of cleaning up our own lives we want to attack those who are actually happy.
Is it your hope they will become as miserable as we have become?

God Bless the Duggers and may God bless them with as many children has He wants them to have.

I want to just say that I do admire the parents for having raised so many children yet still be patient and well behaved children. I do also believe that religion should not be used to justify the number of kids they have and to keep having children, and also that they should let their kids be kids and explore other options- let them find things out on their own. I don't know exactly if they are allowed to hang out with friends and go to the movies- but they should not spend so much of their time taking care of their siblings because it's easy for mommy. They should not brain wash their kids of stir them in only one direction as far their religion (commenting on their fieldtrip to that Christian Museum)- they pretty much told the children do not believe in this other nonsense- only believe in the Christian way... I believe that they should be independent and let them have their own thoughts on certain things. Of course the girls want to be a stay at home mom- that's all they're used to. I also wonder- with all their money- why do they have to buy used clothes? I mean I'm sure they get money from being on the show (it's aired on TLC and Discovery Channel)- but all this aside, they are a well behaved and nice family- I mean they live debt free, kids are well behaved, I've never seen the mom yell at any of the kids- house is always clean.... I just hope she stops reproducing to let herself rest, no woman should be pregnant so many times with little to no gap with each kids.

"I don't think the duties of raising children should fall to siblings, which undoubtedly happens in this household. I think children deserve individual attention."

Clearly, your biased views are a product of the contemporary belief that empowering your children is necessary in order to raise strong individuals in society. You cannot be more wrong on this issue. Each child of the Duggar family understands that their parents care very deeply for them and their parents' primary focus is to love and raise each child in the way the see pleasing to God, and frankly, this method seems to be working. Celebrities and wealthy families give an unbelievable amount of "individual attention" to their kids because they usually have 1 or 2 kids, and if you look at the outcome of kids in extremely wealthy homes, you will be surprised to find that many of these children and teenagers resort to drugs, alochol, etc. Now if these kids were raised with such individual attention and freedom, shouldn't the outcome be different? Shouldn't they be strong and well-settled individuals? Why is it that the Duggars are able to have such organized, skilled, loving, caring, obedient kids? This new notion of empowering each child is one of the biggest flukes I have ever heard of, and the results speak for themselves: this new concept is extremely flawed and it tricks millions into actually believing it.

Are you kidding me.
Siblings should not have to help raise the others. SHUT UP. I bet your kids are the spoiled little tards running through the grocery store throwing things at their parents and other shoppers. The problem with people like you is you have forgotten how this country came to be. God forbid they have to share the bathrooms. Jeez. and they worship out of there own home tooo.. omg NO!!!!! WE SHOULD MAKE LAWS AGAINST THIS.


I truly don't know why people are so negative towards the Duggar family. They are functional and very loving. I come from a family of 8, 4 girls and 4 boys. My mother homeschooled for many years and NONE of us have ANY problems with social skills. Large families are not for everyone, but I do believe that if anything we should support loving families such as the Duggars, instead of constantly putting them down. Besides, it's not like they are feeding off of the government or are part of an unhealthy cult that marries their kids off at age eleven. They are once again, Loving and nurturing. It's so easy to judge from afar, so easy to say what does or doesn't need to be done in situations that aren't our own.

Stephanies comment caught my attention.
I'm from a family of 9, and I'm the oldest. I was sheltered from the "world" and had a mile long list of chores. We went to a public school but were always "different" than other kids (long hair and skirts). We were poor but never beggars.

During my high school years I had a teacher who felt that I was getting NO EXPOSURE to the WORLD outside of my family. That there are more things in life then Church and the Bible. I had a lot of "potential" with the world at my feet. Sadly I listened to her.I moved away in search of something exiting and new, ready to embrace the world with all my hart. 8 years later I came back home. I lost my innocence, my purity, my trust in people, my faith in God.
Years have passed and now I am married to a wonderful and hard working man who saved himself for marriage. I am back in church, my faith growing and my hart healing. Sometimes I look in to my husband's pure and honest eyes and wish that I could go back in time when I was 16 and innocent, but nothing can errace my 8 years of Worldly life experience. Now am happy to be a stay at home wife and raise our sons and daughters honest and hardworking, just like my Mother did.

Please don't wish the WORLD EXPERIENCE on any of those children.

How can Duggar supporters be so blind or ignorant, they live like they live BECAUSE they chose to put their lives on display for TLC. Its disgusting to me to think that this lady in the name of god is dropping kids like a bunny rabbit and leaving the raising of the children to the children who will never have their own lives. Its sick.

It's amazing how people say they wonder how can these parents give each of their kids emotional attention......well I know people who grew up being an only child and still didn't get the needed emotional attention from their parents. Look at all the school shootings. Did these kids come from a family of 15 or 20? No but they obviously lacked emtional attention from parents. Futhermore, I can't believe people are so disgusted with this family yet sit and watch all these other trashy reality shows which showcase girls and women in the latest tight jeans with their belly buttons showing and sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harry they see!

If this family were Black, Indian or Asian most people who think the Duggars are so wonderful would be appalled I bet.

It's the fact that we treat our kids like they are the only ones on planet earth that makes them not be able to function in society. They don't have to have everything. If you have ever spent time in a public school you know what I'm talking about. You can tell that most children are not given boundaries and their parents shower them with 'STUFF.' They have no respect for authority, are emotionally disturbed, and cannot get along with their other classmates. The Duggars do not shelter their kids from the outside world, but they take them out into the world & show them different things. Being exposed to pornography, violence and sin does not make our kids smarter. What's with the lady who says she's a Christian and wants her kids to be exposed to that kind of stuff? The Duggars teach their kids to "guard their hearts" There is nothing wrong with keeping your heart and mind pure, being honest, depending on God. Jim Bob & Michelle are both educated, hard working, smart people. And also to the "Christian" lady, don't you think that if God didn't want them to have that many kids, He could have stopped them? They are praying for God's will, and God blesses them with children. Children ARE gifts/blessings from God. He tells us in the bible to "Be fruitful & multiply" not to have a couple kids and stop. God will take care of the kids and them as long as they look to them. God will put as many kids as he wants on this earth and if he wants them to have 18 more kids, then they will. God is alot bigger than Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar's plans, or yours for that matter. Plus, when did God ever tell us to stop being intimate with our husbands?

And I do not think this is brain washing. PLENTY of people home school their kids, even non-christians, who want them away from the influences and meanness of those spoiled kids who cannot cope with the reality that the world doesn't revolve around them. And furthermore, what's wrong with teaching kids to be responsible, humble, honest, hard working, intependent, to love their spouse, not to sleep w/every person in the country, and have 1 person to be committed to for life? Even leaving the Christian part out, I think that's a great way to raise kids to be. Lots of the problems we have created for our kids would be solved. I've never known teaching our kids to be sexually promiscuous and getting STDs, pregnant at young ages, and being divorced multiple times helps them in being a better person.

It is alot of work to raise so many children, but the truth is that is what we (if you are a Christian) are on this Earth for. To be fruitful and multiply. Our uterus' can take it - they are designed that way, unless a person is unhealthy for whatever reason, then they should not go down this road. We have had seven children, last one (#8) miscarried (due to my age). Older children helping out with their younger siblings absolutely causes them to "mature" in the appropriate ways, builds excellent character qualities. Allowing children to be without responsibilities, to "hang out" is self-indulgent resulting in self-centeredness. That is not to say there is a time and place for everything, but the self-indulgence should NOT take a prioritized role in any older child's life. I the Duggars are wonderful and I wish that Jim Bob would again get into the political sphere and run for Senate, Congress...Our current mix of political liberal Mickey Mouse government is not and will NOT work.

Ok, I have to weigh in. I will put it out there and admit: I am a teacher, an atheist (who had a Theology minor) and and only child. I do not think atheism is for everyone. I don't think being an only child was perfect. Ok. Disclaimer over.

That said, as an only child, who was public schooled, I never had a GPA below 3.8. I had good friends and was involved in clubs and sports. Guess what? I volunteer often. I teach in an inner city. I wasn't married the first time I had sex, but I was 21, my partner and I were both tested for disease, and we were monogamous. All my sexual relationships (there have been 3) have been similarly responsible and enjoyable. Also, I can cook, clean, iron, and share and was expected to do so since I was very young. I attribute this not to some hard codified parenting system (of any kind) but to common sense and caring parents.

Parents with love and sense are the bottom line. I think many people on this board are forgetting that it is not a black and white choice. First of all, not all devout Christians are crazy cult leaders. Not all atheists are communist infiltrators who hate believers. Just like there are gradations of faith and tolerance, there is a gradation of ideologies about family. It's not "15 kids and homeschooling Christianity" or "child-hater." You can have successful, unselfish and capable children without subscribing to being a J. Duggar.

I'm sure there are wonderful things about growing up in such a family, even though I, on many personal, local, global, and ethical grounds, disapprove. I'm sure there are often struggles. They knowingly took them on. Until a family member becomes damaged (and that's and if) et's let the Duggars live with both the sorrows and joys.

People are crackpots, I agree with you the Duggars are highly irresponsible and living in a fantasy world that only works because TLC did a show on them and rescued them from financial chaos.

The children are so isolated and never have any real friends besides their parents and other large families that occasionally meet them. I'd hate to live in a family where you're constantly smothered with piety and the obligation to raise your younger siblings because your parents can't be bothered to spend the time as they're out having more kids most likely.

Now they're up to 18!

How about everyone stop criticizing and judging everyone else? Remember the phrase "thou shalt not judge lest ye be judged yourself"? Maybe there's something to that.

They're nuts. Enough said.

One of the reasons why immigration is encouraged is because the "typical" American family only produces one or two children. Most immigrants - legal or not - come from countries that tend to have more children. Those countries that have a low per capita birth rate are dying. We need a growing population of the young in order to support the aging population of our country. Look at what is happening to Social Security and Medicare.

Looking at things this way, you could say that the Duggars are doing their patriotic duty!

I get offended by the comments about jelaousy and mind your own business ,have more children . When did children become numbers? I never picked to marry at 28 If I had my way it would be much sooner but waiting helped me. It isnt my choice to be without children. No I will never have a Quiver full or maybe none at all. so what Im no less of person. Christians know God loves everyone and not just large families, yes,even Dog the Bounty Hunter which I like. Why praise the Duggars and slam Dog? the same principal apply. I would perhaps get along better with him anyway. They arent perfect either. Just because they look rough around the edges dont make them less of a Christian. Dont judge until you walk a mile in their mocassins. And I think Duggars and others like them make a choice based on resources rather than religion. As one poster states, many do not have the means necesaary.

Doing patriotic duty is putting all the child molesters in jail or giving to the poor. People use excuses for everything these days. Women are no longer bound to be mothers and even wives. That should be a conscious choice We got a right to be religious or not, marry o not , have kids or not.It shouldnt be enforce dby someone else. I use to want a big family until I grew some common sense and become older. Families of 15 kids are no less improtant than 1 or 2.If any young people believe 18 is a great idea, think twice.

Why are so many concerned for the children? Because they are not bombarded with all of the crap that society has to offer? I do not understand why some are so angry at this family. It is ironic that the one's that are so angry at this family for teaching their children morals and conservative beliefs are most likely the same one's who preach being OPEN-MINDED. Can we say HYPROCRITES? I, personally, admire this family and do not feel bad at all for the girls. They are learning to do what God intended them to do. I find it funny that some "HOPE THEY KNOW WHAT THE WORLD OFFERS WOMEN THESE DAYS." WHAT? STD's, unplanned pregnancy, drug abuse, men that view women only as a sex object, media that glorifies men being pigs and not honest, loyal respectable men, media that glorifies women being sluts and abandoning their families? If these girls continue to live the life they are living, they will marry husbands who are dedicated to God and family and do not lust over other women, they will have children who are obedient and happy and act as children should (playing and not growing up too fast) among many other treasures that sooo many women desire but never obtain.

Writer, you just don't want to admit That Mr. and Mrs. Duggar are awesome!!!!! Especially if they are compared to Kate plus eight!!! Just keep your big fat mouth shut and try and learn from them!!!

I totally agree. Though now the Duggars are up to 18 kids and the oldest son is married wit ha daughter on the way,there is no way all the kids get the emotional attention needed in that family. The older kids should be applying to higher education schools but instead stay home to be mini mommies and daddies until they too find a spouse, get married, and have kids. I'm sure the Duggar girls could be amazing at whatever they pursue if given the chance to do so. Jim Bob and Michelle have talked about what there kids want to do with there lives as have the kids but none of the older kids have made any moves and the parents aren't all the supportive.

I thank the Duggar family for not opposing Gods will, artificial contraception is intrinsically evil, whilst the Catholic Church allows natural methods to space out children, it does not permit its members to deliberately stop life from coming forth.
In this oh so modern educated world, we are led to believe that people with big famiies are somewhat lacking in education, and are ridiculed. The truth is that allowing God to run your life is the most educated, intelligent thing you could ever do. Worldly wisdom is wholly corrupted, so you should at all cost avoid it like the plague.

Uh, so God gave women breasts that lactate and apparently didn't want them used for feeding their babies? If Michelle was breastfeeding for more than the minimal amount of time (if at all), she wouldn't be getting pregnant so often. By "wordly wisdom" do you mean science and technology, which have come out of the 'world'? If so, I hope you don't value the doctors that cure your sickness, technology that allows you to have light after darkness and oh, btw... you ARE on the computer aren't you, since you are posting to my blog? Hmm.. sounds like hypocrite is word you might want to look up.

My parents had eleven children. That's not as many as the Duggars, but it's a lot. We all felt loved. And I think it is a blessing to have so many sisters and brothers to count on in life. I'm never afraid of being without, because I have so much family support. And the holidays are always wonderful!

well the show is called 18 kids and counting since number nineteen is in the "oven". I'm glad I am not the only one that sees the good and the bad of this...set up? I watched this show for the first time the other day and was... weirded out to put it simply. If people want to have children great, all the power to them. If they don't same goes (all the power to them!)But if they don't want to stop having them and be the parent raising them (not letting there older kids do it) than there's a problem. I know someone with 4 kids, not much compared to 18+ but enough, by my standards. The oldest is 14 and his closest sibling is 5 then 4 then 1. Once his sister was old enough to walk, Often and many responsiblities fell on his shoulders... if she tripped and fell "why weren't you watching her?!" would be the scold...
God is great, god is good. But I don't for a second think he said overpopulate this amazing planet that I gave you and treat it like garbage. I think he'd say be responsible and take care of it. I don't think 18 kids x 3 yrs/kid x 5 (average)diapers a day = love of god or planet. SO many diapers in a landfill! SO many other things (green, eco..) I don't have enough space to get into.
The world is big and beautiful for a reason, to SEE IT! This show needs a shake things up. Send off the older girls to Europe for a couple of weeks to see the sights meet people, live! And send the older Boys off to... Peru to climb the Andes, Argentina to learn the Tango ('cuz there's nothing worng with dancing, actually it's RIGHT! It's a great expression of life and they're against that???? WHAT??) And they can come home men! Or maybe some might not come home maybe they'd decided to stay a while and learn and see more.

And all the while Momma and Poppa can stay home and raise their babies. And hopefully the older ones would come home and say "I don't want to be a stay at home mom, I want to be an archologist!... or I don't want to just be a father I want to be a Eco Tour Guide!" Whatever, out of the bubble, individuals, all 18 of them! Then their parents could be SO proud!
or they might not like the real world and come home to what they know and that's it... who knows. But even if one, just ONE of those kids lives changed 180 degrees, well then it would be worth it!

How did they ever support their family?? I never heard of any careers they had, well he had, she's to busy pumping out babies. I mean they support them now through the "evils" of TV but... yeah...

I think that personal one on one attention would be lacking. But they arent in debt, they arent living off of the system, they are happy and all that other good stuff because they are extremely religious. I think that instead of judging them more people should be like them. I wouldnt personally have that many children but the values they instill in their children, and the responsibility are a good thing. Those without sin cast the first stone. Dont judge them!!! How they live their lives doesnt make one bit of difference to yours. Get a life!

what if she died giving birth to number 19??

how about encouraging their kids to do better then they ever did! Become Doctors, save lives. Scientists, cure cancer or solve the worlds climate crisis. Save an endangered species. Save the world they helped over populate... be bigger than themselves.....

This is a family that could not survive except in the context of the world around it. Modern technology brought about by people who were taught critical thinking , creativity, and problem solving skills has made it possible for the Duggar's to thrive.

i thought i'd share some thoughts about what growing up was like for me in an abnormally sheltered environment. i am one of 3 kids. we grew up being expected to share our parents beliefs, hands down. example: i was interested in animal rights and vegetarianism but parents would not support those beliefs. i would be saying things a lot that i probably didn't actually believe or agree with but "had" to say b/c those were my parents beliefs, and fear of being in trouble for not sharing their beleifs. the frustration was so strong (no "permission" to be an individual)....in my later teen years i rebelled big time, became agnostic leaning toward athiest....eventually decided to come to God but want to do that in my own way. and....im a vegetarian.

I think that it is quite sad that someone like you can so quickly cast judgement on a family from a taping that was meant to pick and choose entertaining moments for a mianstream viewing community. Whatever your individual opinion is on this families religion or choice in having a large family I think it is fair to say that they are happy, healthy, and all feel loved. Your joke about "clean underwear", although you may feel it was witty, is exactly what sperates this family. Do you notice that those children don't care about individual possesions? How hard is it for an American family to bring children up to share and not base their lives on material objectives? The Duggars must be doing something right.
You state:"which apparently means women are meant to squeeze out as many babies as the lord allows them- and not seek to waste their precious resources doing good and effecting change in the world by becoming more than a baby factory"
I am not certain what you feel is worthy of doing more than making babies but these children(girls INCLUDED) have the opportunities to travel to less fortunate countries all around the world where they do community service. They give their time, money, and hearts to people all around the world who need it most. I would hope you would agree with me on my feelings that that is a strong way of creating good and change in the world. Id maybe consider looking in the mirror and think about what your pointless blogging is doing to change the world...zero, besides possibly adding more negativity.

"[The girls should] not seek to waste their precious resources doing good and effecting change in the world by becoming more than a baby factory".

Would you say the same HORRIBLE thing to a stay at home mom with a smaller family: that she's wasting her resources giving birth to and raising her children?

They are kind, loving parents that are doing the best for their family. Instead of criticizing them, we should be thanking them for raising self-less, responsible children that will try to better the world.

Overpopulation=distruction. Did anyone see WALL-E??

Seriously, we will in the end ruin for humankind and animalkind (hopefully) get back what was theirs to begin with..a planet without guns, bombs and crazy glue.

A green planet full of animals and clean water.

I think having all those kids is actually not the issue. Large families tend to thrive. No, the problem with this family is the creepy Christian wholesomeness that is being foisted upon the public. Truth be told, speaking purely statistically, one of those children will end up gay, one addicted, one will have emotional problems/borderline personality - and then we will see some good television as their phone Christian values paradigm collapses in the wind.

This family is pretty horrific as are a lot of the comments posted here praising the horror. And those poor brainwashed children. Nothing about this lifestyle choice praises God, it merely makes Jesus weep for the children involved.

While I am a firm believer that each child is a blessing, I definitely do not support or praise the parents for what they are doing. Personally I think not only is it selfish of them to keep having all these kids and exploiting them through reality tv, but it is also irresponsible. I don't care how great a uterus she has or what she's doing to keep it from falling out,it can be life threatening to not only herself but any future child she has. The uterus is a muscle and when it is continuously stretched out, it loses its tone. A stretched out uterus can not contract well, which can cause issues during all stages of labor. She might have trouble pushing the next baby down and out, or the baby might just fall out (precipitous birth). Either way, babies need that pressure of the contractions and pushing to help them clear their lungs so they can breathe outside the womb. But wait there's more! She could always hemorrhage/ bleed out and die from not contracting! (Although, in that situation I suspect she would be made a martyr by all their followers) Also, the older children have been forced to grow up early to take care of their younger siblings. I understand that some people are against birth control, but there is such a thing called, Natural Family Planning. (A completely natural way to avoid or accomplish conception using the physical means God gave us. basically: don't have sex when she's fertile!) As for people saying they have the perfect happy little family, don't believe everything you see on tv. Only 25% of all filmed footage is actually aired. The audience only sees what the gatekeepers of the production want them to see.

So I say, THANK YOU for writing this blog!

I don't like that they don't have to pay property taxes because their home is a 'church', and any furniture, ect. can be written off as well. They didn't seem all that well off before their television show (which by having is hypocritical in my opinion), living out of a small home with two bathrooms and 15 kids at the time.

Well I started reading some posts and what bothers me isn't that the Duggars have 19 kids that they are able to love and provide for....it's that there are a multitude of people calling themselves Christians who can't seem to get enough of criticizing the Duggars. I grew up in a Christian home where I was taught to love and respect others around me, and not to find fault with them. I was taught to be tolerant of other people and their differences/beliefs, even if they differed from my own...just because someone is richer/poorer, has more/less children, is Baptist, Protestant, Catholic, whatever....they are deserving of respect. That being said, if I start putting down / bashing someone's faith/belief/value system, family size, etc...am I really being Christian? I don't think so. So if you call yourself Christian with all the good things you were taught about respect and so on, what's with the posting all the negative stuff about the Duggars? Just curious.....

Too bad god did not tell them to adopt.

I am a childfree singleton. I agree with you regarding the Duggars No parent in his/her right mind would have more than two children. Children are valuable resources who needs lots of attention and love to thrive. Parents who have more than five children have the oldest/older siblings raise the younger ones. Parents in large families are not parents but delegators. They just incessantly breed and let the oldest child raise them.

Most children growing up in large families hate it. Oh, they put up an act to outsiders stating "how happy they were to grow up in a large family" but look beyond the surface and they are very unhappy. They hated it with a passion. Many children from large families are envious of children from small families because they have more economic, educational, and cultural advantages that they, who are from large families, could ever dream of. Amen!

Mary said: "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."

Okay, I have plenty of concerns about the Duggars but this is the weirdest, most faulty logic I have ever seen. Do you think most married couples have had sex less than 16 times over 15-20 years? We have no way of knowing how often they have sex but it's safe to say that in any normal marriage, sex is a regular activity that most of the time does not produce a baby. Again, wow.

But I completely agree with most of you that this lifestyle is just not fair to the older girls. In addition to having no childhood and constantly being in charge of younger siblings, they are not supposed to go to college and they only believe in a few career choices for women, that are children-oriented and don't put women in the "horrible" danger of being in a position of authority over a man. Also, say goodbye to your career when you're married, if you even have one. Jana is 20 and there has never been any discussion of a job. Also, she had to ask for permission to go on a mission trip, and the answer was yes, but only if her brother went along to chaperone.

It was a great point that someone said, what would Michelle have done if her first six children were boys (later on she DID have six boys in a row, but they're all little.) It goes against their beliefs to have older boys taking much of a role in childcare, so by the time she got to 12 or 13 kids, she would have no older girls to run the household like she does now. Interesting question.

As a teacher and parent, I have to say that nothing makes me happier than to have a well adjusted child in my classroom. I have too many kids addicted to video games, TV, their cell phones and I-pods and I only teach 4th grade. 4th graders with foul language and bad manners to boot.

It is our job to raise children to be future adults. My children are already well aware that I will not cook their meals and do their laundry for them when they are 16, 17, or 18 years old. Why do we think it is such a problem to raise children to be self sufficient and independent?

No matter what happens "career wise" in our lives we still have regular daily commitments to attend to. Unless you have some one cooking your meals and cleaning your house for you, eventually you realize that SOMEBODY has to clean and cook.

I had a roommate in college whose mother drove 2 hours to clean up her room and do her laundry. She was a disgusting little pig. She had no understanding that she has to clean up her own mess. Do you think Michelle Duggar is going to have to do that for her children?

It is quite apparent that the Duggar children travel to 3rd world countries. The girls learn how to do oil changes and mow the lawn just like the boys learn to cook and clean. Put your kid up against any of the Duggar kids in a race for survival and your kid will be crying because they can't call their mommy. And, I know that kids cry for their mommy or fake stomach aches to get out of cleaning up because they do it in my classroom. I have had parents threaten me over it.

It is not an antiquated idea for us to teach our children that the lawn has to be mowed, that dinner has to be cooked, that laundry has to be washed, dried, and ironed, dishes washed, house clean & tidy. I think I am fine seeing the Duggars with all those people in their CLEAN house than watching a lazy family of 4 hoarding JUNK piled to the ceiling on Clean House or Hoarders.

We have a nation full of lazy freeloaders who cry when they have to wipe their own butt and don't get their welfare check on time. So, let's put the Duggars under a microscope to find all things they are "doing wrong", while teachers like me try to teach other people's children how to say please & thank you, how to be respectful of others, sharing classroom responsibilities, when I should be teaching them reading, writing, and arithmetic. I am sure I'd never hear Michelle Duggar tell me that her "child is not in my classroom to be a slave and clean up their own mess. After all don't our tax dollars pay for janitors?" I feel way more sorry for people like that and ask myself why are these people allowed to have or even raise future adults.

I could see if the children were starved, unhealthy, depressed, suicidal, introverted, or resentful. BUT they are not.

Octomom has 10 children. She lives on Government assistance and is a HORRIBLE mother to those babies. All because she wanted to break a record. Yeah, that's a reason to get pregnant. She has no real plan for their livelihood once they were born either. She sells their photos to tabloids for money. She's a real winner. Who's exploiting children?

There have been so many posts on here, just really amazed at all the christians pointing their fingers & rude comments instead of looking towards God for their own guidence. Our jobs as christians is to love & support all others.


Duggar family has given birth to the 19th child in the family. As per latest news both, the mother and child are healthy and safe. You have discussed an very obvious point about how it is necessary for the youngsters to be more independent and self employed.

I recently started watching the Duggars, just this past year, and am very impressed with them. As an Independant Fundamental Baptist myself, I understand that God is in control of our lives. They have done what seems to be a great job, with children that have been in the spotlight for years. They all seem to be well grounded, despite the cameras everywhere. For all the people who want to criticize, have you looked at your life lately? Are you doing ANYTHING for God? Are you even obeying God? Row your own boat, folks, and stay out of theirs!

The Duggar family religion is Independent Baptists. They watch TV but not a lot, and they do have a computer. I know this because they have said so themselves.

There are cultures all over the world, past and present, that leave the raising of the younger children to the older ones once the little ones are weaned. We must be careful (or at least aware) of being too ethnocentric in forming these opinions of right/wrong.

I love the Duggars and think that if the way they chose to live and run their household works for them more Power to them. I've Never watched an episode where the children looked horribly unhappy. Trust me if those kids were mistreated it would show camera or not. She seems to be a very good mom and takes pride in her role of being a good parent. As for her older daughters yes they help but if you notice they All pitch in as a family to help what's wrong with pulling your own weight. If more people had much of the same values as the Duggars do this world would be a much nicer place to live. I don't believe having that many children is for everyone not everyone is Michelle Duggar. The kids are very respectful caring polite and willing to go the extra mile to help out others. The world needs more people like them. So many people criticize them but what's so awesome is you can actually feel the love this family has for the Lord and others. A truly Genuine Christian family that walks it talks it and breaths it. Hands down. God Bless the Duggars

I only read a few at the top and then a few at the bottom but I have to agree with the last post, I don't necessarily agree with all of their beliefs but then again I don't agree with some of the beliefs of my own best friends or my family. That being said you have to give them credit where it's due, they aren't critical of other's beliefs, they aren't loafing off of an already overcrowded social and governmental system, and they actually have the guts to act out what they believe. You don't have to agree with them but I do think the comments about them being a cult etc. is unfair because they do encourage their children (male and female) to learn a variety of skills and to be able to provide for themselves and their families. Have any of the critics watched at least a season of their show or read their two books? They explain a lot more of the "myths" including how they really do spend time with each of their children, how they build a close family and teach each of their children to be honest productive and responsible. They also talk about the things they struggle with and that they never expect their kids to be perfect. I do understand the confusion of their beliefs about dating and gender identity because it is very different than the mainstream culture but I also think that most of the comments just highlight the poster's ignorance and bigotry and spur a hateful cycle. Regardless of anyone's personal belief on religion, or families, or fashion etc. I don't think it's fair to bash a family that is choosing to live according to their beliefs ... which since they live in America they are entitled to and it's not hurting anyone else. Ultimately I think this argument is more about at what point does someone else have the right to dictate another person's beliefs. I think everyone can learn from people who are different and that these negative posters that are spending so much time criticizing them and take a few moments to take something away. No one is asking you to make the same choices they did (they are pretty aware that other people don't think the same way and yet, they embrace people for who they are and where they are), no one is even asking you to agree but so much of this posting is appalling to read because it's so mean and based on assumptions.

Omg it makes me sick to see so many comments commending the way they live. All you do is have to watch one episode and you can see they are crazy!! They aren't part of the real world. They basically have their own little state the way she is shooting out kids from her uterus. And let me tell you it is a dictatorship. They have basically brainwashed their children, all that spews out of their mouths is what their parents say. They have a huge lists of don'ts and that's not what life should be about. Also did you know that God made us *gasp* naked, so why would he care what we wear? I don't remember the verse in the bible that says "though shalt wear long dresses and men shall not bare their legs." And also I think it's terrible that they are exploiting their children on television like that. It's like hey TLC look I have all these kids give us money!!!!! They don't know that there is more than one definition of modesty I guess. Or maybe they just want the money because they know they are not able to support all of those kids well enough. And I hate Jim Bob, he is a horrible sexist man. He states, 'my sons can become doctors, lawyers, etc.. and my daughters can become nurses, secretaries, and mothers.' WOW..... What if maybe a girl wanted to be a doctor. Hmmm and I thought it was the 21st century. I feel like he also makes Michelle have these babies over and over... Or maybe he brainwashed her. All I'm saying is you can have a happy and religious family without being super controlling and guess what? Your kids will turn out just fine :)

I've watched the show off and on for several years. My worries are the lack of accountability in their "church." They don't have to go to a huge church, but it is healthy to have others to keep you accountable, no matter what your religion. And I would like to see the children have more life experience, especially seeing as the family has the financial means to give the children chances to go make friends outside of their large family and one other large family.

I mean no disrespect and I am a christian as well. But I also know that when enough is enough. There are children out there who need love and attention.Children that need to be adopted. The duggers have all the money in the world that people wish that they could make but we cannot because of the disruptive and unorganized economy. We have enough kids on our planet earth. What makes the kids that need to be adopted any less important? I am not a mother. I am a high school student.Kids are blessings but there are ways to stop conceiving them. I am not talking about abortions. I do not believe in those. I am talking about sterilizations or contraceptives.I mean remember Josie Duggar. she was a victim of her mother's illness preclampsia. I am worried about baby #20.I am entitled to my opinion and again I mean no disrespect. I just wish people know when to stop. Thank you and have a blessed life.

We can say and ask a lots of question about this family. And we can debate this forever. I must thank the parents for doing a marvelous job. They look a lovely and healthy bunch. What families need today is good values,christian values.This rights we have now days are the ones corrupting children's minds. Spoiling them rotten. Look around you, all the bad and dangerous things that our young ones are getting involved in, even killing.Only with lOVE CAN ONE ACHIEVE THS.God is love. Love lasts forever.
God bless this family.

She is now on number#20!!!!!! I agree wholeheartedly with the woman who started this whole dialogue. When will she finally stop having babies???? Enough already!!!!

Maybe Michelle should spend more time on her feet than on her back. Perhaps then, the kids can actually be kids and not act as the parents.

I come from a family of five children, and yes, I learned to cook, sew, and bake. Not my best talents, perhaps. But I did not, could not, have learned anything without my mother's patient guidance. She learned these things out of enjoyment, and now has taught my sisgters and some of the grandchildren. That is how you "spend time" with chilcren.

I wonder if the children read anything outside of schooling and the Bible. I doubt they've read Harry Potter. Murder mysteries? Fairy tales? History? Do they have time? I have been a bookworm since the age of four. I don't have time to watch these Duggars on TV.

The Bible says much more than "be fruitful and multiply". (Oh, and "The devil can quote Scripture for his pureposes"--"The Merchant of Venice.") It also says "Love the Lord your God with your heart and your whold and your whole MIND." As for the silliness about wearing long hair, I cut mine forty years ago. I couldn't go back to it if I tried.

Hi Ladies...I am a critical thinking professor, former city planner specializing in law enforcement, and I possess an MBA. My children have attended public school (9 years) while I stayed home in the early years; and while I worked. Last year we homeschooled due to extensive travel for my husband's work. This is just a little background so that you know why I believe I have a balanced perspective. I did not begin homeschooling or staying home to hide my children from the world, force my values (remember, I value critical thought...). However, I simply cannot fathom why you believe your assertions to be true, dear author!

I don't know the Duggars, and neither do you, but we base our opinions on what they have permitted us to observe. I'm simply asking you to think about these assertions:

- A lifetime of pregnancy is not healthy. Says who? If so, why are our bodies designed to carry healthy babies to term over a course of 20 years? I realize that women's bodies are secondary to survivival of the species and many may believe that is why we can perform this miracle year after year, but I ask you to consider the reality that with modern health care and minimal intervention, it can be done. Michelle has had one (1!) scare. Many women suffer the loss of a baby in first or second pregnancies, so you cannot correlate the this to your theory.

So where does this come from? Why do you believe what you believe?

- The children should not be asked to help parent.

Perhaps we should define parenting. I believe what you call parenting (fixing a meal for the family, for instance) would simply be called "helping" in many families. I have three children, and my 13 year old is learning to cook and likes to help in this way. I understand that the Duggar girls aren't doing this for enrichment, but there is nothing twisted or sad about teaching these values. It is only in the last 100 years that our culture has shifted to the mindset that children have no role in daily family life outside of play.

I also ask you to observe children who do not have more than a sibling or two. Children who go to school from 8 to 3 and do homework until around 4. They work a full workday! They too are asked to work very hard, the same hours I work at my municipality...without a paycheck! Tell us how this is better?

Again, why do you believe what you believe about this? Who and what formed your own worldview, and why are you certain it is true?

I had a very fulfilling career, and will again. I have the advantages of a good education and grew up in a feminist home. I have to say, in my world, most of the promises of this reality are a lie. I am far more fufilled in this role as home educator, and full time mom, part time faculty. It is a reality I did not expect.

Lastly, why are we pro reproductive choice when it comes to limiting life, but not when it comes to creating life? Why is life the source of your disgust and concern? HOw can this be as disturbing to us as the murder of our preborn babies? Yet, it is.

I respect your right and desire to voice your concerns in a public forum, but can you defend them with logic and facts that come from opposing viewpoints?

Or, are they simply opinions? If so, I encourage you all to ask if you have experienced this, if you have studied it, or if you are buying into the lies our culture presents women - that conservative values, modesty, simplicity and work are dangerous and appalling?

As a liberal, educated woman, I do not share the Duggars lifestyle but I hate to see sisters who do not think critically before making up their mind on such important issues as life, childhood and family. THINK, nation!

Parents must sign their children up for art classes, 4-H, and rec sports? Must?? They are good, certainly, but not as good as club sports. Where is our criticism for parents who can't afford club sports or are not in a community where they exist...ahh...they do not exist because that is silly. Yet, the children in rec are at a disadvantage when it comes to college recruiting and often, competition. That is a reality we accept, so why not accept the Duggars reality and be glad it is not your own?

Where are our criticisms for the parents who drag children from activity to activity after school and on weekends in pursuit of the holy grail of "well-roundednes" ? I hear none. Though this clearly eliminates the time and space needed for developing natural talents, imagination and complex thought. Where are the blogs of concern over this?

Lastly, the Duggar kids play with friends outside the home all the time, based on what we see on TV.

They appear to use a language arts program from Switched on Schoolhouse, rather than "ma Duggar". I think this is wise. I have lived in Germany and Italy, and I can speak a couple of languages, but not well enough to teach with excellence. I use Rosetta Stone. Does this make me irresponsible, using the top language program in the world?
How many languages does your child speak?
I'm willing to guess they speak Spanish, perhaps, French or German, taught by a teacher who has only visited the country on vacation. That is good, but the reality is this: if your child is getting any second language, they are receiving more than most children in many public schools in the nation. Another reality we all accept.

So why the concern for these 19 children with two parents, a roof over their head, food to eat, and love? Let's get off the blogs and get to work making real change! How can we help the children without parents, without a home, without enough to eat, and without love? Our concern should be for them! They exist. They exist right in your city. At the end of the day, what are we doing for those in need? Those who really need our help - the Duggars don't need us:)

I Do not know where this thread has led but I do want to say that I agree with you! I read some posts that said that to disagre with the Duggars is anti Christan. I am a Christan and I totaly disagree with that.

My thought in this whole thing is...Why would you not want to get to know your kids. I have two kids, one for each hand. I know and I love them both. Between my husband and I we give them good quality time!

As far as the good behavior of all of the kids, they have 21 ways to hid it from the cameras!

What have gays done to incur the wrath of Jim Bob? People are born gay; the Lord made them that way. I would sooner trust my son on a camping trip with the average gay man than I would with some of the scary "youth pastors" I've met.
The Bible has passages condemning men who have sex with other men (lesbians appear to get a pass) but it also condemns wearing clothes made of more than one kind of fiber, eating lobster, and purchasing anything on the Sabbath.
People need to be more tolerant and to use the brains God gave them instead of parroting some power-hungry homophobe behind the pulpit of a mega church.

I've had 8 children. Two of them were planned. The others were a surprised but even more cherished. Each one is an individual with dreams of their own.

My husband and I work everyday to support these children. I struggle to put food on the table, but when I do, its appreciated.

The only thing I resent about the Duggars is the way they exploit and control the kids. Sure, they're out of debt because they're being paid to flaunt their crew. They wouldn't get a dime if they had the standard 2.3 kids mainstream Americans have. They show them off like pet poodles. I wonder what the driving force really is behind their big family. On their shows, the Duggars brag about their parenting and coping skills. Seems to me that it isn't God who is getting the glory for this large family. It's all for the glory of Jim Bob.

They're raising their daughters to be mindless breeders and labeling it to be "christian values". It's not necessary to have 20 kids now a days in fact it's irresponsible because of over population. I think that the kids are only "happy" because a camera is shoved in their face 24/7, behind the cameras they are probably miserable. In 20 years one or some of them will end up with serious problems.

There are a whole lot of opinions out here about the Duggers.

A whole lot of people will look stupid in 20 years.

The jury is out until then, but my guess is that none of their kids will be living at home, unemployeed, bankrupt, or pregnant with boyfriends baby. These kids are acquiring usable knowledge at a rate uncomparable to normal kids.

I am looking forward to comparing my child success rate and Kate Gosselins eight kids to my own. I think Michelle will make us all look like stupid parents.

P.S. The calm authority by the parents is the opposite of normal. Normal kids in 2012 are not successful.

For some reason I clicked on this link that brought me to this blog....I must say that I can not believe the Arrogance of some of you that think and only believe that only Poor People have Many Many Children.

I recently wrote a book titled: "A Life of Significance" by Carmella Walters where 3 of the many stories contained within the pages are of a family with 15 children, natural and adopted, and the Dad was just listed on the Forbes Top 100 list in July of 2011 of Billionaires.

And I know what you are probably thinking...they either won the lottery or they came from old money. The Fact of the matter is neither of these was the issue. The made their wealth the old fashion way, They started a business and EARNED it!

So the next time that you think that large families are only Poor FAMILIES read my book again, to gain some much needed perspective. And remember Children are a blessing of the Lord, and Happy is He who has a quiver full of them (Psalms 127:3-5)

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!).

Okay - there seem to be a lot of misconceptions here. The Duggars follow the Gothard teachings. This doctrine teaches that a child showing any emotion other than happiness is an affront to the lord, and suggests punishing the child physically. Blanket training has been described by psychologists as abuse.

The Duggars are worse than the Westboro Baptist Church in some respects. Both isolate, home school/church and indoctrinate their children, as well as keeping them busy and exhausted (all hallmarks of cults) but at least the WBC let their children go to college.

That bizarre and twisted family is composed of nurses, doctors, lawyers, many female. If a female of the WBC decided to be a home-maker, that would be a choice.

'Deciding' to be a home maker in the Duggar family, when your other 'choice' is ostracism and the certain knowledge that you are going to hell because you are not following 'God's plan' (as prescribed by one, narrow and abusive movement) is not a choice.

If your choice is to a) marry a man your father picks for you or b)strike out on your own with no qualifications or connections, how is that a choice?

In addition to that, Michelle Duggar could well die. Doctors have begged her to stop birthing because her health cannot stand it. You can say it is her choice and it is - but she would leave behind a lot of mourners. She is also teaching her daughters that their life and health is meaningless, in comparison to compulsive childbirth.

And before anyone talks about respect and choice, I utterly respect her right to have a choice. I don't have to respect the choice itself, or the damage that choice causes. I don't need to respect the fact that she is ruining her daughters lives and following a man so twisted that there are whole organisations dedicated to supporting and counselling people who have been raised according to Gothard's principles.

Oh, and overpopulation is only up for debate in the same way that evolution is up for debate, i.e. it's not, but certain groups like to pretend it is. Yes, we have enough room for everyone. No, we do not have enough resources.

Mary Calvin and to all others who say you are also christian as am I just remember only GOD can judge and will it seems a few of us should do a little more bible study and a little less gossip and ask your self what would the lord think of the duggars and then what would he think of your complaints of them ?

I ha dnever heard of the Duggars at the time of this article but I know who they are now what they belive. A poster named Joanne way back a few years ago on this thread mentioned they live n an immaculate house mortgage free. joanne dear if you arestill around they lived in a 900 sqft home before TLC came knocking and finished the house for them. They even wote a whole chapter about it in their first book.It is easy to be calm with so many chldren when you older girls do a majority of work.THe boys seldom seem to do anything. TLC tried to refute this hopelessly with an episode showing them swapping jurisdictions. Yes chores are needed but withou robbing children of the childhood or as a way for momy and daddy to be lazy. Parents of two do what parents are suppose to and take care of the kids. It is easy to be mortgage free and not on welfare when when you use other people's money and resources. Otherwise, Jim Bob would have paid out the yeng yang to build that house. They admited themslves in getting donations from their church. Just because larger families work for some not justify them. Paying for college tuition for one or two is a struggle let alone 6 or more. How do I know a relative didn't pay for their college or the kid got a scholarhsip? Nothing personal against them but what you see on TV is not reality. Atomique chicque explained the core of their beliefs. If no one bothers to research, it is their problem not mine. Maybe they would rather criticize others for stating facts. I use to be afan too until my eyes were opened.

"It is quite apparent that the Duggar children travel to 3rd world countries. The girls learn how to do oil changes and mow the lawn just like the boys learn to cook and clean. Put your kid up against any of the Duggar kids in a race for survival and your kid will be crying because they can't call their mommy."
As I said in my last comment that was hopeless attempt to squash critics by TLC. No it is the Duggar kids who will not have teh skills to survive. True the not have kids out of wedlock or do drugs but it is because tye are kept under constant monitor.
Premature Josie got sick in Israel. This is not saying to keep them in all the time but a premture baby like Josie traveling so far is stressful. Then she got sick while jim bob and Michelle were in Ecuador. How is this a role model?

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