What the Duggars Are Doing Wrong article

Karissa - posted on 04/13/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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I wake up this morning at 9:44 and get the baby. We sit in our chair in front of the computer and I go onto Google Chrome. My homepage is msn.com and the first little thing that pops up is an article called "What the Duggars Are Doing Wrong". Now as a fan of the Duggars and their show I felt the need to read the article. I was amazed at how judgmental the author, Allison McDowell Enstrom, was.

http://tv.msn.com/mom-pop-culture/what-t...

First things first....the Duggars have 19 children. 19 isn't the number I have in my head when I think of my future children. So far the 1 I have is enough for me. That's not to say that people should only have 1 child. Most parents go into worry/freak out mode when they find out they are pregnant, especially when it's unplanned. Yet the Duggars don't necessarily plan their children and when they do find out they are pregnant there is no negative talk. They praise God for the awesome work that He does and then gets back to business. I applaud the Duggars for being able to give it all the God.
Second, the Duggars aren't bad parents. Clearly everyone can see this. They all have nice clean clothes, the all eat - all through out the day, and all their children have beds. None sleep on the floor in the corner, naked, with a piece of bread. I've seen horrible parenting from people who have 2 kids. Really, they locked their daughter in the closet with no food, and put their son in a dog cage. Really. I'm pretty sure the Duggars aren't using all the beds and food for show and really put their kids in dungeons when the cameras go off.
Third. This woman writing the article is very critical of the way Jim Bob and Michelle are dealing with the birth of their daughter Josie. She was born 3 months early and only weighed a little over 1lb at birth. 7 weeks later she had doubled her birth weight. Now, some people, like the author, look at this as a horrible negative thing. The Duggars see it as the complete opposite. Several times they say, look at how this tiny little baby can sustain life, even being early and being so tiny. They are in awe of God's mighty work. Their 1lb baby has probably been the toughest thing to deal with and give to God, yet they do it. That's not to say they aren't worried or concerned, but it means that - even if - their baby Josie doesn't make it much longer they are going to use the time they have with her as a positive experience, like ALL babies should be.
Fourth. The author continues to criticize the Duggars because the family has Operational Definitions of Character Qualities which comes from the Bill Gothard ministry. I don't agree 100% with Bill Gothard but he has some good ideas. And this is one of them. What it is is Character Qualities that are good. Does anyone want to have to describe their kids as rude, self-centered, simpleminded, angry, and unthankful? I don't know about you but I don't want my daughter to be any of those. What it teaches is what good qualities you should try to have and how you can practice them. How to be hospitable, how to be humble, joyful, loyal. These are great things to expect from yourself and your children....(here's the link) http://billgothard.com/bill/teaching/cha...
The article says, right under how your kids having good qualities is a negative, "The kids are also paired off in a buddy system so an older child can mentor and help a younger one." This is a great thing. When a 6 year old gets into an argument with the 7 year old, he can go to his "buddy" which by the way is a sibling and ask what they think should be done in the situation. With this system you have someone to talk to, someone to rely on, someone who can show you the best way to do something. And isn't that what having older brothers and sisters is for? In the same way parents should teach their children right from wrong so should older siblings

And for my last thought. I have to say that even though I've never met the Duggars in person they seem to be the most well behaved kids I've ever seen. You know how you see "large families", just 4-5 kids and individually they are great, kind and respectful, but when you get all of them together in one spot they argue and talk back. That's how it is at my house. There are 5 of us. Not so with the Duggars. Every time you see all of them together they are pretty well behaved. The fact that they can get a picture of all of them together is enough said. I can barely get my 3 little brothers to stand still for 10 seconds, and smile for the camera. The difference is that the Duggar kids know what's expected of them. Their parents have expectations of them, that's not a bad thing. Each kid is able to pursue anything they want when it comes to their future, career or schooling. I mean, Jim Bob is a used car salesman. But when it comes to how they behave they know what is right. Their parents know and expect their kids to behave a certain way. There are no excuses like, "Oh they are just boys, they are going to hit each other anyways" or "They're girls, they're going to be over dramatic.". Nope no excuses.

So, I can't criticize anything the Duggars do when it comes to finance, parenting, and remaining Godly in the spotlight, because I know that I don't come close to them at all. I am already in debt and I don't have credit card or car payments. My daughter is 6 months old so I haven't really reached the age of disciplining yet, but I'm not quite sure I'll be as patient and Michelle, and I already know that I haven't behaved Godly around my friends and at home, whether it be with my behavior, my speech, or my thoughts. I commend and applaud the Duggar family for being able to be in the spotlight with all the criticism and negativity and still be positive and shining light in this dark world.

What are your thoughts on the Duggars and this article.

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Jenny - posted on 04/13/2010

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I disagree with the size of the family for sustainability reasons.

I disagree with the mom putting her health at risk with continuing pregnancy. She is putting "god's will" before the care of her children. If she dies during the next childbirth (and you know there will be one) her family is left motherless and for what? It's selfish.

I disagree with her mentoring system. Essentially she is putting older children in charge of raising the younger children. If you cannot raise and teach one of your children directly yourself, you have too many children period.

Johnny - posted on 04/15/2010

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Having large families was done traditionally for quite a few good reasons. Firstly, infant mortality was high and parents had more children to ensure that some made it through to adulthood. Secondly, there was no birth control. Sex equalled baby much of the time. And thirdly, people needed many children to help around their farms. In the developed world, virtually none of these conditions still exist, so there is really no legitimate reason to add to the planet's population burden by having a very large family.



As for submission, when I start to see the same number of men deciding to submit to the wisdom and guidance of their wives, then I might start to believe that it is a different form of partnership and not just a misogynistic anachronism. It does appear on the surface that many of the men who have submissive wives are caring for their families, building trust, etc. But personally, I think that good men are most comfortable in sharing decision making rights with their wives. I trust my husband completely, but I still expect to have an equal say in any choices our family makes.



I actually like what I have seen of Michelle Duggar, although her image is quite closely controlled. She strikes me as an intelligent and astute woman, fully capable of making her own choices without a man's guidance. And I her children do appear to be very well brought up. I do disagree with her choices about having so many kids though, but I personally think she has allowed faith to cloud reason in that department.

Jackie - posted on 04/19/2010

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Off topic but I can't believe you guys were banned from PD & HT either. But I will say I do not agree with how much monitoring/deleting they do AT ALL. I'm all for signing any petition to change that.

Jenny - posted on 04/18/2010

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I'll back up the Mennonite thing to. My father's side of my family in Mennonite and they are not like that at all.

Rosie - posted on 04/18/2010

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i just really want to clear up the mennonite quiverful thing. the duggars are not mennonite. my mothers family is mennonite, and this is not how women are treated, and not how their lives are at all. my cousins go to school, my aunts and uncles have no more than 4 kids, in fact some of them only have 1.



the duggars do seem to have great kids, but i really don't approve of the way women are treated in that religion. i also don't agree that older siblings should look after their younger ones as much as this family does. sure it's necessary even with 3 kids like i have, but the statement that they make a goal to have a conversation with their kids at least once a week seems ridiculous to me. there's a balance that is missing there. i also don't agree with having anymore children. poor little josie, and they are exposing her to all the nasty cameramen, and michelles body i'm surprised hasn't spit out her uterus yet in protest. they need to stop, they should have stopped a long time ago.

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Jodi - posted on 04/18/2010

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Yes it was PD&HT. Sara, it was because we both voiced our disagreement with her about the deletion of the topics by PM after she deleted everything. And yeah, we were pretty pissed too. We can go back - I'm choosing not to.

[deleted account]

Carol, that is unbelievable! I'm surprised I wasn't banned since I agreed with you two. But I guess I was spared because I'm American. ;) Sorry ladies, didn't know that had happened to you. Makes me mad!

Johnny - posted on 04/17/2010

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Jodi wasn't the only one. I was too, although apparently we could come back if we wanted to now.

[deleted account]

Jodi were you seriously banned? That is absolutely incredible in a bad way. Maybe all the banned or deleted people should sign a petition to the leaders of COM to get a new admin on that forum.

Sorry, I'm off topic.

About the Duggars, like I said before, results speak for themselves. The older kids *seem* to be respectable young adults (of course tv can be misleading). But the more I learn about the Quiverful movement, the more it makes my skin crawl. A lot of the scriptures seem to be twisted to reduce women to baby making robots. I think the Duggars are genuinely nice people, but misguided.

Jodi - posted on 04/17/2010

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To Jackie:

"All I ever here on my other debating forum is "not your kids, not your problem", but now all of a sudden everyone seems to have a problem with what is going on with raising kids that aren't there own???"



This is because on your other debating forum, an opinion is dangerous - it can get you banned if your opinion differs from the Admin. I know......that is why I haven't returned, as well as a few others, we were banned for expressing our disagreement. No swearing or cursing, no personal attacks, just disagreeing.



Anyway, I agree with those saying that if you put yourself out there, you are opening yourself to public opinion and debate.



To be honest, being in Australia, I haven't seen much of this family. I have seen the occasional episode, and what I have seen, and what I have read, I don't agree with. I absolutely understand Carol's points. She has summed it up perfectly :)

[deleted account]

I agree with the article but then again I'm not a fan of the Duggars, have never been.

As the mom of a preemie who was born 3 months early, I was disgusted that they dragged the camera crews/photo crews and god knows who else in behind them to film that baby. Preemies that young have no immune system, so to drag a whole crew in is just courting trouble. It's great that she doubled her weight so quickly, yes, but to risk her catching a potentially life ending infection, I find totally irresponsible. I get the impression that the show is becoming the most important thing in their lives.

Lindsay - posted on 04/16/2010

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Lisa, Thank you for posting think link to Ruth's blog. I had originally stated that while I didn't know a whole lot about the Duggars but they were apparently doing something right because their kids were well behaved and happy. It was a completely naive statement and I wasn't prepared for what was in that blog. After everyone was in bed last night, I opened it and began to read it. I read it from the first post to the most recent. And I had a mix of emotions. I cried and got angry reading through it. It was absolutely sickening. While this girl admits that she believes the Duggars may not have been as radicial as the family she was raised in, the foundation is still there. The only thing I found encouraging about the situation is that the Duggar family seems to be distancing themselves from this radical religion through the show. Hopefully the opportunities and exposure to the outside world will help these children throughout life. Because sadly, it seems that most everyone else in this cult-like religion are not exposed to much of anyone or anything that's not "approved".

Karissa - posted on 04/15/2010

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First it's not a "new" thing to have a large family. People all over the world have large families. Also, I don't believe the Duggars think they should have a large family because it's cool.

The whole submission wife thing being a negative thing is not true at all. Everyone submits to someone. Submission is a form of trust. Michelle Duggar knows that her husband has the best in mind for her and her children. He doesn't want to harm her or do anything bad for his family. When you know that your husband is a good man and you don't have anything to worry about submitting to him is easy. Submitting doesn't mean that you have no say in what's going on or your husband is a big mean scary boss who doesn't let you do anything. You are a partnership and a team and you trust and work together and trusting your husband means when he makes a decision you stand behind him and support him.
And is any of that wrong? I don't think so.

Amie- you are right when you put yourself in the limelight expect to be criticized and loved. But you never see the Duggars faces on US Weekly with the title "I'm not a bad mom!" They never come out and acknowledge the criticism and I think it's awesome because they believe that what they are doing is good for them and their children and nobody will tell them otherwise. They have their beliefs and they stick to them. It's good to see people who aren't wishy washy and know how to stand firm through criticism.

[deleted account]

OMG I am laughing hysterically about a family of 21 AFFORDING a vacation! Why? The TLC camera are there to financially back-it up cause it MAKES FOR GOOD TV RATINGS! They are semi-scripted stunts that showcase the family in a positive light and give the impression they are "normal". I read one woman's blog that described when the Duggars came through her town and stopped at the restaurant where she waitresses. She wrote how the Duggar's had to "sing for their dinner" and patrons actually donated a ton of money to pay for their meal. You bet the cameras were right there, whether the footage made it on air or not. The remaining money was donated to the restaurant's charity of choice, and I want to say it might have been the 4H Club. So yeah I think it's cheesy and little pre-programmed robotic Stepford children who are trained to smile for the camera.

Amie - posted on 04/15/2010

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Lisa that's horrible. =( It's not right, especially when you're forcing your children to give up their childhood for your cause.

Jackie, your other debating forum? Is not here.. we are discussing our opinions, we're not telling a mother what to do. A lot of us may not agree with it but you don't see us hunting down the Duggars to tell them that. As Sharon (I think) posted.. when you put yourself n the lime light, expect feedback. Both positive and negative.

Minnie - posted on 04/15/2010

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The Duggars aren't Mennonite. They're Quiverful.



For what this movement is and who Bill Gothard is whom they follow for education see:



http://razingruth.blogspot.com/2009/06/w...



The above blog is written by a woman going through therapy after leaving her family which strictly follows Bill Gothard and the ATI/ Quiverful movement.



TLC won't show the real gory bits of a Quiverful/ATI family. If you read through this blog you can see what Ruth really went through, what her father believes, and what Bill Gothard believes.



I can tell you what the Duggars TRULY believe because they use ATI for their homeschooling. Bill Gothard has extremely strict requirements when using his plan.

Jackie - posted on 04/15/2010

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All I ever here on my other debating forum is "not your kids, not your problem", but now all of a sudden everyone seems to have a problem with what is going on with raising kids that aren't there own???

I think what they do is wonderful. Do I agree with every parenting decision they make...no, but theres TONS of people out there I don't agree with on that front. Would I personally continue chancing getting pregnant after Josie...no...but you have to understand it from the premise of the mennonite religion. I don't care if you don't agree with it, I'm sure they don't agree with how most of us live and make decisions. That's irrelevant. In their religion the size and fate of their family is determined by god's will and they don't interfere with that. And they are very committed to their religion, and our country (US) was build on those very freedoms...so you really cant fault them for being strictly religious either just b/c you dont' agree with it.

However, I do think it's extremely impressive how well behaved the children are...and they are fully able to support each and every one of them...and give them live experiences. How many families of 21 do you know that are able to go on vacations?

Hannah - posted on 04/14/2010

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Unfortunately, I enjoy watching the shows, but I don't agree with a majority of the things they do/believe. The first thing I thought when Josie was born was, "Maybe this will get through to them," but apparently it didn't. I imagine if they told media they were going to STOP having children, it would cause an uproar with their church, fans, and probably end the success of their TV series - I'm sure they don't want any of that to happen.

I don't like the represtentation of the 'role of women.'

I think Jim Bob is egotistical with the mind set of a cave man... 'I have sperm - I can inpregnate - look how good I am using my penis.' Like he has to prove to the world he's a MAN because he can get her pregnant so many times.

I disagree with the buddy system - no one should be disciplining or advising my kid (ESPECIALLY AT A YOUNG AGE) except for teachers, babysitters, etc when needed. They lose the title of 'PARENTS' and really just 'BREEDERS'.

And there may be 'love' in the house, but I guarantee it's not the same love I have in mine with a child I spend quality time with EVERY DAY!

Amie - posted on 04/14/2010

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You're welcome Sharon. =)



Jess, they don't. They've admitted (it's in the article) that their goal in raising a large family is to have individual talks with each child once a week.



Also on the "buddy system" they have going on. There is a difference between older siblings helping out, and older siblings helping raise younger children. Your children's first response when they need someone shouldn't be to go to their sibling, it should be to go to their parents. But with the buddy system.. the siblings go to each other because the families are to big and the parents can't do it all themselves. =S Too many kids.

[deleted account]

I agree with the article whole-heartedly! Thanks for finding the right link. I also feel that the Duggar's and EVERY one of those family reality shows put yourselves in the line of public scrutiny when you make the decision tobroadcast your families, whether it's teh Duggar's, Jon & Kate, the Little People, Big World, etc. When you allow the cameras into your home, be prepared for some backlash.

Jess - posted on 04/14/2010

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I haven't read the article, but i have seen many duggar clips on You tube. I think they are a sweet enough family, but I struggle to understand how any parent can engage and spend quality time each and every day with all of their 19 children. I think the kids suffer in the end, and from what I have seen the older daughters seem to be raising the newborns. Which is really sad, especially since it would not be ok for those girls to have babies of their own at that age.

Johnny - posted on 04/14/2010

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It concerns me that she is popularizing the current trendiness of large families and submissive wives amongst a certain segment of the population. If we all aimed to have that many kids, our society would fail in a generation. Over population and "old-fashioned values" will destroy a lot of the gains we have made in the last couple of generations.

Amie - posted on 04/13/2010

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This one might work. http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=4...

I honestly find the whole thing strange. The author of this article brings up good points, as does Jenny on this thread. It can't be a healthy family dynamic. We can't really know either, after all.. t.v. shows are cut and edited before they're ever aired. We only see what the producers want us to see.

[deleted account]

I agree word for word with Jenny. I am not a fan of the Duggar family for those reasons, and for the fact that the family continues to exploit their children for material gains.

Jenny - posted on 04/13/2010

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Sorry but saying if she dies it is because god chose it for her is a cop out. It is plain as day to see how these pregnancies are affecting their health. The newest is currently back in the hospital. Perhaps that is god telling her to take some birth control because the next one might not be so lucky. He works in mysterious ways does he not? Seems this warning sign is not very mysterious at all.

How do you reconcile god making your choices for you with free will? Does she ignore all medical advice and keep getting knocked up with a strong chance of death for her and the baby or does she use her free will and protect her already exisiting family?

[deleted account]

You are forgetting that she trusts God to do what is best for the family. That is the focus of their family. IF there is another baby it's because God decided to bless them with another baby. If there's a death it's because God chose that for them too. It is a matter or faith and not of controlling everything themselves.

I do admire their ability to stand on faith, live debt-free and train their kids with such patience, control, and peace.

I've raised an only son to the age of 16 and now have a daughter that has been an only child since the age of 5. WE are not that calm, patient and peaceful here!

Joanna - posted on 04/13/2010

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I understand wanting a large family... I mean watching the Duggars I am in awe of how much love and patience is in that family.

But how do the parents make enough quality time with each and every child? That's one thing I don't understand. And I also disagree with Michelle continuing to get pregnant... I hope with the early birth and complications with her newest child she sees the dangers in continuing on having children and takes her health and her children's health more seriously.

Lindsay - posted on 04/13/2010

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The link wouldn't work for me either. My lifestyle is so drastically different from that of the Duggers but there is something in me that I have to see how it works. I've seen the show but not a while lot of it. But, to have 19 kids and they all seem to be very happy and well cared for. They must be doing something right.

Johnny - posted on 04/13/2010

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The Duggars seem like nice people. But I have to say DITTO to everything that Jenny said.

[deleted account]

Sorry the link didn't work for me.

But, I'm fascinated by the Duggars. No, I don't 100% agree with everything they do. But you can't really argue with results. So far, their children have all turned into responsible, respectable people (we'll have to wait and see with the younger ones). By all appearances on TV, they are happy and healthy. And even before they became "famous" they were able to live debt free. That in itself is a major accomplishment.

I do think it is time to stop having children simply because of the health risk. I believe in miracles, but whose to say that Josie's birth wasn't a warning sign from God?

About the buddy system, I don't see it as the older ones raising the younger ones (though I don't watch the show often enough to make a fair judgment). What I see is the older ones having a little responsibility, for example, helping the younger ones get dressed in the morning. I still see Michelle knowing each of her children for who they are and loving and teaching them. I don't think there is anything wrong with helping take care of the younger children.

Sara - posted on 04/13/2010

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Personally I don't agree with the Duggars, mostly on religious grounds (more precisely, the role of women). However, they are raising they're family how they see fit and they seem like nice enough people with good intentions. They are self-sufficient and as long as they can support themselves, I don't think it serves any purpose to be so critical of them.

LaCi - posted on 04/13/2010

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I really don't understand the need for criticizing them. I'm not into it, I live a very different lifestyle, and I certainly don't strive to be more like them. But I don't see anything WRONG with what they do. They're kids are fine, they're fine, everyone seems to be happy, so why criticize them for anything?

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