Friday, 22 August 2014

Watching the Duggars, 19 kids and counting. The other side to family life that is never shown on the surface and life is never always what it seems in any family. Raising children the best way we can.

I admit to being a fan of 19 kids and Counting. Going right back to the first episodes of  '14 children and pregnant again'! I love seeing how the family has grown and the older children have progressed with their own lives.

I also love to see how the whole family work together both with the running of the home and looking after the children. Something that my family doesn't do! I sit there as I watch and I think 'My children don't do that' and 'My house doesn't look like that' and I only have five children to look after.

However the Duggars aren't what others would call a typical family. They have strong beliefs in a faith that I will be honest in that I don't know a lot about it. Some say it is almost 'cult like' whereas others agree with it and others don't. If it works for the Duggars and always has done then it is not for others to judge on another families beliefs or culture. What I do know is that this belief and faith that they follow has been instilled into the children and remains very much part of their lives in all that they do.

Not knowing much about the Duggar faith I did a quick Google and most of the links that came up from typing in 'Duggar faith' came up with mostly negative things about the way they live.

I'm not one to judge others on the way their children are raised. There are so many different faiths, religions, cultures and ways of life nowadays that children all over the world are raised with a different view on life learnt from their parents, family and influences around them. So what makes others feel it's ok to comment on the way the Duggars raise their children? Or on how any one of us raises our children?

For years the Duggars have been in the public eye due to their successful TV show. Of course, as with most reality TV shows, we only get to see the edited versions. I'm often commenting to the OH how their children are so well behaved and you never see a tantrum or a meltdown from a young Duggar. However, this probably happens quite a lot but it's just edited along the way.  Also, even though it is well known about the Duggars faith, it is never widely spoken about in detail on the TV show. Whilst they discuss certain aspects of the way they live and tell us the reason why, there isn't ever a full disclosure on the faith they follow.

However, why should they have to explain themselves? I watch the programme to see a couple raise their 19 children. To see what day to day life is like raising a family that large and the challenges they face. I enjoy seeing the children grow and how far the family have come since I started watching all those years ago and Yes I do sit and wish my children were better behaved and more helpful around the house like the Duggar children. Some believe the Duggar children do too much, that the older ones are raising the younger ones whilst Mum and Dad are just making more babies to add to the brood. However, although I kind of agree that it might be the case I think there should be some helping out along the way. It's responsibility, it's growing up, it's part of being an older sibling. The children should help out, they should have chores or they end up like mine. No help at all, messy, lazy and unwilling to do anything for themselves.

Regardless of what others think about  children raising children, the Duggars views on contraception, the homeschooling, the lack of social interaction, the unusual courtship routine or the children sharing rooms, this is the way the Duggars have decided to raise their children. Even without the faith that they follow there are many families out there  that home school, that don't let their children interact with others and many, many large families who have multiple children sharing rooms.  If this is the way they choose to raise their children then why is up to others to say what is right or wrong.

Who is raising their children the right way? Is there a right way? Did I miss the handbooks being handed out after I gave birth telling me that there was only one way to raise children and I had to conform to what I was told was right or risk being dragged through the wringer by others who felt it ok to comment on the way I parent?

This has kind of turned into a ranty post and I didn't mean it to. My point being though, why do others feel it's ok to judge on the way others raise their children just because they don't agree with a particular aspect of their lives? I'm sure if myself and OH were in a TV programme we would be inundated with negativity on our lack of discipline for starters! Yet whilst the children need more discipline they are not lacking in love, warmth and support in their lives and we are raising them to the best of our abilities.

There are many families out there living differently to what we do but neither us nor them are doing it wrong, just in a different way.


  1. I'm also a massive fan! I like anything about large families! I also love your blog for the same reason- seeing how everyone works out their day to day with children in tow!

  2. I've never watched it, I've seen there's a 15 kids and counting show on 4od so I assume it's the same family?

    It's tough. I think they're proof that balance is the ideal - If they had a few less kids and their kids did a bit less and their faith was a bit more grounded then maybe they'd be the ideal? Does that make sense?

    *Here from the 'Where Rainbows End hop'

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for stopping by! 19 kids and counting is an American family. I can't imagine how difficult it is to balance family life with 19, I can't manage 5!! :-)