They happen to be one of my favorite families and they have a show on TLC called 19 Kids And Counting.
Like I said, however, the Duggars tend to be a very controversial family. They are extremely modest- skirt wearers and dress-like swimsuits. They homeschool. They watch little or no TV. They are Christians. Honestly, they sound a lot like my own family (except, well, I only have 4 kids), but they receive a lot of grief over their choices.
You either love them, or hate them. A couple of things really stand out to me when I watch their show.
The biggest, absolute number 1 parenting tip is that they always look to God. Doesn't matter to me what it's about or how you differ (or are alike) to the Duggars, this is great wisdom. Pray. Seek God's direction for YOU and YOUR family. Read the Bible. I love that they have family Bible time and are teaching their children from an early age to look to God. If you've watched their shows or read any of their books, you'll see that it's a way of life for them.
They never raise their voices and this is huge to me! They also never lose their cool. Practicing self-control is a theme that is taught over and over. It isn't a "Duggar" theme, but it's the Lord's theme. The Bible talks about having self control and if we want to be obedient children to Him, it's something we need to have. For some, however, self-control is easier said than done. And I'm one of those people! I struggle with losing my temper, yelling, or freaking out over "the little things". I know it sounds cheesy, but the more that I watch them on TV the more that I'm able to see how to handle different situations. I guess that's the visual part of me!
And before you tell me that they are a TV family and that what's on TV is not always how it is, I realize that. However, I've been told by several people who have actually seen them out in public that what you see on TV is exactly how it is. And yes, I do realize that they are human beings and there have been times were they have most likely "lost their cool".
I remember the Duggars from their "early" days. You know, when they only had 14 kids or so. I don't personally know them, but boy have I heard of them. Growing up in Arkansas (before they had their own TV show), you heard remarks about "being like the Duggars", often when another child was born into a family. As their family grew (they currently have 19 kids), each pregnancy had those who were EXCITED and an equal number who WEREN'T. Cruel jokes were often made and those who despised, REALLY despised! I honestly could never figure out what the problem was- here was a Christian family minding their own business, living their life the best they could for God, and yet people would judge them and call them names. Just a basic search of them on the internet yields nasty websites about them.
Regardless of how you feel about them, let me counteract some of their so called "problems".....
Why Is It So Hard To Believe That Kids Want To Help?
This seems to be a big thing when it comes to knocking the Duggars, but in my own household (of only 4 kids) I see this firsthand. My kids WANT to help! You might not think it's fair that each child has a buddy (or two) and are expected to help, but what better way to help our children become hard working, reliable adults. I've seen it many times while watching their television show- older girls holding babies or diaper bags, helping fix hair, even *gasp* teaching the youngers! I honestly don't know why this is such a big deal- like I said- my kids love to help. My kids help get toothbrushes ready for their siblings, the older girls have helped get the boy dressed, and yes, they have all begged to help "teach" him during school. And while they aren't always so willing to do this, they help fold towels, wash laundry, and clean house! I want them prepared for life on their own.
|Image courtesy of John Kasawa /http://www.freedigitalphotos.net|
Why Is It So Bad To Teach Them Skills?
Read my above point. I want them prepared for life on their own. It's my job to equip. I love that Jim Bob Duggar (the dad) makes it a huge priority to introduce his children to as many different life skills as possible. And they aren't dictated by gender. The Duggar girls learn to change the oil, the Duggar boys learn to cook. The girls are often seen painting or laying flooring and they all chip in to get work done. Why would anyone not want this taught to our future generation?
Why Is Being Different Such A Bad Thing?
Yep, this is one that I hear a lot- both in my own family and regarding the Duggars. What makes having 19 kids, one marriage, girls in skirts, boys in respectable (non-saggy pants) clothing, hard workers, loving God, not watching much TV, homeschooling such a bad thing? I've wrote about it many, many times.... aren't we commanded by God to be, um, different? Kudos to the Duggars (and everyone else who is different) for following God! Yep, we should totally despise them because they are different.
|Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/http://www.freedigitalphotos.net|
Why Is Installing Values So Bad?
I'm sure the world would be a better place if we stopped purposefully, intentionally instilling values into our children. Oh wait.... most of us have. We've stopped seeking God's direction, stopped teaching character qualities, stopped teaching and expecting modesty, purity, and respect. Why are the Duggars (and other like-minded families) given such a hard time with this?
I don't have the answers, but I know that the Duggars are good examples of how we are to live. No, they're not perfect and yes, I'm sure they make many mistakes. Maybe instead of judging them, we should look at the examples they do TRY to set! I don't see anything they do that doesn't line up to God's word. I am thankful for them and other like-minded families! We need more of them in our world!