Friday, April 9, 2010
God Gave you 19 Kids? OK. It's Still A Freak Show!
The clearly very fertile Duggars recently took their 19th naturally born child home form the hospital after is was born three months premature. Little Josie (pictured above) will join her 17 brothers and sisters (Number One Son is married, out of the house, and has a kid of his own now.) in the barracks.
The quote below is from an article I read that is somewhat critical of the Duggars, but also points out the good things about this family. This particular excerpt points out the inherent problem of such a large family.
"[T]hey said on their Web site that one of their goals in parenting a large family is making sure they have individual conversations with each child at least -- wait for it -- once a week! Can you imagine how loved a kid must feel getting penciled in to talk to Dad on Wednesdays at 2:35? It sounds more like a parent/teacher conference than parent/child relationship. (Better not be late!) The family also has Operational Definitions of Character Qualities they expect of their kids. I think I had one of those at the mega-company I used to work for. The kids are also paired off in a buddy system so an older child can mentor and help a younger one."
I only have one sibling. Yet my parents often called me by my sister's name. Once, my father looked straight at me and called me by the dog's name. I laughed. But WTF must these kids think? The younger ones are being raised by the older kids. Isn't that a form of child abuse? Or neglect? I'm sure it's better than an orphanage or foster care. But barely.
The Duggars (which is evangelical for "rabbits") keep having babies out of religious conviction. But even Jacob only had 12 sons. (If he had any daughters, the Bible is mum. Girls don't count in the Bible except to (1) cause the fall of man or (2) be whores or (3) be the virgin mother of the messiah.)
I have a libertarian streak. I recognize the Duggars' right to repopulate the state of Arkansas single handedly (double handedly?), but I also have to say that having children and loving children are different things. And by loving, I don't mean how they feel about them. I mean actually knowing them, spending time with them, paying attention to them, etc.
I guess the Duggar kids would say they are loved. But I still think it's a freak show. Obviously, other people agree with me. Why else would they be on TV?