It's been pointed out on more than one occassion by more than one person that the Duggars raise their children not to show any emotion and to "always" put on a happy face. I think that is a little bit extreme and not entirely true.
We've seen various Duggar children in different stages of unpleasantness, but I think we can point to Jill as our lead example. Jill has bawled and blubbered on the TV screen more than once for more than one reason and instead of being "taken to task" for it, she was not only allowed to show her feelings, but she was comforted and encouraged by her father. In fact, it was one of the more moving Duggar parent moments--watching your child face dental surgery known for it's pain and seeing the fear and anxiety in that child, and doing your best to comfort and assure that child while still making them go through with it. If the Duggar children were really taught to surpress their emotions, that display would have never been tolerated, much less supported.
I think there is a difference from being taught to surpress your emotions and taught not to react emotionally. Letting your emotions rule your every response can have negative effects not only for you, but for those around you forced to witness your every display. Who wants 19 kids throwing a fit everytime they don't get the colour popsicle they want? No one wants even ONE child who continually has that response. I see no reason to coddle that kind of emotional outburst on a daily basis. It is entirely a different animal to be allowed to express your fear, grief and anxiety in legitimate situations. We've seen the kids have this freedom in more than one instance and that is quite healthy.
They were allowed to grieve and feel however they needed to feel when their Grandfather passed away. Men of Jim Bob's generation and most likely in Jim Bob's part of the country, were raised not to cry. Most men pre-70s were taught that crying wasn't manly. I think I saw my father cry once and that was at his Mother's funeral--but I honestly don't remember so I could be guessing. He never cried in front of me--even when I saw him in the hospital after 3 of his strokes and when he knew he was never coming home, but going to a nursing home. He may have, but if he did he did it privately or in front of my mother. Jim Bob even pointed out that he was willing to show his emotion over his father's death in front of his children so they'd understand it was all right to grieve publicly for a man they loved and would miss. To have that foresight while dealing with grief yourself is staggering to me.
After saying this, I'd love to know where the idea that "you're going to hell if you don't do as we tell you--show no emotions" hypothesis comes from. I have never EVER heard the Duggars use the word "hell" or any euphamism for it in a Biblical sense. There are many forms of Christianity and many ways to approach your beliefs--some denominations do seem to subscribe to the "fire and brimstone" version of G-d, however most seem to subscribe to the loving and kind G-d who isn't waiting to punish. I've never seen any evidence that the Duggars are of the "fire and brimstone" belief. For a family so open and honest about their religious beliefs, I'd think after 4 seasons we'd have heard something about it by now.
Do you think the Duggar kids are taught they'll go to hell if they don't follow the Duggar belief system? Do you think the Duggar kids are forced to put on a happy face? What are your supporting facts? Please share your ideas.