Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Duggar Children: Why is That so Hard to Believe?

Comments have been fast and furious lately and many of them insinuate that the Duggar girls are somehow unhappy and/or being held against their will. I've written on this in some other forms before, but now we may as well just put it out there on the table point blank. Why is it so hard to imagine that the Duggar children could really be happy and content with their lot in life?

I have a few theories, but the one that makes the most sense to me is that they simply go against the average American norm, therefore it just isn't possible. Because they aren't like "my" children, or children I see on a regular basis, they can't be happy.

People use the words "parents won't allow" a lot. I would love to know WHY people think that Jim Bob and Michelle rule and control their adult children's every move--because they still live at home? I was 35 when I married and moved out of my mother's house. I wasn't held prisoner there, far from it. I lived there because it was free, comfortable, and full of perks. When I lived there she PAID FOR EVERYTHING. Now this could be the princess in me talking, but why would anyone want to give up that kind of life if they didn't have to? Yes they have responsibilities, so did I. The perks far out-weighed the responsibilities and in the Duggar's case I think the perks out-weigh them a hundred-fold.

The Duggars also teach free will. Their whole foundation revolves around all people having free will. When you believe that you don't supress other's free will. Now I personally DON'T believe in free will and never have. While I do believe we all make choices, I believe G-d already knows what choice you're making, therefore it's not really free. I believe your entire life has been mapped out before you were born and you're just following where you're supposed to go. Within that, yes you make choices, but again, if Hashem knows the choice you're making, how is that truly free will? Not many people subscribe to that or go along with me, but it's my faith and what gets me through the day, therefore it is what it is. But when you DO believe in free will, you don't make it a habit to squash it in others.

I believe the Duggar children are very lucky. The life that the Duggars have built for their family allows that their children can take time to decide who they are and what they want without a rush. There's no great hurry to move out at 18 and take the world by the tail--something a lot of 18 year olds fail at massively. And again I ask, why should they want to? Life from this side of the screen looks pretty good: free trips, nice house, everything they could ask for (computers, phones, cars, toys, and musical instruments for those who want them), clothing, food, and a family that loves them unconditionally. The love and support of a family is not something to take lightly--and also something that everyone is given. That could be another reason some people are resentful. Just a theory.

Tell me why you think the Duggar kids are unhappy. Show me proof not assumptions. Afterall, just because Jim Bob and Michelle have 19 kids doesn't mean they expect all their kids to follow suit--free will. Josh and Anna have said repeatedly that 2 or 3 kids would be fine. What are your theories?


  1. I would suspect that the kids are happy. They are living a priviliged life compared to the majority of American children and teenagers. Sure there is a lot of bodies to take care of and a lot of children to love, but there are also a lot of people to do it. If you think about it there are about seven adults or near adults to take care of the other 12 younger children. I think the older boys do help with their younger siblings, especially Joseph and Josiah. That leaves 10 children to be cared for by Jim bob, Michelle, and the four older girls. I think the parents give the older children the attention they need and the older children help to meet the needs of the younger ones. After all, that leaves only one or two children per adult. The housework is also spread out among six women so no one person is overwhelmed with it.

    We just went to a nine day religious retreat and our adult children and their families were also there. There were a total of 20 of us when you counted the two extra children they brought along and the 79 yr old our daughters took under their wing. I cooked several of the evening meals in my travel trailer; cooking for 20 people in a camper has got to be harder than doing it in a nice convenient kitchen, but we were all able to produce healthy and appetizing meals and all the children were fed, clean and happy. We all had a great time. The point is the many hands do make light work and the Duggars have had lots of practice. I bet my 17 year old grandaughter who has to help with 6 siblings is jealous of the Duggars!

  2. I will be very interested to see what comments you get. I'll bet you see the Goselin kids in therapy before the Duggars!

  3. I agree that many people can't accept the Duggar children's happiness because their lives go against the norm. They talk about free will frequently and the older children have even mentioned that their parents don't force anything upon them, they choose for themselves.
    I would have loved to grow up in the Duggar household. I could handle everything except for the noise. ( Don't they have a meditation room?)

  4. I have never thought the Duggar kids were unhappy. I do agree - others can not understand their extremely different way of life, therefore it must be a bad way of life.
    Re: free will - my 5 yr old son has the free will to not eat candy sitting out on the table. However - I know that he will eat it bc he is a 5 yr old child. That does not mean he did not make a choice of his own free will - it just means that his choice was predictable. Just my pov.

  5. Angie, the Duggars have a prayer closet. It looked like a nice little place to go think.

    I do believe the Duggar kids are happy and content most of the time. I also believe they have days they wish they were on another planet. To me, this is normal, but it doesn't mean they are unhappy.

    I don't believe JB and Michelle hold them hostage. I do wonder if JD goes along with the family because of the show. I just have a tough time believing he enjoys going almost everywhere with his entire family. I feel this way because he is a guy. Then again, he is saving up his salary from TLC. Bet, ALL the older kids have enough to buy land and a house by now. They don't need a job...because they already have one. ;)

  6. Only the Duggar kids know if they are happy or not. Given that their religion teaches them to put a happy face on no matter what they feel it makes it even more difficult to determine if the older children are truly happy with their lives or not. There's also the "you'll go to hell if you deviate from the beliefs you've been raised under" factor.

    That said, if the eldest children were truly discontent, they are adults, have had a great deal of exposure to the outside world via TLC, we know they have non-fundie relatives relatives that appear to care for them that would most likely take them in if they were that unhappy, so they are hardly without recourse if they wanted to leave. Many of us would never in a million years want to do the job the eldest girls do for their family, but I don't think they are being held captive by JB and Michelle. They are choosing to stay they for a variety of reasons among which is that this lifestyle, for them, does not make them excessively unhappy.

  7. Why would you WANT to be 35-years-old and still living at home with your mother?
    Wow, just wow. Talk about delayed emotional maturity. Money issues aside, cutting the apron strings should happen long before age 35.

  8. Anonymous--nice attitude--actually i didn't live with my mother until i was 35--i moved back in after my 2nd divorce...why? why not...she lives in a 3000 sq foot house, bought me a 2 new cars, gave me copies of her credit cards, and paid all the bills...delayed emotional maturity? no--more like spoiled absolutely rotten and loving every minute of it....apron strings? no, not really...i lived in one wing and she lived in the other and we'd meet up when i'd make dinner...other than that i was flying all over the country and playing with my friends...but then that's what trust fund kids do

    and then i gave it all up and got married again...i'm very happy and thankful i married a man who spoils me just as well as my mom did :)

    as much as you wish to make me feel bad about myself or my upbringing....epic fail

  9. Truth tellin'June 25, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    I don't see those girls having the confidence to leave home. They will probably live there quite a lot longer, since Michelle is unable to handle the brood she produced on her own. Unfortunately, the only girl who seems to like childcare is Jill, so it is unlikely she will marry for a very long time.

  10. Marybeth.... How does your mother feel about adopting OLDER children.... with built in grandkids to spoil as well?

  11. Cyn...funny you should mention that--she and i "adopted" my brother Moses when i was 30--he gave her a grandson eventually :)

  12. woooooooooooot I have a shot then... :D

    I come with 3 cute girl grandchildren, 2 semi handsome older boy grandchildren, and a son-in-law that never argues with the M-i-l...

    Just saying...

  13. Bragging about being spoiled rotten? Again, a lack of emotional maturity. I didn't intend to make you feel bad, you've got yourself pegged with your own wording.

  14. of course i brag about being spoiled rotten...very very proud of that :) and again, your perception of my emotional maturity is irrelevant as you've never met me...i think you dost protest too much...or maybe just...jealous much?

  15. i dont see pples issues either, and self esteem being mentioned? heck, the children seem very comfortable in their own skin, and though at times shy, they go forward in spite of shyness or even fear. They can and do, do as they please.

    My adult children live with me, one is 24 the other 25.. she will be 26 in sept. at work one day someone said 'Joan, you ever feel like you are holding John and Jessa back emotionally by not forcing them to move out on their own?', for some odd reason (menapausal prolly) I broke down and cried on the way home. My kids were like 'mom, whats wrong?', finally later that night I told them the comment and both of them were stunned and ready to go beat the person up :P

    my son was blunt and to the point 'this is my house, my name is on the lease not yours, so technically you live with US and we arent kicking you out', my daughter jessa was like 'mom, if we moved out we would have to get roommates, why would we want strangers living with us? or pple who arent family? least with us we know we can trust each other and we share a bank account and cards, much easier this way!'.

    I felt a lot better after that.

    Pple seem to judge, without having any depth of the emotions and lil things behind choices.

  16. I guess it all depends on the mindset of these children. If the older ones don't mind the responsibilities of being a parent, and the younger ones don't mind being raised by an older sibling, then I suppose they are content. I just don't think there are enough time or emotional resources available for a couple to raise that many children at once. That house looks more to me like an orphanage than an institution, and I think it is horribly unfair for the older children to have to take responsibility for their parents' choice not to use birth control. I consider it highly irresponsible to have so many children that you have to delegate their raising to someone else.

  17. The older Duggar children help out with the younger one's....all we see is 22mins a week of their lives so who are we to say their unhappy.

    I think it is okay for the older one's to help out around the house and with the little one,they seem really happy with their lives and they have free will to do whatever they would like.

    my family has a lot of the same belief's as the duggar's...but me 15yrs and my sister 20yrs have free will...we both are still pretty young
    so we still live at home

  18. The older duggar kids from Joy- Anna on up are just fine they all help out by are ni means taking place of their parents. I don't doubt that all kids are happy I'm sure they are however some of younger kids I worry about not cause their not happy but they seem to have issues. Jackson and Johanna seem to have adhd which could be managed better. Jordyan is one who worries me most she seems devolpmenatally behind she is to a preemie she was born 4 in half weeks early no one remembers that I do. Yes Joisie is micro preemie but she seems more on way to normal then Jordyan and seems in some skills to have surpased her sister who is just under a yr older then her they are same age for 10 days Josie born dec 8th Jordyan dec 18th. Joise will turn 3 before Jordyan turns 4 esatianly. To me seems Jordyan is devolpnentally delayed but that's just what I've noticed.