Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Duggars Five Years Later: Everything Turn Turn Turn

The Duggars are well into Season five of their show, add that to the 1 hour specials they did before that started, and they've had us in their lives for awhile now. We've seen them give birth to children, travel the country, visit new countries, marry, and evolve. Everyone changes as life moves on, as you gain experience and learn new things. One of the reasons many people enjoy the Duggars so much is because they don't seem to let their fame change who they are. I say "seem" because whether they mean to or not, they have changed. I don't think they've changed for the worse, mind you, but as you watch the early shows progress into the current shows, there are definate and noticeable changes in their lives and lifestyle.

One thing that really stands out if you watch the early 1 hour specials against a current episode is that they no longer seem to dress their family in the same colour when they travel. The recent trip to DC had Michelle commenting about how as a parent you are constantly counting your kids to make sure you haven't lost any. That was when it occurred to me that they haven't dressed in the same coloured shirts for a LONG time. At least not on the air.

In the early years we always saw them all sitting around the table for school with Michelle teaching. Now we see them scattered about and doing most of their work on a computer. Again I'm not saying this is a bad thing, after all there are excellent on-line school programs. I think this is one case where they evolved, rather than changed.

I think their spending has definately changed. While they still shop used and look for deals, I don't think they are as frugal as they used to be. They seem to be collecting a lot of toys: lots of cars and trucks (used is still a toy), several RTVs, and they have definately upgraded their computers for school from the old ones they used to have. They also always seem to have a different cell phone in each new season. Their grocery shopping and diet doesn't seem to be as frugal as it could be, or used to be. I think they are relying on a lot of convenience foods that are more expensive than cooking things from scratch, but then they always have. In the early specials when we saw them shop they were buying frozen pizzas and frozen burritos.

I think their faith has grown by leaps and bounds. They have seen the fruits of their labour in more ways than one. They have seen the glory of G-d right in front of their own eyes. It amazes me that people can watch season four move into season five and not believe in the existence of G-d.

What changes have you seen in the Duggars? Good or bad, please share your thoughts.


  1. There's been a big change in the behavior of the children it seems from James (now age 9?) on down to the youngest.

    We've seen on tv the MANY instances of ill-mannered little Duggars....one sibling taking a toy away from Johannah then he hits her with it....a younger boy stomping on the back of another sibling....a young child "flinging" another by the arm into a wagon....children leaning into a hot oven despite admonishment by Jill not to do so (they don't listen to her at all)....a younger boy "stealing" the candy off the table at Anna's baby shower.....a younger Duggar girl hanging off the staircase railing....yikes.

    And my personal pet peeve, they seem to take no safety precautions now at all...Children mowing the lawn in bare feet...laying tile with no safety glasses...and three very young Duggars playing between parked cars in a driveway. I cringed when I saw that.

    It seems like somewhere along the line, the Duggar parents lost control of their household. God bless 'em is all I can say.

  2. I am truly fascinated by the Duggars and their faith and how they experience life. The Duggars have clearly changed and grown as a result of those experiences.

    What I don't understand is how some critics say that because the Duggars have changed, be it as a result of being on tv or otherwise, they are hypocrites? If I think back a few years, I have changed how I approach things in life, how I dress, how I express myself and how I relate to other people. I expect that we all have in some way or another. Change over time does not make one a hypocrite, it simply makes you a changed person in some facet or other. I think the Duggars have held true to their core beliefs and have put them into practice in a different manner. Nothing hypocritical about that. That's the beauty of human nature, it's constantly changing, evolving, maturing.

    But how do the changes the Duggars have experienced from season 4 to season 5 prove the existence of God?

  3. While I do think the Duggars have changed since we first saw them on TV, I can't agree with the Anynymous comments above. I've seen those particular behavior examples on other blog sites, and I don't think they add up to 'ill-mannered little Duggars' or that it's due to being on TV. Even when told not to, children as a whole tend to take toys from one another, hit one another, do the wrong things (take candy, climb furniture or other things) and certainly don't follow all safety precautions. They are CHILDREN!! Any of us old enough to write on this blog likely stole candy, played in driveways with parked cars, rode bikes without helmets and roamed entire summers without shoes - at the very least. Of course safety is important, but I honestly think the behavior we see happens on and off camera, and in homes all across the country. And those children grow up just fine!

    For me, I think the change has to do with the the length of exposure. At first, we saw a lot of 'how do you do luandry for so many, cook for so many, provide for so many' kinds of story lines. The kids were all still kids and the family was a novelty to the viewing public. Now, the how-to has been covered and the only things left are whatever dramas happen to be going on at the time. We have more footage of Jordyn being thrown into a wagon because we've already seen how the pantry gets stocked or the family closet is organized. We can't assume behaviors aren't corrected and delt with just because we don't see it on TV.

  4. I just hope they aren't relying on too much of that convenience food, cause not only it isn't cheap, it's everything but healthy!

  5. as far as i'm concerned the survival of josie proves the existence of G-d...how they all survived, hung together, worked as a team...

  6. I think they have more disposable income and therefore spend it on toys, small and large. This week's episode had one of the older girls commenting on the fact that they didn't play with many toys when they were younger, and then the scene cut to the boys playing with remote cars, etc.

    Also, I think the first special loaded them all in a converted school bus to travel, and now they have a specially made bus, vans, ATVs, etc to travel with. They have lots of computers, cell phones, etc. They fly lots of places, and travel much more than they used to for personal appearances.

    They seem to becoming more cognizant of the fact that some of their beliefs do not sit well with the mainstream people. Sometimes they downplay those beliefs, other times they try to state the normal daily life of the kids are not any different than others.

  7. Seems like the Duggar House Guidelines (listed on the family website) are not enforced with the younger children.

    Whatever happened to:

    Never raise a hand to hit.
    Never raise a foot to kick.
    Never raise an object to throw.
    Never raise a voice to yell.
    Never raise an eye to scowl.
    Use one toy/activity at a time. Share!

    When questioned about it, Michelle said her boys "have lots of energy".

    Okay, Michelle, time to quit making excuses for your poorly behaved children.

    I detest it when parents pass-off bad behavior as "oh, well, all kids do that!", or "they have alot of energy".

    I call bologney on that one.

    There was discipline amongst the children in the first few hour-long episodes. Now it's just chaos reigning supreme. And it's NOT that way all over the world as some commenters would have you believe. When we start accepting hitting as "normal", it's time to re-examine our parenting skills.

  8. Hi! I have enjoyed watching the children grow up! I'm still shocked that Josh got married so young. Then again, there are lots of young folks who are lucky to find love early. :)

    Their belief system is stronger than ever. I envy the "trust" they have. I believe it does bother them how others view them, but it won't stop them from living a life that they feel is pleasing to G-d.

    I have noticed the younger kids are behaving poorly lately...and I think that's great!! I know that sounds crazy, but I like seeing "real" things or real actions. These kids are well behaved when they have to be. The TLC cameras are like furniture now. They are just comfortable with being...rotten little kids. The Duggars have said they aren't perfect. Well, we all are getting a glimpse of that. Now, if we could actually see the girls fighting over the "shortest" denim skirt. Ratings would shoot to the moon and back! :D

  9. Something that i think needs to be pointed out is that it's not quite fair to compare the 1 hour documentaries to the 30 minute TV show...why? Because the documentaries were scripted--the director/producer knew what they wanted to say in those documentaries and went about getting it--you can tell that they are scripted and in that sense, yes the children are going to be a bit better behaved, because they are...performing for lack of a better word. Also they were edited to show what the script wanted us to see.

    The 30 min TV shows are not documentaries, they are clips of the Duggars living their daily lives out loud. And yes, the children are completely used to the cameras being there. They are also living in a MUCH larger house where they have room to move around. Most of the running around/playing we see now wouldn't have been possible in their original house and rental house we saw in the 1 hour shows.

    So whether or not their behaviour is different now or then, i can't say, because i don't think the documentaries (while they are my favourite) showed them in their daily life..every day...whereas the 30 min specials do. Also 5 of their kids weren't born or walking/playing when those were filmed. So the five youngest that are running around screaming weren't even in the 1 hour shows--or they weren't old enough to walk.

  10. " So the five youngest that are running around screaming weren't even in the 1 hour shows--or they weren't old enough to walk. "


    So....that makes the behavior acceptable? Really?

  11. I have noticed certin changes in the Duggar household but at times I have wondered whether it is just because they have more on camera time or if thigns that were censored before have come to light. As for the computers, they had those even in the first special in the room beyond the dining room you could briefly see the lockers and a few computers even then. Their clothing choices have evolved,we don't even see the little girls in the old dresses as hand me downs. Discipline may or may not be worse ebcause the first special was probably done in a single day whereas the some of the others were filmed over time. The producers are going to film everything and definately will put in things that create controversy because that si what the audience thrives on.
    I for one would like to see more of the daily living issues and schedules just to get more of a feelign what it really is like. Many people mention they have no friends but I have seen many other pictures online that show a different side(pictures that soon disappear once the general public finds them) so i truly believe they have a rish social life but defer to protecting their frends from public scrutiny. And as a child from a family of 5 I know how boisterous boys can be and I cannot imagine trying to keep as mnay young boys as the Duggars have in control! But they do seem to have better control when out in public which is how our paretns expected us to behave as well. At home we were pretty active , climbing trees and jumping out of them, gettign on the roof of the garage in winter and jumping off into snowdrifts, Skiing on minskis down out little hill for hours at a time. I know sometiems my mum looked pretty frazzled by us! Quite often we thought up things that as we were putitng the plans together got vetoed by our mum/dad because they were dangerous but other thigns we ddi were deemed ok although owadays most parents would probably freak about letting their kids do it. I was doing dishes at 4, chopping wood at 9, gardenign was a chore we all began before we could remember it was somethign we just had t do to survive! By the tiem we were 5 we each had out own little patch and a tree that was our resposibility. I think sometiems the Duggars could use a litle more constructive activities but since our mum was the oen in chareg i somehow cannot see Michelle doing these as she seem to alwasy be in a stage of pregnancy(recovering, pregnant, nursing) and I doubt JB has any clue how to garden(my DH has no clue either)

  12. i never made a comment on the acceptability of their behaviour at all....my comment was that it wasn't fair to compare what we see in the early documentaries to what we see in the 30 min shows...frankly i have no opinion on their behaviour

  13. yes they had computers from the beginning, that isn't the dispute...the change is that instead of the anciet pcs and macs they had they now have seemingly brand new flat screen monitors and new pcs...while you can buy these things used, they all match--before they were a motley collection of used monitors...

  14. A few things -

    on the computers -- if the older kids are doing a specific "cyber school" program - sometimes the computers are included - also, there are plenty of programs out there providing computers for homeschool kids - just like public schools - so they have the same tools available.

    behavior - I am not comfortable "Picking a side" but yes, the cameras are filming kids being kids - as they get more comfortable with the crews around, they are going to act natural - I'm sure my boys do plenty of things that I don't always see - so don't have a chance to address - I'm guessing there are some conversations after they watch the show! Yes, they have their rules, and I don't think Michele's comments about the boys being active says that she lets them get away with it - or what their consequences are.
    I see plenty of people (not all here - on other sites as well) that expect due to the "house rules" or the fact that they are on tv that they should all be perfect all the time.
    I am a Christian, and my Heavenly Father has given me a list of "house rules" to live by - and you know what - no matter how much I want to, and believe in the rules - I'm not perfect.

    I also agree with the poster who noted how we all change over a number of years - While the tv show has impacted some of these changes - to think that they would be living, dressing, acting exactly the same way as they were 5 years ago if the show had never happened is a bit unrealistic.

    Overall - it is a reality show - we are going to see real life - and I do appreciate that!

  15. I'm surprised actually that the clothes that were hand made by Michelle aren't even Hand me downs for the little girls johanna, jennifer, jordyn etc. It's nice to see the little girls in style, and i'm gald they can get away with pants under there skirts.. they probably wear the leggings because they don't want to show there underwear under there skirts i'm guessing..