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#75356 - 04/24/06 09:27 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
boom
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 2

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 Quote:
Originally posted by dazey:
[Why should young women be expected to reveal their bodies if they want to swim? What does the discomfort with that aspect of their lives say about what we expect from people's appearances? There's an element of body judgementalism in condemning people for not "making the most of" their appearance, but why should that be an aim for anyone? [/QB]
I forgot to say, Dazey...I agree with you completely on the modesty swimwear thing...and there IS an equivalent for men...it's the loose swim trunks that they all wear! Unless they choose to wear a speedo, their swimsuit does not hug every curve of their private parts the way that girls swimsuits do. There is no comparison here! You cannot make out the shape and size of a man's private parts through their swim trunks, but you certainly can see the size, shape, and location of everything in a woman's swimsuit.

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#75357 - 04/25/06 05:11 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
LovelyPride
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 448
Loc: Alberta, Canada

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 Quote:
Originally posted by boom:
I think they will gain PLENTY by having a support system of siblings around them; they will have a closeness with their siblings for a lifetime...long after their parents are gone.
This is the rather dangerous assumption most people have about large families. My father comes from a family of seven children and even in that size of a group he felt lost in the shuffle. Out of six siblings he has only been close with one all his life - he's closer to some of his nieces and nephews. The older siblings sometimes took advantage of the fact that his parents couldn't be watching all the time and bullied the younger ones. If you give someone power, they will use it.

His parents have both past away now and the family has drifted apart regardless of size. Just because you're forced to deal with a lots of siblings doesn't mean you'll become close to any of them. There will always be personality clashes in any large group - families are no exception.

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#75358 - 04/25/06 05:55 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
goo
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 459
Loc: London, UK

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 Quote:
boom wrote:

I admired a good deal about their family dynamic.
I found little to admire in their family dynamic.There seems to be no room for individuality of expression, no choice, isolation, limited education, roles solely ascribed by gender and little actual parenting. The parents manage the children, delegating the parenting and assigning tasks. One 13-year-old girl cooks for 18 people, and I didn't see much evidence of intelligence in any of them. How many cuddles can you give 16 kids in one day? Do you always remember each of their names?

I find several things distasteful about the documentary on the family - the disconnect between the isolation of the family and the media interest in the family; call me cynical but selling your family for TV - twice! - is pimping your freak show. Religious lifestyles such as these are novelties now. I also distrust any religious imperative for 16 children - the majority of the "babies being brought into this world (in staggering numbers) by parents who have no jobs, who do not prioritize their ... education, who have no ... means to provide health care or basic hygiene for their children, etc. etc." are most likely to be those in underdeveloped countries whose parents are providing for the lifestyle of those in the west. Those babies are paying for the Duggars. Having 16 children in a western country is just irresponsible, and I don't understand how that could be sanctioned by any god.

My mother's family is large (15, 64 grandchildren) and strongly evangelical Christian, and messed up and unsupportive and strictly judgemental and sometimes downright nasty; perhaps Judaism is a nicer religion than this one.

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#75359 - 04/26/06 03:11 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
may14
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Registered: 04/23/06
Posts: 37

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As I have already started telling about my personal life, I might as well go on and say that I have six siblings, and that it did not prevent my mother from knowing the names of all my teachers and friends, and being able to tell my teachers exactly what I liked and disliked about any subject. My best friend is an only child and her mother, a good and supportive parent though she is, could never equal my mother in being thoroughly acquainted with her daughter.
In an era when individuality is so celebrated, I might add that although we have only four rooms in our home (yes, yes!) every child's privacy was (and still is) respected, and no one meddled with our belonging or even try to engage us in a conversation when we wanted to be left alone. When we wanted society we had plenty of that, and when we did not- everyone had a corner where they liked to curl up with a book/walkman, and no one disturbed them.
And my friend the only child, by the way, has helped her mother a great deal more then I have ever done. I never cooked, cleaned the house or ironed more then few shirts. My biggest chores were- and still are- keeping my room in order and sometimes helping my mother to wash the floor. So don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. You just can't say "large families are all alike", because they are simply not. Nor are small families, for that matter.
Oh, and yes, I wish everyone had been cuddled as much as I and my sibling have been.

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#75360 - 04/26/06 02:18 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
goo
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 459
Loc: London, UK

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 Quote:
may14 wrote:
You just can't say "large families are all alike".
I don't think anyone here has said that. My comments were in relation to the program about the Duggars, in which there was nothing I found commendable about their lifestyle. My experience as a member of a similarly large family with a similar faith and set of religious traditions reinforces this.

I find the use of the word 'tolerate' in this thread interesting - is it meant to be defined as 'respect' or 'endure'? I'm willing to endure families such as the Duggars, but I can't respect their lifestyle (as I'm aware of it from the TV and their website). There is too much that is absurd about it.

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#75361 - 04/27/06 05:19 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
Libby
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Registered: 06/06/02
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Slightly off-topic, but I was just reading an interview with Ingrid Hill, author of Ursula Under, holds a doctorate in English, teaches and writes and is herself the mother of 12 children. I like the way she likens parenting to writing:

 Quote:
Parenting takes perseverance: so does writing. Parenting demands creativity: so does writing. Parenting pays back great emotional and spiritual rewards—and also gives us grief. So does writing. Both are manifestations of the great spirit of life itself.

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#75362 - 04/27/06 10:28 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
mashenka
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Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 222
Loc: NY

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Oooh Libby I love that quote! And I think I may have to check out this Ingrid Hill \:\)
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#75363 - 04/28/06 07:47 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
SeattleShrew
Ching Shih


Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 372
Loc: Seattle

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 Quote:
Originally posted by goo:
I find the use of the word 'tolerate' in this thread interesting - is it meant to be defined as 'respect' or 'endure'?
I wondered about that as well, goo. I think endurance isn't enough for some. Perhaps it has to do with the evangelical aspects of some religions, in which getting others to join up is a priority.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mara2:

I think being in Australia (I'm not sure whether it's a myth that we are the world's most secular country, but we certainly have one of the lowest rates of attendance at formalised worship) I can't quite grasp the front and centre position religion takes in public life in the US.
I think it is quite regional in nature. I live in a city in a so-called blue state and it isn't so big a part of public life here. But I'm quite aware of its influence, and am wondering only half-jokingly if Australia is still accepting immigrants.

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#75364 - 05/03/06 03:05 PM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
MissAmy
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 63
Loc: Austin, TX

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 Quote:
Originally posted by LovelyPride:
 Quote:
Originally posted by boom:
I think they will gain PLENTY by having a support system of siblings around them; they will have a closeness with their siblings for a lifetime...long after their parents are gone.
This is the rather dangerous assumption most people have about large families. My father comes from a family of seven children and even in that size of a group he felt lost in the shuffle. Out of six siblings he has only been close with one all his life - he's closer to some of his nieces and nephews. The older siblings sometimes took advantage of the fact that his parents couldn't be watching all the time and bullied the younger ones. If you give someone power, they will use it.

His parents have both past away now and the family has drifted apart regardless of size. Just because you're forced to deal with a lots of siblings doesn't mean you'll become close to any of them. There will always be personality clashes in any large group - families are no exception.
This sounds exactly like my father's family. He is the youngest of six, and only close to his brother, who is next-to-youngest. All the other siblings are sisters, and he never speaks to them. The family was raised evangelical, and all but the younger two sons have had very rough lives, problems with addiction and the law.

My main beef with the Dugars isn't that they are religious or that they have a large family. It is that they have a socially irresponsibly large family, and are raising their children to be judgemental and sheltered with no skills to live in the "real" world. I can't imagine that the younger ones are getting any kind of real affection from the parents, and I would imagine that they are bullied by the older ones as well. Also, I have known many home-schooled kids and unlike many of the posters in this thread, have never met one that was sufficiently socialized or particularly well educated. Yes, they do tend to be well behaved, but that is not the only thing that education is about.

As for the swimsuit issue, I simply think those things look hideous and hot. Like I said in my earlier post, I don't wear ultra-revealing swimwear and don't really approve of it for very young girls. However, I do think that if children are going to swim (particularly in the ocean or a large lake) they need to be comfortable and have a reasonable range of movement. Also, I'm from Texas - our summers border on the unbearable, and it seems like being out in the heat of the day in one of those contraptions would increase one's chances of heat stroke due to the double layers of thick material. That, to me, seems like a high price to pay for modesty.

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#75365 - 05/11/06 12:34 AM Re: '14 Children and Pregnant Again' - the Duggar family
anchorsandkeys
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/24/03
Posts: 68

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I find the way the family is run to be very troublesome. The two most alarming aspects, to me, are the concepts of "blanket training" and the suppression of individuality amongst the kids. Blanket training consists of putting a baby/toddler on a blanket, then smacking/tapping them with a wooden spoon, rolled-up newspaper, or some other object every time they wander off the blanket. Eventually this trains them to stay in one place and not get into trouble, which maximizes the parents' time to do other things. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that it would also lead to developmental issues. Kids of that age are supposed to be curious and wanting to explore the world around them, and if you train that desire out of them at such a young age, there's no way it can't create problems later.

Related to that is the "individuality" issue. These kids all play the same instrument because their parents can't afford twelve different teachers. They all learn exactly the same things because they only learn what their parents teach them. They're homeschooled. Their church is run by their father, in their basement. They only socialize with families who are "like them." They often wear matching clothes. Already the oldest son has said that he's not going away to college because he gets separation anxiety when he's away from his siblings for even a few hours at a time. They're so used to functioning as a unit that I'd be surprised if any of them learn to survive on their own. It can't be healthy.

Furthermore, the parents don't take care of their kids. Each small child has one of the older children as their "buddy." The older buddy is in charge of making sure the younger one is fed and clothed, does their chores -- they're even partially in charge of their education. In my opinion, that's frightening. From what we've seen, the parents do alarmingly little "parenting" or caretaking -- they just oversee the whole thing and make sure the machine is running smoothly. There's no way that a 12-year-old kid should be in charge for large parts of a 4-year-old's education.

The extreme religiosity is not what bothers me -- nor is it the traditional gender roles they're passing on (in fact, in one scene in the most recent Duggar special, the kids, both male and female, are shown helping with the construction of the new house, so I'm not sure that their gender roles are as traditional as some people are assuming). I think people should be free to raise their kids as they see fit as long as they can provide for them financially, mentally, emotionally, etc. But while the Duggars appear to be capable financial providers, I have plenty of doubt about their ability to take care of their kids emotionally. The idea that a 17-year-old boy can't be away from his family for more than a few hours at a time suggests some serious developmental problems, and I'd be surprised if he was the only one that had them. That said, if he chooses to stay at home until he's married, then builds a house on his father's land like his father apparently wants him to do, this may never become an issue.

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