I think it's each woman's own decision whether or not to have children & how many they have, but something about this whole situation just doesn't sit right with me. Somewhere along the line it's just not healthy, either for the mother, the baby, or the rest of the family. There are birth control methods available that are acceptable to even the most strict religious views.
I agree with those who think they are having children for the purpose of upping the numbers for the media, not because they want or need more children in their lives.
What started out as a novelty about a family with a lot of kids has become uncomfortable & awkward.
"Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa. --Field of Dreams--"
As I don't watch this show, but have seen an episode when it was 18 and counting.... do any of the children go off to college? I find it odd that they keep having kids..... is it the pregnancy and baby stage of the parenting that they only like? Are they involved and present parents in all their kids' lives? sorry for the questions, but it seems odd to me.... I actually love the age from 6mo onward.... so many fun stages to enjoy every step of the way.
I read a few years back that 2 of the kids (Josh and Anna) had signed up for the College Plus! program, which is an alternative method of purusing a degree. Basically, you earn up to 90 credits from various sources (including online programs), then enroll in a school to complete a bachelor's degree. Josh said he wanted to be a lawyer, and Anna wanted to be a nurse. I haven't read or heard whether or not they are still trying to do this. Part of the program, for many kids, is getting a GED first if they have no HS diploma issued by a public or private school.
As to being involved in all of their kids lives in a hands-on and "present" way, I think that's impossible. There are just too many. As one of 11 kids, I know first hand that parents' time goes individually to the kids most in need of it. There are, though, many benefits that can come along with having lots of siblings.
"To err is human, to arr is a pirate"
Update on career planning:
NLQ FAQ: Are Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar “Quiverfull”? « NO LONGER QIVERINGThe Duggar sons are expected to follow this line of thinking in their own careers. To date 3 sons are now done with their “education,” have a GED and are in business. Josh, following in his father’s footsteps, has a used car lot. John David, again in his father’s footsteps, has a towing business. Joseph, who is currently at the family home with elder brother John, has not been identified as having his own business but is said to be helping John. To mainstream America, these boys are not educated to the point of having a job at much more than McDonalds. In fact you cannot even enlist in the U.S.Marine Corps with a GED! But in Quiverfull families, this is normal.
The Duggar friends all have similar business—the Stanleys have a construction company, the Bates own a tree service company, the Maxwells have a family business producing materials for family scheduling. In their book, the Duggars provide mere lip-service to the idea that their children could realistically aspire to more:
“If one of our children is called to a specialized field, such as medicine, we will help him or her prepare for it. But our main educational goal is to give them as much knowledge and as many skills as possible to prepare them for adult life. While we value academics, we also want to prepare them to run a household or support a family with skills such as cooking, sewing, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, money managing, negotiating, and sales experience.”
The Duggar daughters have been shown via the Discovery Health Channel’s web site to have career goals. The joke is on the readers however, as each girl has chosen a Gothard-approved goal like nurse, midwife, missionary, beautician. Helpfully, ATI [fundmentalist patriarchal Christian movement] has training programs in each of these areas. The Duggars also have shown how they teach the girls to change the oil in the car or change a flat tire as well as showing the boys learning to cook or doing some housework. This particular episode of the show seemed hopelessly “staged.” Especially when the girls were shown in the garage learning about the car—all while little Johanna toddled about in such an inappropriate setting.
It seems that by the time a Duggar kid reaches adulthood, he/she has a strong work ethic, is poised and respectful in dealing with others, knows how to run a household with financial discipline, and has a heart for volunteering and service. I find that admirable and commendable.
They have recently said the older girls are preparing for college courses on-line. I think the real reason the older girls don't even attend a community college is that it would take time away from the house, laundry, child care, cooking, etc. They can't afford for the kids to attend college because Michelle and Jim Bob are NOT ABLE to care for their younger children without the older ones. They both have admitted they have to have help on multiple occasions.
Did you know that all of the older girls, even the 21 year old must have a chaperone when she leaves the house? They cannot leave the house alone, so if one left for college, one of her sisters or brother would have to accompany her.
Anna Duggar (Josh, oldest Duggar son's wife) had on Josh and Anna's website that she got a 4 year degree, in some kind of religious training on-line. That was before she got married.
It seems their educations suit the lifestyle that they are living. It is archaic in many ways, but this is the life they lead. I only hope that if one of the children REALLY wanted to do something out of the box, they would be able to. As to the chaperone, even when Josh was courting Anna, they had a chaperone on their dates, so it makes sense that they ascribe to this with the girls as well. I can see it with younger ones, but its a little too much for an older one !!!
"To err is human, to arr is a pirate"