Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Dozen Plus Four

I have to admit, this article is a bit mean. But I'm not sure it's too mean. Mean in some ways, but likely right on the money is some other ways. I don't want to sound mean either. But, like everything else, I have an opinion on this too.

As many of you may likely have already heard, Michelle Duggar had her sixteenth baby recently. And when asked if she was going to have more children she responded, "yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them". I've got news for Michelle. The Lord will keep dishing those kids up as long as she and Mr. Duggar keep doing what they've been doing without any attempts at contraception.

But, for the moment, I'm going to leave the Lord out of it. The above article deals with that issue quite well enough thank you. My question is this. What about the kids?

I have children. And trust me when I say that two children are not twice as much work as one's five times as much work. Sixteen? That's an infinite taskload. But, let's also set aside the practical situation, i.e. the expense, the logistics of eating, washing clothes, schooling and every other detail of having a children in everyday life. I want to simply look at the parental attention the kids will receive. Attention, which by the way I consider to be the single most important element of producing healthy happy children.

How can two parents possible give the attention necessary to raise sixteen emotionally healthy children? I'm going to give the Duggar's the benefit of the doubt that they are nice, caring people. They may even be quite capable parents. Even so, there is no way on God's green earth that two people will be capable of meeting the emotional needs of all these children. With the parental vacuum that is inevitable, the children will naturally seek other sources of support. Quality sources we hope. However even assuming all these hopes come true, the substitutes for parental attention will be second best.

Let's hope the Duggar's have a very very strong support system that is there for the children. These kids have a "rough row to hoe" in my opinion and they're going to need all the help they can get to develop as sound human beings. And let's hope that Michelle has a whole lot of patience, because she and the children are going to need every drop they can find.


At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The topic (very large family) and the photo that usually accompanies it on various blogs in recent days usually draws negative comment so I applaud your more even-handed remarks. If the family required our economic support, it might be worthy of public discussion but perhaps not even then. It's more like, 'oh, a 60-yr-old woman gave birth after artificial fertilization', i.e. just social data. OTOH if this family is saying, 'oh, look at what good Xtians we are..', I find that objectionable.

In my experience (with six), two children were not twice as hard to rear as one, and with the age-spread, the older ones help with the younger ones until they grow up and move on so that all are not actually in the same household over a long period of time.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

Can you imagine the comments if the woman happened to be poor and black?


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