Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Duggars blanket train? Hypocrits!

Everyone who knows me knows that I have an unnatural fascination with the Duggar family and their 18 (soon to be 19) children.  Most of this fascination comes from their ridiculous version of christianity, but I also like watching them to see how such a large family functions so smoothly.  The kids don't seem to fight very often, their parents never raise their voices, and the household runs like clockwork.  From breakfast over bible passages to Daddy's evening bible reading and bedtime, it just seems surreal.  The kids behave almost perfectly.  Perhaps it's because they're on camera, but I don't think you can get that many kids under the age of 5 to be so good while the cameras are there...and I know TLC would probably refuse to edit out a scene where someone in the family (especially one of the parents) is just losing it.

Then I found an interesting tidbit of information today.  Apparently, the Duggars use something called "blanket training" on their little ones.  Blanket training means placing a baby of crawling age on a blanket on the floor with toys just off the edge of the blanket.  Then, the parent "taps" the edge of the blanket with a rod or wooden spoon as a warning for the child not to get off the blanket.  Then, if the baby tries to get to the toys anyway, the baby gets smacked, usually on the back of the legs, to deter the child from trying again.  Eventually, the kid gets the picture and the parents can do whatever they want while their baby stays on the blanket.  It's cruel, and it reminds me of people crate training their dogs, but a baby is not a dog!  I don't believe in hitting kids, and hitting a baby of that age is just unconscionable.  To be fair, the Duggars claim that they blanket train without the hitting part, but I see no way that this would work.  And if they're lying about that, what else are they concealing about their child rearing?

So, how does this effect me and the world at large?  Why should I care?  Lots of people hit their kids, after all.  This bothers me because so many women watch this show, myself included, and think they are horrible mothers because they cannot measure up to this standard.  It's angering to think that we might be feeling this way because they are raising their children in a more heavy-handed manner than they let on, and that children raised in a more gentle manner are probably a bit more unruly.  I would be talking about my own child here.

Personally, I know I yell a lot less after watching an episode of their show and I feel terrible about my shorter temper for days.  Yet I keep watching.  It's a train wreck, and I do not possess the strength to look away from it.  Either way, I know I'll keep watching, but I may watch with a smirk now when Michelle or Jim Bob Duggar talk about how they raise their kids in such a "godly" manner.

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