Friday, November 13, 2009

A different kind of "reality" family

Alright, I know not everyone will agree, but I really like the Duggars on TLC's 18 Kids and Counting!  Every time I watch them I feel like I have so much to learn in raising my family.  Granted, they have had a lot of practice, but Michelle Duggar is always so calm, patient and loving toward her family.  I especially realize this as I yell for my son to "Pipe down!  I'm trying to listen to the Michelle discuss peace in her home!  Sheesh!"  Errr... yeah, not so good.

I don't agree with everything they believe.  My wardrobe contains pants and you will find dancing in my home almost every hour of the day.  I don't intend to have children into my 40s and I know our styles of homeschooling are very different.  But you know what?  When I look at their children their style and process of parenting and family-life really speaks for itself!  Those kids are solid in their beliefs, kind, generous, respectful and smart, but they are still very much kids.  I see these other reality shows with families, even those who claim to be Christian, and none of them reflect what I would want my family to look like as the Duggars do.

Initially I thought Michelle was, well... a little fake.  When she would constantly talk about "encouragement" with her cheerful demeanor and peppy inflection I couldn't help but roll my eyes.  Then one day it hit me... she is right!  She isn't just saying that because it sounds like the right Christian-ease to plug into the interview, she really means it!  And having gone through a sustained period of things really not going well for my family, I see just how important that encouragement is!  When you have others encouraging you it makes such a difference!  Even just one person reminding you that God does hear you and has not forgotten you, that things will get better, can mean the difference between pushing through one more day or falling into a horrible, bottomless depression.

Another thing that Michelle said on their question and answer show when someone asked how she dealt with the little ones without getting stressed was that she always tries to make sure she is smiling at her kids, intentionally.  Sooner or later you can't help but change your mood, even if just a little bit, if you have a smile on your face!  I have especially found this to be true when R-Man is pitching a fit.  If I smile at him and make him squeak out a smile too, even if it is just a fake one, pretty soon it becomes real and things seem to calm down much more quickly.

I have so much to learn, I know it will never end.  For now though, while I am deeply entrenched in the research years, it is nice to have the Duggars to watch and glean from.  So, thank you Duggars, you are a beautiful family!

1 comment:

AlexIsAwake said...

I enjoy the Duggars a lot too, they have definitely changed my mind on many things! In the beginning I was critical and skeptical, and now I find myself trying to emulate Michelle in several ways, including her sweet, kind, cheerful demeanor. She seems to emphasize speaking softly always, never raising your voice to yell, and I can really see what a difference it makes in the emotional health of herself and the whole family. :)