method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

The Duggars: 20 and Counting

duggars-20-and-counting-2501I swear, I don’t usually read books like this. But I admit to a certain level of intrigue when it comes to the Duggars. I grew up in conservative Christian circles, but the Duggars just take it to a whole new level. Maybe it’s the traditional gender roles, maybe it’s the lack of any form of birth control, maybe it’s their seemingly docile sweet-natured kids. Whatever – I’m hooked on this freak show. I would be the first in line to poke fun about how Michelle Duggar got married at 17, or about how she began a career of handing out pizza samples following the marriage. Or maybe we could talk about the eldest son Josh and how he would give his fiancee awkward side-hugs. We don’t even need to say very much about Jim Bob, his name speaks for itself.

So imagine my surprise when my incredulous intrigue began to turn into admiration. I don’t care much for her fashion sense and there are a lot of things that I disagree with her about, but boy I sure do like Michelle Duggar. She seems exceedingly peaceful, so she must be either a wonderfully kind person or she has access to some really good drugs. Seriously though, I really admire the way that she interacts with her children. I have watched a few outtakes of Duggar bloopers/behind the scenes and I love the gentle manner that she uses with the kids. She doesn’t seem to lose her cool, and if I were in her shoes… well, I would have already been committed.

The book details some interesting aspects of their life such as how they derive their income. They’ve been debt-free since fairly early in their marriage thanks to several sound business decisions. I envy their business savvy – despite three business degrees between my husband and I, I fear that we still remain too risk-averse to ever accomplish Duggar-style success. It’s a little weird for me to think that maybe I could learn something from a guy called Jim Bob.

I have only two criticisms of the Duggars. First, I am disappointed that they won’t tell you much about their discipline style. I am sure that Michelle uses some gentle discipline techniques (I have seen it in the aforementioned videos). But I’ve been curious about whether or not they spank, and sadly there is no definitive answer. They do list pro-spanking discipline books in the resources section of their book, so I will go with the assumption that they do spank. Given their fundamentalist roots it would be surprising if they did anything to the contrary. I’m not sure why they don’t own up to it.

Second, I am disappointed in their diet. They really feed their kids a bunch of crap. Tater tot casserole, Jim Bob’s Amazing BBQ (can of tuna plus BBQ sauce), Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti (featuring 2 lbs. of Velveeta). Please Michelle, buy your kids some tofu (it’s cheap!) and feed them fresh vegetables once in awhile.


June 29, 2009 - Posted by | books, parenting


  1. If they had a garden they would have plenty of cheap produce to make their diet healthy. I agree that food is not so good. But, crappy food is cheaper.

    Comment by cb | September 16, 2009

    • Yeah, why don’t they have a garden?? Certainly seems like they have the space, and we know they have the manpower to handle it.

      Comment by lizzyd | September 16, 2009

  2. I saw a show where they are learning gardening. Mabey they will expand their garden but with all the traveling they do there is no time. If I had 20 kids mabey I could afford to travel.

    Comment by Dawn | November 18, 2009

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