When you think of the Duggar household – made so famous in the TLC show 19 Kids & Counting – you think of the logistics of raising such a large family. Meal planning, laundry, travel, schooling…there’s nothing simple about any aspect of daily life.
So just imagine trying to discipline such a large brood. True, mom Michelle doesn’t have to correct all of them at once; many of them are teens or young adults now. But eight of her clan are under age 12, and the youngest are still very little, so she still has plenty of behavior challenges to deal with.
In her latest blog for TLC, Michelle talks about “crazy hour” in her house: the hour between 4:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon when chores and schoolwork are done and the kids have a lot of energy on their hands. Most of the time, they’re content to ride bikes or play in their playroom. But on the occasions when the children start to act up, she’ll give them a brief time-out to sit and read.
But, she emphasizes, this isn’t a punishment (which might make them angry). Instead, she thinks of it as a way for them to regain control.
The idea is that they think, “Wow, I feel good about myself now. I’ve obeyed Mommy. I’ve sat here for 15 minutes, read this book, calmed down, didn’t have to get in trouble, but actually sat and looked at a book for 15 minutes. And now I can get up and go do something else.”
And what about the times the junior Duggars actually do misbehave?
Yes, even these normally well-behaved and devout youngsters do have their naughty moments. We’re talking actual roll-around-on-the-ground yowling fits. But Michelle says, “[T]hey quickly learn they don’t get whatever it is they’re throwing a fit for. They’re not going to get the expected outcome…[T]hey have to wait and talk patiently and politely with me. This is what I expect, and I have to train them.”
If they’re squabbling over sharing a toy or trike, the wise Mama Duggar gets down to their level and reminds them to ask their sibling to share in a nice way. If that doesn’t work, “I set a timer for five minutes. And each child gets a turn for five minutes. If they don’t get off the bike or share that toy, they lose their turn.”
In the Duggar household, it’s all about respecting each other and cooperating as a family.
An admirable thing, to be sure, no matter how you may feel about their beliefs or some of their parenting choices.
But sometimes I like to think that Michelle loses her temper and yells at her gang just once in a while, like the rest of us.
How about you?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
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