Like many families, the Duggar clan of the popular TLC show 19 Kids & Counting enjoys watching movies together. In fact, they set aside Friday nights as their time to gather around the TV for one of their favorite films, says mom Michelle in her weekly blog.
But Michelle and her husband, Jim Bob, enforce a firm work-before-fun policy. In the Duggar house, movies are a privilege that the kids earn by doing all their homework, practicing their music, doing their chores and keeping their assigned areas of the house neat. They snooze, they lose!
“[I]f they’ve been lazy and they slacked off and they didn’t really focus on getting their checklist items done, they may miss out on that movie time because – and I know this sounds really hard – but it’s all about ‘you work hard and then you play,’ ” says Michelle.
The same goes for after-school free time: They can head for the scooters and toy box once their tasks are done. Even then, Mrs. D. may say no, depending on the circumstances. The Duggar boys like playing flight-simulator games on the computer, but “I have to decide if it’s even feasible because they have to do it in a certain place where it’s not going to be a distraction for others who aren’t finished with all their stuff.”
So which movies does this megafamily pick on Fridays when all the checklists have been checked off? Remember, they have to please an audience ranging from teens to toddlers.
For starters, they love a classic film that’s very appropriate for them!
Michelle says that one of their favorite movies is the original version of Cheaper by the Dozen, based on the real-life story of efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth, his wife, Lillian, and their 12 children. (Wonder if Michelle gets any of her organizational tips from this film?)
Another on their list is Flywheel, an independent film about an unscrupulous car salesman who mends his ways after turning his life and business over to God. Its values hit home with the devoutly Christian family.
And the movie choice for the youngest Duggars? Bambi.
Michelle could do her fans a huge favor by devoting her next blog to discussing her solution to one of a mom’s biggest dilemmas: how to comfort the kids after Bambi’s mom is shot by the hunter!
[Photo: courtesy TLC]
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