19 Kids and COUNTING?!

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I thought that the topic of Parental Investment, which was covered in lecture, was extremely interesting. I think most people are familiar with the Duggar family, stars of TLC's show "19 Kids and Counting". Like the title suggests, parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have 19 children and lost 2 additional children due to miscarriages. duggar-family.jpg HOW MANY CHILDREN IS TOO MANY CHILDREN? The ultimate reason for having children is to pass your genes on to your offspring. However, the survival of those offspring is dependent on parental investment. Professor Simpson suggested that women can have about 25 children throughout their reproductive years. But, can parents adequately invest in their kids if they have that many? Can two people really raise 20-ish children? It seems as though the Duggar children have fared well enough so far. I think it may be due to their substantial income from the reality TV show and the parents intense religion. However, 19 kids still seems like too many. I grew up in a family with two children, which seems much more manageable. There was always enough love and time, as well as food, clothing, and money, for my brother and me from my parents. I personally know that I will not never have children into the double digits. So, how many kids do you think is too many?


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I agree, the parents cannot possibly spent enough time with each child to give them the proper emotional attention they need or develop meaningful relationships with so many. The older siblings do much of the parenting, which is not fair to them. It seems like they turn out well but I feel bad for them because they are so sheltered. My mom is the 10th of 11 girls (Irish Catholic family) and she had a horrible relationship with her mother. She said that one of her older sisters raised her.

Personally, I think this is absurd. I agree with alle0518 that it is not possible for the parents of the family to spend enough time with each child in order for the children to feel like they have two parents. I also think that with so many children and not enough attention and affection being distributed to each child, the older children will begin to take the roles of additional mothers and fathers. It is not a child's responsibility to care for their fellow brothers and sisters. Caring in a sence of respect and love for each other is fine, but when a older child has to start disciplining the younger ones and teaching them the basics of life, then I think there way too many kids in that family. I also want to bring up the topic of the world's increasing population. The world can barely sustain all of us already and the population is not predicted to decrease but rather increase exponentially. Parents need to be responsible for the world and realize that if everyone did what they did, a selfish act, then the world would over populate and survuval would be extremely difficult. Thank goodness that family has a TV show giving them money. If not, I would hate to see the condition that the family would be living in without the money.

I think the number of kids should depend on a few different variables, first the parents need to be able to financially support their children, second a parent needs to have enough time to give their children the attention they deserve. If the parents have more kids than they can handle the children will not experience the relationship with their parents they need and deserve. I feel 19 kids is extreme, but if the parents feel that they can both financially support and provide enough attention for each and every kid than I do not see anything wrong with it.

The speculation on whether 19 kids is too much or not really comes down to the specific scenario. If this family has so far made things work well, and if in the future there are no detrimental emotional or relationship based problems, then it's really not fair to say 19 kids is ALWAYS a terrible thing. I think, however, it is fair to say that in most circumstances (like those without extenuating financial support) having such a large number of family members could be unnecessarily difficult to manage. I personally think more than 5 children is a lot to handle and probably will only have 2, but to each his own.

I feel that the number of kids per couple depends on multiple things. I feel that getting into the double digits is not 100% manageable for any couple though. Each child deserve equal amount of love and care, the more the kids the harder it is too balance these things. I feel as if the Duggar family is not as well off as they appear to be. They may have the income from the show to be able to financially support their family. The tv show though is taking time away from parent child or just family bonding time in general. I feel the average amount of children to have that a couple can give the right amount of care and attention to all would be 4.

I definitely think 19 kids is too many, however I do personally know a family that has 18 children. I don't know how the parents manage! I have watched this show a few times and I've noticed a very prominent pattern. The older kids are the ones taking care of their younger siblings. I have one sister and I remembered how much I hated it when my parents would make me pick her up from school or take her to cheer practice. I couldn't imagine being in charge of dinner for the night or babysitting while my parents went on a date. I do agree with you that the Duggar children seem to do well in a household with this many people, but they've never known anything different. I think the financial responsibility is incredible and I don't know how you could ever be 100% positive that you could feed 20+ mouths. I think if a family is this large, they would all need to be very religion focused. This would help keep them all in line. They known what they are and aren't allowed to do and they don't stray from these guidelines. I know that I will never have this many children, but I do hope to foster and adopt teenagers throughout my life, so who knows, maybe someday I'll be cooking supper for 18 kids.

I can see that maybe having 19 kids would be appropriate if you lived in the 1700's and needed to make sure that some of them survived famine and plague... but we live in the 21st century and medicine has made HUGE advancements. Someone needs to tell these people to stop.
I agree with you that they probably are making quite a bit of money off this reality television series they are doing, but come on, when is enough enough? I can't imagine all these kids feeling loved or getting enough one-on-one time with parents. It makes me wonder what kind of people they'll turn out to be when they're older? I'm sure their parents are very strict and don't let them experience and grow on their own.

Growing up with only one other sibling I can not attest to having more people around the house but I do know the affect it has on some of my friends. One of my friends is the youngest of 5 siblings with her oldest brother looking to turn 40 soon. Compared to my situation, it is hard for me to imagine having siblings that are the age of my aunts and uncles. This situation occurs within the Duggar family as well. With 19 kids there is no way to have each child feel as if though they "grew up" with all of their siblings. The Duggar's are still having children as Grandparents, which to me may mean it is time to stop.

I do not think we can judge whether or not the children get enough love. It wouldn't be fair to, in all honesty. What I think is wrong about this situation is that as the parents get older and they have more children, they are making it so they have more risk of problems, as the 19th born child had during and after birth. Along with the issues that can arise from birth at a later age, the younger children will have to deal with possibly losing their parent much earlier than many children do. If this family continues its path of children whenever they can, eventually they could end up like the 60 year old mom! When will the older children get to grow up, move out, and start a family of their own is another question I have. You should only have as many children as you can take care of by yourself without the help of others, especially older siblings.

I agree, having that many children does not seem like it would be possible. You would have to give each child the time it takes to care for them and help them grow up. I would say more then 8 kids would be entirely to much, and I came from a family of 3 kids. Even with three kids it seems like it could be a bit stressful, and I think it would be unfair to your kids to have any more then you think you could handle. If you think you could handle having a large number of kids, sure, go for it, I know I probably wont.

I think that 19 children is too many children and the parents could not have enough time to take care of each kid. In my opinion, it is very important to pay enough attention to the each kid because usually, they don't have an ability to set their identification themselves. In this case, 19 kids seem to be overwhelmed for the parents.

Funny how we have pretty negative comments about this couple for having so many children and there are families that only have 1 or 2 children and are the worst behaved children ever. Many parents work a lot of hours and when they finally come home to their "1 child" and instead of having dinner with their child or talking about their day, or even going out for a walk, parents go directly to their computers, cell phones, eating in front of the T.V., playing video games, ect...hmm, 19 children don't get enough attention from parents...sometimes one child does not get enough attention from their parents either.I grew up with a house full of children (12) and my parents where ALWAYS there for us, we had a large table and my mom would start serving dinner when everyone was at the table, we would all gather around our living room in the evening and my father would read to us. We would sometimes gather around our parents bed, some kids on the bed by my parents feet, others on the floor and my father would tell us stories from when he was a child. We only owned 1 tv and our games where always playing outside or finding new things to create like making figues out of mud. ahh the good old days.

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