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Parent Talk: How Many Kids is Too Many?

The Duggar family's pregnancy announcement Tuesday morning started many discussions Tuesday.

The Duggar family announced they are expecting their 20th child this spring. With that came all sorts of reactions around the world.

There are questions ranging from how they can afford it to questions about Michelle, who is already 45, and her health after her last pregnancy's issues.

The Duggars, who star in a hit reality show on TLC dubbed "19 Kids and Counting," believe that children are a gift from the Lord and have no plans of preventing any more children.

While I can't imagine (or desire) 20 kids in my house, it's hard for me to find negatives with their family situation. The brood all appears happy and healthy, have strong faith and values and are not a burden on society.

I know of families with only two or three children that depend on public assistance and are up to their eyeballs in debt.

This family is debt free and self-supporting. The family homeschools, so the children aren't even overtaking a public school.

Some say that the older children have too much responsibility for their younger siblings, but it doesn't seem to bother them, does it?

While it's not for me, I have to commend and congratulate them. They seem to be doing a pretty fine job with their family. And really, when you already have 19 kids, what's one more?

Willow November 09, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Ooh, hot topic! Personally I admire the Duggars and agree with most every thing they stand for. They seem like a lovely, well rounded bunch of kids and I can't think of another t.v. family that I'd rather hang out with - not perfect but always striving to do the right thing. Our family prayed together last night FOR the Duggars as they are under so much fire from those who don't understand them.
Meghan Gutzwiller November 09, 2011 at 09:57 PM
good article! I say live and let live, unless the children were not being cared for properly. Since this is not the case, I wish them well and look for tips from them on how they manage it all...sometimes just my own 3 makes me feel like I'm living in a zoo :)
Laura Nielsen November 10, 2011 at 01:53 AM
Even though you can probably guess how I feel about it ;) I'll leave this quote from Mother Theresa: How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.
Lisa Peterson November 10, 2011 at 01:36 PM
I love the Duggars!!! I just finished their book, "A Love That Multiplies". From my vantage point, I see a loving, united family joyfully serving God, each other and their community. They use their voices to build up others, not tear down, they don't expect anyone to meet their financial needs and they model the spirit of family love and devotion. I say Congratulations!!! :)
SMD November 10, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Well-written, Samara!! I agree with you, although it's not for me, who am I to judge them for having that many children. They are providing for their family and not asking for any handouts.
Willow November 10, 2011 at 08:02 PM
I see where you're coming from, Erica. I agree that we should ALL be giving more time and money to charities and those who need a helping hand. Seems to me, the Duggars are currently raising 19 children who are being taught to do just that - be charitable, helpful, and giving of their time and money. Think of all the good that those Duggar kids will go on to do as adults and all the people they will be able to help. That would be 16,000 helping hands in 3 generations. That's a happy thought. :o)
Willow November 10, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Ah, I gotcha!
Laura Nielsen November 11, 2011 at 02:21 AM
We already have a natural right to have as many children as we can. God forbid someone take that right away from us (that's called eugenics...been tried before, many times in history. One that comes to mind: Hitler!). We can hope that ANY person could help to provide clean drinking water for the planet but even if the Duggar children never do anything SOME people would deem "worthy of existence", their lives would be gifts to humanity. The reality of humanity is that it is extremely rare to be so blessed, so your proposed dire future impact is pretty moot. We are barely replacing ourselves in fertility and soon the population will collapse if there are not enough young, able bodied people to help support the aging populations around the world. Europe is already seeing this collapse. Speaking globally, I believe we all need to try and support big families and lots of healthy, happy children! :)
Mike Schoemer (Editor) November 11, 2011 at 05:27 AM
Laura - I don't think anyone is trying to take their right to reproduce away. And if you want to look for a more modern example, I think Erica is trying to reference China, or even African countries, where women are limited in their reproduction. If the United States had 1.2 billion people, instead of half of that, things might be different here. I think that's the point.
Laura Nielsen November 11, 2011 at 06:13 AM
I know that's the point. It's my point too. Look at what government "limiting reproduction" has wrought China. Forced abortion and abortion for sex selection (males being preferred as a culture) have unbalanced their society and they have giant, modern, empty and unproductive cities all over their country. The statement "...if we all decided it was our right..." implies that she believes it's not necessarily a person's right, but if I'm wrong about assuming that, then I apologize. I won't say anthing more to clog up the comments and Erica can email me if she has any questions or comments so we can let others opine. :)
Jennifer Dvorak November 11, 2011 at 06:05 PM
I just saw something on tv the other night on how overpopulation is a big hoax....If we were to decide to move the entire nation into Texas....there would be enough room for each family to even have their own yard. Go Michelle Duggar...you have a beautiful family and are very blessed. As for the comments on her being too old to have kids, my grandma had her ninth baby at 48 years old...perfectly healthy. Babies are born premature all the time...even to perfectly healthy 20 year olds. It was just a trial that God gave them....just like we have our own specific trials to get through in life. :)
Twinkle November 11, 2011 at 07:56 PM
I'm sorry, but this is a non-question. "If we all decided it was our right to have 20 children..." First, it's not a right to have children, it is a gift, a blessing. And obviously, not everyone wants 20 children. In fact, most Americans do not personally want that many kids. Should we also look at people who voluntarily decide not to have children or even sterilize themselves so that they cannot have children? I personally know at least 9 couples in the US that choose not to have children. So if you allot them 2 of the Duggar children, then it all evens out to 2 kids per family. So we can't say "What if everyone wanted 20 kids?" because everyone doesn't want 20 kids. It's like saying "What if everyone would only be teachers?" Then we'd have no doctors, bus drivers, bankers, etc. It's a non-question because that doesn't exist. Bottom line- how many children people have are up to them and God. And we all need to do our parts to help others. Who knows what charities the Duggars give to. I just think that we shouldn't judge others for having 20 or 30 or 2 kids.
Rachel Arro November 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM
I do believe in the Duggars' right to make their own decisions, and I have no doubt that they are kind people, but I do have one observation. I did not get the god-given right to bear children and have spent more time in fertility clinics and adoption agencies than I could ever calculate. I have seen many, many lovely couples who have spent thousands of dollars to have one child. I wish that Duggars would consider sharing the gift with people who were not so fortunate in that respect. I find that it's very easy to talk about god-given gifts when you actually have those gifts. The only reason I have one son is because there was someone out there willing to give us a chance at a family. In my opinion, she is an angel.
Laura Nielsen November 18, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Are you suggesting that they give some/any of their children up for adoption, simply because others are not able to have children naturally? I'm sure that their decision to not thwart their fortunate fertility is not based on any "in your face" to people who are not able to conceive naturally.
Rachel Arro November 18, 2011 at 06:39 PM
I never used the words "in your face" nor did I suggest that they should thwart their fertility, which is VERY fortunate for them. I do believe, though, that it is possible for God to have more than one plan for people who are able to have children. For what's it worth, I don't believe that our son's biological mother ever gave him up. She made a choice to place with a family that needed him and could provide for him in a way that she could not, given her circumstances.
Laura Nielsen November 18, 2011 at 07:31 PM
"I wish that Duggars would consider sharing the gift with people who were not so fortunate in that respect."...I don't understand what you could mean by this statement so I made assumptions. How can a couple "share the gift" of their fertility in any way other than to give their child away (or place their child with another family)? I am just really confused by the wording of your statement. I'm not trying to be rude. I understand the frustrations of infertility and I always pray that more people consider adoption.

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