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Dumb Question - Larger Families

I'm watching 7th Heaven. Yes, I know it's just TV but I'm just curious how true to real life this is because the show really bugs me. With bigger families are parents as lax as these parents seem to be in their parenting? It drives me nuts how the kids always feel like they have to take care of each other or the parents expect the kids to be taking care of the other kids. The mother's supposed to be a SAHM but always seems to be pawning everything off on the kids and yet never seems to know what her kids are up to. Is this how it typically is with big families?

I know the Duggars tend to be a bit like this too, and that's supposedly real life (but on TV of course) so ..does anyone have insight regarding this?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:04 AM on Mar. 26, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • .....

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 2:15 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • blank face

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:19 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I didn't grow up in a large family, but my dad did. His mom was very attentive and involved, but she also taught her children to love each other and look out for each other. I don't know how it's changed in two generations, but 7th Heaven is TV, after all.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:34 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • No idea. I was an only child and I have an only child.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 3:06 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I have 5 kids, so not that large but I definitely expect them to help each other out. I also grew up as one of 5 and we always looked out for one another and were/are extremely close because of it. My parents weren't lax, and I don't think I am, but even with just 5 I can't always be everywhere so they do have to help out more than if I only had 1-2 - but I think it makes them closer.

    Answer by missanc at 5:53 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • No, I have five my oldest is married and she never babysits unless she calls and asks for the littler ones to come over. My next in line is 14 he only babysits if I have to run and get milk. They're all my responsability.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 7:00 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I've never seen the show. I will say that since I have 5, ages 18 months to 11, the older ones help out and they have chores. What do you mean lax? Is their home in disorder? Even if I only had 2, my kids would still have chores and look out for each other. When they play together they are helping me because they are occupied and that frees up time for me to do something else like housework. Sometimes when they are playing its really loud but I'm used to it and because I have all boys (so far) they get rowdy. As far as "pawning them off," it just depends on what's going on. I have to have a babysitter or family to watch the kids for appointments or an occasional date night with DH. My oldest isn't old enough to watch the younger ones by himself, I'm not sure I'll ever do that unless its like a 15 min trip out for a gallon of milk.

    Answer by HHx5 at 8:51 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I think I read that wrong. "Pawning everything off" not everyone. No, I've got plenty of housework to do even with their help. If it gets too quiet I know they are doing something they aren't supposed to do so I always know what they are doing.

    Answer by HHx5 at 8:54 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • 7th Heaven was pretty spoofy. Every episode had to set up some kind of situation with hijinks that the parents would "find out about" & then have to scramble to "deal with." That made it highly contrived (even more "realistic" shows--or at least shows with better writing & acting, like Parenthood, are EXTREMELY contrived in terms of their plot twists & constant "issues" or problems.)

    I think there were 5 kids in the show (until of course they needed a pregnancy & baby twins to liven up the season) so that's equivalent to some who answered here.

    I have 3 kids and they're pretty oriented to each other when my oldest is home from school--playing together. I can see them being very involved & "in the loop" with each other in the future, as the kids on the show were, finding out about issues from each other. The intense busybody aspect & degree of meddling (taking over/hiding things) on the show reflects the formula for episodes.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:28 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

  • I've got 4, ages 14, 8, 4, & 2. The oldest babysits 1 day a wk while I'm at work & usually 1 day a wknd if dh & I have running to do, or we want to go out. But generally we wait until after I've put the younger 2 in bed before we go out. That's how the oldest earns her spending $$ though. Other than that, I pretty much take care of everything else. OTOH I have a neighbor is beyond lazy. She has 5 kids. Ages 10 down to 1, & the 10 y/o does EVERYTHING. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the younger ones, while the mom sits on the couch & does nothing.. I've only seen the Duggers a few times, & it seemed like the older kids do more of the parenting than the parents, maybe I'm wrong? But guess I feel that if you want a huge fam., that's great, & of course the older ones should help w/ chores, & maybe babysit on occasion, but the parenting should be up to the parents...

    Answer by HappyEndings at 10:21 AM on Mar. 26, 2013

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