Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Kids Seem Happy









Submitted for publication by Guinevere.

One thing I’m struck by when I watch episodes of Jon and Kate Plus Eight – the gulf between my perception of the Gosselin children and the perceptions of some other viewers. Yes, I see that Jon and Kate snap at each other. Yes, I see that Kate can be uptight. But what I don’t see is any harm being done to the kids. By and large, these seem to me to be very happy, normal, well-adjusted children. None of them (with the possible exception of Cara, who seems to be the shyest Gosselin child) seem at all uncomfortable with the cameras. None of them seem to me to be “working” or stressed by the presence of the crew. Probably 95% of the time I see any of the sextuplets on screen, they appear cheerful and engaged in whatever they are doing, whether it’s playing or eating or cuddling with Kate. The other 5% of the time one or the other of them might be having a little fit, which I think is totally normal at their age. Maybe it seems to some that the Gosselin kids are always screaming, crying and hitting each other, but I think it only seems that way because there are six of the little ones, rather than the two or three close-in-age kids that most parents have to deal with.

Incidents like the one with Alexis’ hair (Alexishairgate?) on Monday’s show seem to be perceived by some viewers as evidence that Something Is Wrong in the Gosselin household – what reason could Alexis have for being so freaked out about Mady touching her hair? But anyone who has been around toddlers and young children knows that almost all of them have little quirks – things that bother them excessively for no obvious reason. My niece, when she was about 2 or 3, hated bare feet. One time I had taken off my shoes outside and she toddled over and tried to shove them back on my feet, whimpering all the way. She also developed a “thing” about certain Disney songs; she used to watch those Disney Sing-Along videos religiously, but you’d have to dive for the remote when one of the “upsetting” songs came on, or you’d be dealing with a howling 3-year-old. Maybe some parents don’t ever experience this, but from all I’ve seen and heard it is completely not out of the realm of normal behavior, nor is it a sign that anything is seriously wrong with a child.

The child whom viewers seem most “concerned” about is Mady. Yeah, Mady may be a bit of a difficult child. Does that mean that she: 1) has ADD, 2) needs therapy, 3) is seriously disturbed? Well: 1) How would we know?, 2) probably not, 3) I see no evidence of this. When I look at Mady, I see a very bright, very articulate, very sensitive child. She has some jealousy issues (which, again – normal; I was jealous of my sister as a child, and there was only one of her, not six). Mady seems more emotionally volatile than her twin, but I think that is just a normal variation in personality types. It’s very likely that Mady would have some of the same issues if the sextuplets didn’t exist. I don’t see any evidence that anything is seriously wrong with her, and if she does have a problem, I don’t assume that Jon and Kate aren’t addressing it privately. But my best guess is that Mady is fine and will continue to be fine.
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This is my guess about all of the Gosselin kids, really. I think they are happy now, and I think they’ll be fine in the future. Will the exposure of the show bring some challenges into their lives? Yes, probably. I think they have gained a lot from the show – trips they would not have been able to go on otherwise, having both of their parents around a lot more than they probably would be if they did not have the financial support of the show. I think it’s fair to assume that there may be negative consequences along with the positive ones. No one knows for sure whether the good will outweigh the bad in the end. But I think it will. I hope it will. I think the Gosselin kids are happy, and I think they’ll continue to be.


81 comments:

Linda said...

Maybe that is what is so endearing about the kids ... by and large they do seem happy.

They don't seem perfect -- for instance like the Duggar children seem perfect -- but the kids do seem happy.

Anonymous said...

Pretty funny - "(Alexishairgate?)". Everything is a gate now days with that show. I have always felt that the kids seemed like a normal family with their emotions. With 8 kids you are not going to have one big happy family all the time.I grew up in a large family and we all had our moods and issues but in general we were happy. The Gosselin children do seem happy also.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering Guinevere, did you see the movie The Truman Show? If so, you may remember that the main character Truman, seemed very happy because he was unaware of being filmed. Once he found out, things changed. The point is the sextuplets are happy but are unaware that their lives are being filmed without their permission. The fact is the ramifications from their exposure will not come to fruition until it is too late. The concern is the two people that are responsible for protecting them are exploiting them for financial reasons (what other reason could there be?). My opinion is that the situation should be evaluated by a professional(s) to determine if the constant cameras in their faces is really the best thing for these children. What is the harm in taking the show off for a few months while professionals figure out if the children are working too hard. If people are truly concerned for this family, they would welcome an investigation to lay to rest the allegations against the Gosselins and to lay to rest any of negative rumors.

One other question Guinvevere, do you have children? If so, would you want the world to see them on youtube bathing and potty training? It doesn't matter if these children were two years old when those videos were posted on youtube, unfortunately there happens to be extreme "sickos" out there that enjoy watching a baby being bathed.
Ten years from now when Colin is 14 and beginning to "like" girls, they may only remember him as the boy whose father had to pull poo from his butt. Or, Alexis who pooed all over her crib. Kids are cruel and videos don't age and people don't forget. This stuff is embedded in people's minds for many years.
I remember I used to watch the sitcom I Love Lucy reruns and when I finally saw the real Lucy on a talk show, I was shocked because in my mind as a kid, she was forever the younger Lucy Ricardo than the Lucy I saw on the show.
I agree with you and I believe Maddy is an amazing little girl but Maddy will always be viewed as a "brat" because a few of her tantrums are forever on film. Joel will be the boy that says "I have a wiener, daddy's have wieners". Believe me I have a 14 year old son and they are embarrassed by the smallest things. These scenes are cute now but as teenagers, these will truly be "Embarrassing Moments".

Daisy said...

I completely agree with this view of the Gosselin children. They are grealy loved and well taken care of. Kate is always kissing one of them.

Thanks for your refreshing article. I always enjoy reading your writing and agree with all your views.

Guinevere said...

Just wondering Guinevere, did you see the movie The Truman Show? If so, you may remember that the main character Truman, seemed very happy because he was unaware of being filmed. Once he found out, things changed. The point is the sextuplets are happy but are unaware that their lives are being filmed without their permission.

Yes, I've seen "The Truman Show", and I don't see how that fictional story is analogous. Of course the children are aware they are being filmed; they see the cameras! They may not understand it completely at their age, but to compare it to that movie is quite a stretch, IMO. In the film, Truman's whole life was basically a sham. In J&K+8, the family goes about their daily lives (albeit with more trips to amusement parks, etc. than perhaps the average family) and is filmed while doing so. Not the same thing at all.

The fact is the ramifications from their exposure will not come to fruition until it is too late. The concern is the two people that are responsible for protecting them are exploiting them for financial reasons (what other reason could there be?). My opinion is that the situation should be evaluated by a professional(s) to determine if the constant cameras in their faces is really the best thing for these children. What is the harm in taking the show off for a few months while professionals figure out if the children are working too hard. If people are truly concerned for this family, they would welcome an investigation to lay to rest the allegations against the Gosselins and to lay to rest any of negative rumors.

I don't agree. You are talking about setting pretty scary precedent. What about parents who travel with circuses with their kisd? (Do families still do that?) What about people who homeschool? (There is already a lot of controversy there, about what and how much the kids are learning.) What about, to bring up an example from the early days of this blog, parents who make their children work on the family farm? (Exploiting them for financial reasons!) Do you really want to get state agencies involved in any non-traditional family situation? Does that really seem like a good idea to you? Or is it only the Gosselins you think should be subject to such scrutiny?

I *might* be able to see your point if I saw ANY evidence that the kids were "working too hard" or unhappy, abused or neglected. I see no evidence in watching the show of any of that.

One other question Guinvevere, do you have children? If so, would you want the world to see them on youtube bathing and potty training? It doesn't matter if these children were two years old when those videos were posted on youtube, unfortunately there happens to be extreme "sickos" out there that enjoy watching a baby being bathed.

I have helped raise my niece since the day she was born; she is now 16 (almost 17). I don't see what the big deal is about the potty-training or bathing as it's been shown on the show - which is how it ended up on Youtube, presumably. I would not be surprised if other people post videos on Youtube that may include kids in baths. This particular hysteria over pedophiles strikes me as rather unhealthy. Just because sick people sexualize innocent children, it doesn't mean we have to. I've said before, maybe all the kids should wear burquas - you wouldn't want a flash of wrist or ankle to turn anyone on!

Seriously, it's not like the potty stuff (or the bath stuff) has been explicit at all (I can't believe I'm even using the word "explicit" in relation to 2-4 year olds - again, I don't choose to sexualize them just because someone else might).

I'm not saying that pedophilia is no big deal, but to what degree do we reinforce twisted views of children in an effort to "protect" them? It really is only a matter of degree in relation to the notion that, say, a woman should cover her hair to avoid provoking a man's lust.

Ten years from now when Colin is 14 and beginning to "like" girls, they may only remember him as the boy whose father had to pull poo from his butt. Or, Alexis who pooed all over her crib. Kids are cruel and videos don't age and people don't forget. This stuff is embedded in people's minds for many years.

I doubt it will be the big deal you are making it. Will they ever get teased about that stuff? Probably. But kids will find something to tease each other over, no matter what. It's not like the Gosselin kids are going to be unique there. And teenagers get embarrassed about stuff very easily, so even without the shameful evidence that they once had bodily functions, Collin and Alexis will probably have moments of self-consciousness. Hopefully, they will be mature enough to remind any tormentors that as the kids' book says, "Everybody Poops."

I remember I used to watch the sitcom I Love Lucy reruns and when I finally saw the real Lucy on a talk show, I was shocked because in my mind as a kid, she was forever the younger Lucy Ricardo than the Lucy I saw on the show.
I agree with you and I believe Maddy is an amazing little girl but Maddy will always be viewed as a "brat" because a few of her tantrums are forever on film. Joel will be the boy that says "I have a wiener, daddy's have wieners".


The people who know them are going to KNOW them. Maybe the novelty of what will at that point be probably a 10-years-over cable show will provide new acquaintances with a few moments of hilarity, but I hardly think it will be the obsession you are painting it as.

May I ask you a question? Have you ever watched J&K+8, or have you always objected philosophically to the entire concept of the show? If you used to watch it, then when did you have this ephiphany that it was completely exploitive and wrong to have the Gosselin children on camera?

Believe me I have a 14 year old son and they are embarrassed by the smallest things. These scenes are cute now but as teenagers, these will truly be "Embarrassing Moments".

You seem to be proving my point - your son was not, presumably, ever shown pooping on a television show - and yet he still suffers the devastating heartache of teenaged embarassment. So it seems to me that even canceling the show, or going back in time and making sure the show never existed, would not protect the Gosselin kids from ever suffering embarrassment in their lives.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the comment about the kids being embarrassed someday. The thing is, once these things are taped and aired, these children will be stuck with this forever.

Some of those youtube videos showed a lot more than what we seen on the show, they actually showed private parts. I can't imagine anyone saying that is ok. It's not ok. Those videos were actually filmed that way and edited or blurred for TV, yet they manage to show up on the web without being edited. That is just wrong and you can't debate around it. This will cause pain for these children someday and that is wrong no matter how anyone tries to say it's ok for any reason, it will never be ok.

Anonymous said...

I also believe that the kids are very happy. I never see them "working." I always see them playing with toys, going on vacation, going to theme parks, etc. I wish I could have been able to do that when I was a kid. The parents are taking them out to do fun things! There is no work being done. I also wish that I had more video footage of me as a child. They filmed everything before the tups were born and were unable to do it as much after they were born. They will now be able to see all the little memories when they are older. I really see nothing wrong with the show. I also do not understand how they could be compared to The Truman Show. The kids will laugh at the footage when they are older.

Anonymous said...

Remember the National Enquirer article that was posted a couple of weeks ago? The picture that they used for the article the kids looked miserable. So there goes the theory that these children are happy.

Tyra said...

Thanks for your well-written opinion piece, Guinevere! I also agree that the kids seem like basically happy kids. I also like to see that they are expressive and not afraid to say what they think! Their spirits seem intact and strong to me.

I agree with Guinevere in the comments above that some of the concern about the kids' embarrassment over potty-training is a bit exaggerated. Everyone poops! Everyone potty-trains. Every single young child has had other people witnessing them pee and poop besides their parents. It's not anything, and if the kids grow up strong and loved, they will be able to just roll their eyes at the stupidity of anyone who tries to give them a hard time about bodily functions when they were three!

You also make a really good point about not trying to look through a pedophile's eyes at everything we do with our children. Should the kids be covered from knees to neck at the beach, because otherwise some pedophile would get too much enjoyment out of cute little girls in bathing suits and bikinis? God, let's just live our lives!

Anonymous said...

Mady's just looked delightfully ecstatic every time she's thrown her hand up to the camera to try to get it out of her face. I can only imagine how many of those scenes hit the cutting room floor.

Anonymous said...

Wait, the kids arent happy because the NE used a pic where you deemed them to look miserable? ROFLMAO

Anonymous said...

"Remember the National Enquirer article that was posted a couple of weeks ago? The picture that they used for the article the kids looked miserable. So there goes the theory that these children are happy."

I have one child and it hard sometimes to get a picture with him smiling. When he is smiling, he ends up turning his head. I can't imagine trying to get 8 kids smiling at once. Of course they aren't all smiling. That picture may have been taken when it was getting close to nap time or lunch. Maybe every single picture this person has taken with their family is PERFECT, but in the real world that's not how it works. I really don't understand how people can nit pick every single thing they see!

Linda said...

anonymous:

People nit pick every single thing they see when they are supporting a conclusion that they've already made.

In the case of the Gosselins, some people have made the conclusion that the mother and father are unfit, abusive, and exploitive of their children.

They nit pick every single thing they see because it supports that conclusion. It goes like this:

Mady puts her hand in front of her face .... see, she is angry at her parents.

The tups are not all smiling simultaneously ... see, their family life is awful.

None of the children wanted to sit with Kate on the train at the Railroad ... see, they hate her.

They use all of that to justify what they are saying and then some of them use it justify what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

I especially love how all of the sudden the National Enquirer is trustworthy. Are we suppose to believe articles such as lizards giving birth to humans, Elvis being alive, half man/half horse, and the 470,000 pound man? I love how these people justify themselves with a National Enquirer article! Just because the NE prints it, it must be true. Since when does the NE set the moral code? Give me a break! That goes to show that some people believe anything they read or see in a magazine. Have you ever heard the phrase "believe none of what you hear and half of what you see?" Some people can manipulate something so simple into something so big!

Now people are even trying to call Kate a bad mother because the tups didn't reach up for Kate to hold them when she came home from the tummy tuck. Maybe they missed the sweet part when Alexis kept saying "Hi Mommy!" All of the kids looked pretty excited to see her from where I was sitting. They were a little unsure because of her blonde hair. Maybe we were watching a different show.

I have also seen people write that she is an awful mother because they stay in their beds until 9! Once again, give me a break! How do they know the kids aren't still asleep? There are days when my son doesn't get up until 10:30! He goes to bed no later than 8:30 and wakes up at atleast 8:30 in the morning. Not all kids will be on the same schedule! They say Jon does all the work while Kate just lays in bed. I see nothing wrong with letting Kate get some extra sleep. When my husband has a day off, he always lets me sleep late while he gets up with our son. Some people have nice husbands, sounds like these people might be a little jealous!

fanny said...

The only thing that really bothers me at all is the clips on youtube. I haven't seen them so assuming they do exist, I cannot imagine what whoever put them there was thinking. I wouldn't think it would be the family or tlc, but who else would have access to them?


Anyway, Yeah, I do think the kids seem like normal, happy kids. And I agree that everytime one has a meltdown it all get chalked up to bad parenting. If that's true then we all suck at it.

Etown mom said...

That the kids are happy is a tribute to people like Jodi, the helpers, and Jon. Kate is as uninvolved with the kids as she can be. She sits in a chair or swing and yells at the most.

Anonymous said...

''Remember the National Enquirer article that was posted a couple of weeks ago? The picture that they used for the article the kids looked miserable. So there goes the theory that these children are happy.''

You can't be serious here. They looked 'miserable' in *ONE* photo so that means they are unhappy all the time?? LOL! What a freaking joke. You, my dear, are a fool! Thanks for the laugh.. heehheee oh man--- I gotta go tell my husband about this one.

bigsis88 said...

I think this is a well-written article, and I do agree that the kids seem happy. I just hope they aren't hurt or embarrassed if they ever see the tapes of their parents saying negative things, like they wouldn't do it (in reference to having sextuplets) again if they could, or using terms like "Mady dramatics". I think both of those are normal things that plenty of "regular" people would say about their children in private, but it would hurt me if my mom said that on national TV.

Josie said...

bigsis88,

I can see where the Mady dramatics could be embarrassing. The other statement would not bother me if I was one of six. I think even as a young teenager I would have understood the meaning behind it. Also, of course there are a lot of things that go into statements other than the words themselves such as the tone used that determine if it would be embarrassing or not. Do you know what episode they said that in?

Etown mom said...

Mady is already hurt by both the show, seeing how her parents comment about her behavior, and having friends, neighbors, and schoolmates see the episodes and talk and taunt her about it. Her parents know this and yet they do nothing about it.

jennifer said...

Sure the kids may be embarrassed by some of the things that are on film. But I'm sure most families have some pictures/video of their kids doing stuff that as a teen/adult they are embarrassed about. For instance, once when I was about 12 I was being obnoxious in the pool in our back yard. I was being a jerk to my sister and trying to show off to my friends. I believe at some point I mooned the camera. My mom caught all that on tape. My sister still usues that tape against me to this day. Embarrassing, yes! Did I turn into a disfunctional drug dealer (as some have suggested they tups will...)? NO!

I think people look for any little thing that can be twisted into something bad just so they can feel validated about how they act and talk about this family.

jennifer said...

Etown mom said...
Mady is already hurt by both the show, seeing how her parents comment about her behavior, and having friends, neighbors, and schoolmates see the episodes and talk and taunt her about it. Her parents know this and yet they do nothing about it.

Do you know the family personally?

Josie said...

etwown mom,

Do you live in the area and have some first hand knowledge? I was just wondering if your name was short for elizabethtown pa.

Anonymous said...

i think etown mom is pretending to be someone she is not. there is always someone claiming to be an insider just to make others hate the gosselins. i wouldn't believe a word unless i saw it with my own eyes...not in some ne article.

jennifer said...

I think if you have an opinion, then state that it is your opinion. If you are stating something as fact, then be ready to back it up with actual proof - not just saying that it's fact and trying to hide behind "anonymous".

Etown mom said...

Believe or not. It is your choice. That sounds kind of snarky and I don't mean it to be. Just there is no way to prove it I guess. I know what I've seen. This is the reason more people don't come forward. We are either disbelieved or called nasty names. But Kate is not a pleasant, nice person. I've heard she can turn on the charm at the speaking engagements, but she refuses to talk to almost all the neighbors and they did indeed put up those signs in the yard. I've seen her pitch fits in stores because she didn't get the special treatment that she demanded. I've seen her treat her children very, very roughly when she does interact with them. Jon doesn't work outside the home because Kate can't stand to be home with the children all day and well now with the money from the show they can afford for him to be home.

Josie said...

etown mom,

I think that Kate has faults, don't get me wrong. But you know the saying "if these walls could talk" could go for a great majority of us that are blogging about this family.I think I am a very loving mom by I have moments that I regret. Also, when someone is saying children are being harmed, most people need proof. Want proof. They want someone to come forward and say, I am Mrs. Jone and live at 2222 Ivy Street and I witnessed this on August 10th. That gives it some credibility. Absolutely no one is willing to do so.

anya said...

Josie, exactly!

Etown Mom, it is impossible to assess the credibility of your statements because you provide zero foundation or verification. I could just as easily get on this site, call myself "Ex Friend of Kate" and make up a bunch of stuff out of whole cloth. I really think unless you are willing to put something out there - like your name - you shouldn't waste your energy posting your "insider tidbits" because I don't think any individual with more than two brain cells to rub together would believe ANYTHING written by an anonymous poster on a message board.

And for the LOVE OF GOD can we please please (pretty) please stop discussing the lawn signs?!

One last thing. I am not particularly chummy with my neighbors either. I tend to be shy and am a rather private person. Kate and Jon have already given up so much of their privacy (granted, it was totally their decision), I don't blame either of them for keeping their distance and concentrating on their family when they do have down time.

Etown mom said...

I'm not saying that I've yet seen anything that would be criminal child abuse as I understand it. If I had I'd be one of the first to turn them in. I've seen Kate scream at the kids, swat bottoms, and jerk arms. But if everyone who had ever done was turned in to CPS, they'd be overloaded. She is one of the mothers that I just don't care for their style. She regularly put the kids in their rooms or the basement and ignored them for hours so she can do what she wants (so one of her helpers said after she quit).

I don't live on their street but close enough by to walk down that street. I'm not crazy enough to give you my name and address. I think you can understand why that is, but I understand what you're saying. Of course, I'm pretty sure I could just give you a neighbor's name and address and no one would know the difference until Jon or Kate confronted them.

What I'm saying is that these are not nice people. That what you see on the show is not how Kate is every day. She doesn't get involved with her own kids. She's a rather nasty neighbor and has gotten way above herself. She's very conceited now and above everyone else. She was never a sweet, loving, neighborly person but now she's impossible and getting worse. However, Jodi is just a sweetheart and a doll and just what you see on TV.

Kate is worse than what you see. I won't try to talk to her since she screamed at my daughter for having the nerve, that's what she said, the nerve to invite Cara and Mady over to play and have ice cream. Is that any way to treat a six year old? They must have to labor to get enough to make an episode or else beg her or bribe her to be halfway pleasant and pretend to be with and enjoy her kids. Anyway, I just thought you might want to know. If not, it's OK. I'm just thankful we aren't the poor people next door.

Etown mom said...

I guess I shouldn't have bothered even with the last post. I just think it's a shame that people trust what they see on TV as "reality" when so many people know how it really is. I'm sure there is a ton of stuff that I haven't see or heard. I can see that you'd like my name, but there is just no way I can comfortably do that. I've already had one child traumatized by Kate.

Josie said...

Etown mom,

Can I ask what do you hope to accomplish by getting this information out there? Do you have a mission just like GWoP? Do you think this info will make people stop watching or just watch more? You seem credible and I am not trying to argue with you. I am just wondering. I too know a great deal information about a very famous person that actually lived with my family for several years. Some of the information would be very harmful. He also has his issues. But what good would it do for me to tell anyone. I don't believe getting this info out his helping these children. If anything probably making just more stressful for their parents and more difficult for them.

Guinevere said...

Kate is worse than what you see. I won't try to talk to her since she screamed at my daughter for having the nerve, that's what she said, the nerve to invite Cara and Mady over to play and have ice cream.

JMO (of course), but hyperbole like this is what makes these stories defy credibility. And yes, I lean in the direction of thinking they are stories; for one thing, they tend to follow along the exact same lines and show all the hallmarks of the hive mind: Kate outrageously, unbelievably rude - check; Jon completely under Kate's thumb - check; Kate shown to have no concern for her kids - check. And so on. The first - it's just hard to believe Kate functions in the world if she is that unsocialized in her behavior. The second - an extrapolation, IMO, on the "Jon lacks testicles" theory; it also conveniently places all the blame for everything in the Gosselins' lives squarely in Kate's lap, just where the haters want it. Third - the haters' triumphant claim - Kate is such a monster that she is incapable of loving her own kids. Thus she is degraded and found not worthy of even the most basic sympathy and understanding.

I'm waiting for the next person to tell me about the baby seal she saw Kate clubbing in the driveway, or the puppyskin lampshades she has decorating her house. Honestly, you all would have a CHANCE at convincing some people if you just turned it down a notch. Or two. Maybe even three.

But, worst case scenario - you're telling the truth, at least according to your perceptions. I can only judge by what I see on TV. I'm not going to judge Kate Gosselin by message board gossip, particularly when I'm aware of the way the "controversy" about J&K+8 grew. As far as I can tell, it first started with people at TWoP (and maybe other sites, I don't know), objecting to Kate's personality as it was shown on the show. Which, fair enough - I can see having issues with it. But as far as I can tell (and people are welcome to correct me if I'm wrong; I haven't been a watcher of the show for that long), it was only after that train was up and fully running that all of the sudden, all of these people suddenly came out of the woodwork with personal info about what a Very Bad Person Kate Gosselin is in real life. The timing is suspicious, is all I'm saying.

So, if you don't mind, I'll just keep watching the show, and enjoying it, and forming my opinion of Kate (and all of the other Gosselins) based on what I myself see on TV. That does not mean that I blindly consider it "reality" - I've seen enough reality TV to know better. But why am I not supposed to believe that, but believe a total stranger telling tales on the internet? If half of the crap that people at GWoP throw at Kate is true, I'm still not going to hate her. She's never done anything to hurt me, and I don't harbor any illusion that she's a perfect mother, so I don't have the anger of disillusionment to contend with. Why are some people who hate Kate so determined to make the rest of us hate her too? What is the point of that?

Etown mom said...

What is GWoP? You know I don't care whether people watch the show or not. I do sometimes just to see where they're going and to see the kids. We get ideas of places to go or a preview to see if we think we'll like it or it's worth the trouble.

Help the kids? How? I tried and was shot down. I thought inviting at least the twins over would be nice for them and ease Kate's burden that she's always talking about. That didn't sit well with her.

One of the neighbors and I were talking and she was telling me how people outside our area are thinking Kate is such a good mother and all and said how wrong it was for people to think she was someone to use as a model. I got to thinking about that and found this blog and saw people thinking the kids were happy when they all aren't. I just felt like correcting the record. But I can see your point that it could be seen as gossiping. I really didn't mean it to trash Kate's reputation. She's taken care of that herself here. None of this is deeply personal and it's all pretty widely known. It isn't spilling secrets.

I don't see that what I've said is going to hurt the children though. They are very much aware of what is going on and Cara and Mady know that quite a bit of it isn't the way their friends live and are treated. Like I said none of this is a secret. Jon and Kate have brought a ton of stress upon themselves and run off most or all of the people who could help them learn to cope. It's their way or the highway.

Sorry if I offended anyone. But if Jon and Kate are going to do a show that is staged and kind of made up and not their reality but call it reality, shouldn't something be said? I guess you can say it's real in that they are going to the places in the episodes and what is shown did happen, but it isn't their real life.

Baby Mama said...

It is truly a breath of fresh air to read a blog from a person who enjoys the show for what it is like myself. I am a huge fan of Kate and the second I read someone saying I know for a fact Kate is horrible because someone down the road says she is I just ignore it. Its gotten to the point where you can tell people are making stuff up just to get it on that blog. What scares me is that those that get on there would actually believe what was being written, rather than taking it for face value. I hope that people do not intentionally write bad things just so see them printed in those places for nothing other than shock value. This is a truly loving family and although some might not like Kate's parenting, those are her kids and we have no right to judge. Now lets enjoy the show!

Etown mom said...

Oh, my. I believe you misunderstand me, Guinevere, or I need to work on my writing. I never said I hated Kate. I just said or should have said that I don't go out of my way to try to talk to her. She makes me a bit apprenhensive as to how she'll react.

She did indeed scream (raise her voice a LOT) at my daughter which I found rude and made me as a mother feel protective. That doesn't equate to clubbing seals or have any relation to it that I can see.

How happy would you be with a neighbor who basically yelled at your child for an invitation to come over? I'm not saying Kate is a dreadful person but she isn't nice. How is that hyperbole?

I seem to be wasting my time as people want to accuse me of something I don't even understand.

Forgive me for trying to share.

anya said...

Josie and Guiny. Thanks for your comments. They reflect exactly my thoughts.

Just to follow up a bit Etown Mom, I understand you think Kate is pretty much a monster, but I am still trying to figure out why Kate would yell at a six-year-old for inviting her daughters to have ice cream? Even a very mean person or a mentally ill person must have some rationale for their behavior (at least in their own mind). And I realize I am playing into this because I have already said that I basically can't take what you are saying at face value, but I am just curious if Kate said anything further to justify her very bizarre reaction?

I, too, am not trying to be argumentative. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion and it's not like I really expect you to post your name! It's just hard on the rest of us who are trying to come at this from a fair angle to assess all the stories out there because they all come from anonymous sources.

Etown mom said...

No right to judge? Or you think this is for shock value? ::sigh:: It's just like K said. No one wants to hear it. Goodnight and good luck.

Enjoy the fantasy. That's what TV is supposed to be anyway.

I GUESS WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO said...

Just a note from the moderator, there was no one on this blog from the state of PA when those comments were being made from E-town Mom.

anya said...

Hi Baby Mama!

I know isn't it nice here? Even though there are others with different views (and that's completely fine), there are a number of us who love the show and like to talk about it and actually get our posts posted!

I checked out your blog very briefly (I promise to come back!). I love your quotes section! That's honestly 95% of the pleasure of the show for me - just hearing what the kids have to say and watching them interact with each other. And even though some think the show will lose appeal now that the kids are four and supposedly "not as cute", I am actually enjoying it more because the sextuplets are so much more verbally expressive at this age.

Anyway, two new shows tomorrow night! What a nice way to cure a case of the "Mundays"!

Anya

Etown mom said...

Why does Kate yell at the kids in the neighborhood? I'm not sure. She doesn't do it all the time. I think the excuse that day was that the tups had been on her nerves all day and she had to have the twins at home to help her because she had to pack and the twins couldn't have dessert at that time of day. Anyone can have a bad but that doesn't mean I have to let my child wander back into it.

I must not be expressing myself well. I nowhere said Kate is a monster. I said not nice and frequently rude. That does not equate to me as a monster.

Her kids don't string aimlessly through the neighborhood. They are always clean and seem fed and healthy. They have pretty good manners for their ages from what I've seen. So I'm far from saying she's dreadful or horrible or any of those exaggerated things. She just seems to be distant from her kids and overly impatient. I feel like I've wandered into a spot with an agenda that I don't understand.

And yes Kate does yell more easily than the average people I know. I wouldn't remotely say that it means more than that. Even in the show we see that she yells at Jon pretty readily. She sees nothing wrong with that kind of behavior with many other people also is all I'm saying.

Anyway like I said it's bedtime.

Daisy said...

I have a hard time believing that Kate has nothing to do with her kids and that Jon and nannies do it all. She wanted to have children very much. It seems to me by watching the show that she loves each one dearly.

I take everything I read that is "insider" information with a grain of salt. In the past I've read of other neighbor eyewitness information that proved to be false. It's hard for me to believe accounts that contradict what I see on the show.

Linda said...

Am I the only one who notices how when someone posts something mildly or severely derogatory about Kate Gosselin they often project their stuff on others?

For instance, etown mom says:

"I feel like I've wandered into a spot with an agenda that I don't understand."

or the infamous ...

"anti-GwoP mob mentality."

or the comment that went something like:

"I question the motives of someone who would post
about a private message board here."

What does that spell?

P-R-O-J-E-C-T-I-O-N!

In psychology, psychological projection (or projection bias) is a defense mechanism in which one attributes one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions to others.

(That was just from wikipedia.)

I wonder if a lot of the people who find Kate so extremely distasteful have their own control issues.

I GUESS WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO said...

I do not feel that e-town mom is from PA based on the information that is available to me. I was somewhat suspicious the other day when she posted and no one was on from PA and today she was on for a long time and no one was on from PA. When she said she did not know what GWoP was I became even more suspicious.

Daisy said...

Thanks for letting us know. :)

jennifer said...

Etown mom got caught!!! Some people must not know how the internet works. lol

FGF said...

As moderator, Ninabell can tell where posters are posting from and she said that no one from then state of Pennsylvania has sent a comment to post to this blog, yet. How telling. I was just thinking that everything "E-Town Mom" is describing has been hashed and rehashed over at GWoP and it's corresponding message board. It just reeks of familiarity. So, bascially, unless "E-town Mom" does a lot of traveling with her laptop, I doubt she's who she claims to be.

None of us doubt that Kate Gosselin is a flawed human being and sometimes, frankly, she's a bitch. We see evidence of that on a weekly basis. However, there hasn't been anything shown which falls under the category of abuse or necessitates wasting the time of overworked social service agencies and advocates, who need to spend their time and resources helping kids who are really suffering.

Daisy said...

I agree fgf. I think it would be a travisty if Social Services took their valuable time to check on families that really need them to investigate a family that is loved and cared for.

FGF said...

Also, while I doubt E-Town Mom is actually from E-town, I don't doubt that the Gosselin neighbors do harbor some sort of resentment towards them. Their neighborhood is shown on TV on a weekly basis. The Figure 8/TLC trucks are parked outside the Gosselin home regularly, probably blocking the street at times. The Gosselin home is lit up like a Christmas tree when they're being filmed. The neighborhood's sense of privacy is probably shot. Plus, there's the jealousy that notoriety brings. It's probably a good thing that they're thinking of moving (if the rumors are true) to a home with more acreage. It would be good for everyone involved, it seems. Yet, that also is being dissected and overanalyzed as to their "real motives." I wonder if the rumored move has a name yet? NorthCarolinagate? FreebieMcMansiongate? GetoutofDodgegate? BuildKateaBiggerHousegate?

Anonymous said...

haha! etown got caught. anyone in their right mind would know she was lying. What kind of weirdo makes up some crazy story about 6 year olds and ice cream?

Daisy said...

We're not that gullible. Just so you know.

Guinevere said...

None of us doubt that Kate Gosselin is a flawed human being and sometimes, frankly, she's a bitch.

Yeah, that bugs me, since I'm NEVER like that! :-)

I actually think it's sad that someone feels like they have to lie to make Kate Gosselin look bad. I don't know if it's just that people want to "win" the argument or they really hate her so much that they somehow justify it to themselves. It's disturbing, either way.

MCB said...

I think it's a bit of both, Guinevere. They do evidently hate her THAT MUCH and they want to win an argument so badly that they can't let anyone else have the last word. It's become an obsession, obviously.

Anonymous said...

This entry was written by a woman who "helped' raise her niece but she is now an expert on parenting. Oh, ok.

MCB said...

Just curious. Is EVERYONE who posts on GWoP, complaining about Kate or Jon's parenting skills, a parent themselves? Did you give everyone a litmus test before you let them voice their opinions? Thought not.

Fanny said...

I know that in the last thread there was a lot of talk about why we can't have a balance discussion, that it always turns into a gwop bash session.

I hope the ones who say that are reading this now. We can't have a conversation about what we like or dislike about the show without some kate hater posting to get a reaction.

Anyone who actually reads the comments here knows that we aren't interested in hearing all the accusations we see so often on Gwop. If that's what we wanted, we'd go there.

That said, I think it's kinda funny that they come here looking for a fight, but as soon as someone here makes a valid point, it is ignored. They just keep repeating the same crap over and over in hopes that we'll get confused...lol

nomoredrama said...

Oh my word! I love you guys!!!! Finally people who can think moderately and not from one extreme to the other! I'm in the process of bookmarking J & K sites for my blog. This will definitely be one of them.

I GUESS WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO said...

nomoredrama,

I would be happy to put your blog on my Take A Look. I don't have any problems with that. Please e-mail me if you would like, I have a few questions for you.

Fanny said...

Okay anon, I have kids and I agree with every word.

Guinevere said...

This entry was written by a woman who "helped' raise her niece but she is now an expert on parenting. Oh, ok.

Just to clarify: my niece has lived with me since the day she came home from the hospital. She refers to me as a parent. Not her mother, because I'm not. But there is very little that a parent does that I have not done: I'm partially financially responsible for her, I take her to school every day, I discipline her, I cook for her. I changed diapers when she wore them, and I was always the one that did her hair. I tend to be self-conscious about the "do you have kids?" question because I don't want to seem like I'm trying to pretend I'm something I'm not. But conversely, people sometimes assume that I'm not a "real parent" and don't know what that's like. And that's just not true.

Second clarification: I never claimed to be an expert on parenting. I don't believe anyone who says they are an expert on parenting, because each kid is different, each family is different, and what works with some families does not with others.

Part of the reason I felt compelled to start defending Kate Gosselin is because I've observed how judgmental people (usually women) are about other women's parenting. And because now that my niece is a couple of years away from being on her own, I have regrets about some of the mistakes I've made. There are things I could've done better, things that would've prepared her better for an independent life. But at the same time I know I did the best I could; hindsight is 20/20. I think the Gosselins are doing the best they can too, and yet they're still making mistakes. They are human. Making mistakes is what we do.

I just get so sick of people thinking they know better than the actual parents of a child what that child needs. I remember back on the TWoP board, a poster was giving "suggestions" about ways that Kate could do certain things the night before, rather than in the morning, and this poster just didn't understand why Kate didn't do it her way, since it would be so much easier and more efficient, and then Kate wouldn't get stressed out. I thought to myself, upon reading that, "[Vulgar name redacted], are you kidding? She's got sextuplets! You, who presumably does not have sextuplets, and who aren't there every day, living Kate's life, are so sure that you have a better way of doing things?" Truth is, maybe the poster DOES have a better way. But the apparent arrogance of being so sure - about someone she doesn't even know, who she only sees on her TV screen for about 22 edited minutes a week - that astounds me.

I still remember an incident that probably happened nearly 15 years ago with my niece - I was at a department store with her, and she was cranky and misbehaving. I spoke to her a bit sharply and an older woman nearby said rather disapprovingly to me, "She's tired and needs a nap."

I was SO pissed at the time. I'm not pissed anymore, but the nerve of the woman still bugs me a bit. How did she know anything from 20 seconds of observation? I would never impose my child-rearing views on a stranger that way, which is one reason I just can't understand or sympathize with the judgmentalism of the anti-Gosselin crowd.

MCB said...

Guinevere, you may not have given birth to your niece, but YES, you HAVE raised a child. Please don't let some condescending know-it-all with a God complex make you feel otherwise.

Linda said...

G -

Thanks for such an honest and thought filled post.
Your niece is so fortunate to have you.

Of my few posts that saw the light of day at GwoP was regarding the Gosselins decision to have Alexis sleep in the basement because she was waking early and disturbing the other kids.

There was a chorus of Gwoppers who described it as abusive and were so "troubled" that poor Alexis had to sleep alone in that cold, damp, basement.

The mile long line of no-it-all-Gwoppers gave the list of :

"Kate should give her a book to read quietly in her bed"

"Kate should give her a toy so that when she wakes up she will have something to play with."

and then of course it deteriorated into ...

"Kate doesn't do this because she (insert psychiatric diagnosis here)..."

blah, blah, blah

Forget that the basement is finished. Forget that all of her toys are there. Forget that the parents are one floor up because their bedroom is on the main floor ... really what is the difference if the parents are one floor up when a kid sleeps in the basement or one floor down when the kids sleep on the 2nd floor?

I basically chimed in and said that the basement was finished and that around 3 years old my son suddenly awoke at 4:30 a.m. for about 2 months.
I did all of the things that were suggested and none of them worked.

As quickly and without explanation as this early rising phase began and lasted, it ended as quickly too. Now, I could have said that it was all of my superior parenting strategies that resulted in him stopping this behavior. But honestly I don't think it was.

Sometimes as parents, we think that it is us as parents who are causing the behavior changes in kids when truthfully it is the kid themself.

It kind of reminds me of a friend of mine who says that God gave her child #3 so she would realize that she wasn't the perfect parent that she thought she was. She explained to me that previously she thought that she was just a much better mother than others and she didn't realize that she actually had really compliant kids.

Josie said...

I never really understood the uproar of the child sleeping in the basement either. People kept saying safety issues. The basement door is in the same hallway as the Master bedroom. I thought it was probably safer than upstairs. We all do as parents what we need to regarding our own families. If she was waking up the rest of the children or even two then this was a solution that worked for them.

Anonymous said...

I do not see the big deal about Alexis sleeping in the basement either. I also do not see the big deal with Joel sleeping on the laundry room floor when he was sick. People have hounded on Kate for that non-stop! I used to do the same thing voluntarily when I was a kid. There was something about sleeping on the cold floor when I was sick...I still do it! I start out on a blanket then I end up on the cold floor. People just can't seem to understand that every parent is different. Someone always seems to have a "better way" of doin something. These same Know it all people are usually the ones with the least amount of stability in their life! They can't control their own life so they try to control others.

bigsis88 said...

" Do you know what episode they said that in?"

Josie, what are you referring to here?

I didn't perceive Etownmom's comments as "derogatory", maybe because they didn't seem that bad to me. I guess if she was some lying Kate-hater I would expect her to say worse things than that she's "rude". Plus, I tend not to judge things for truth value on the Internet because we are more likely to believe things that support our opinions and disbelieve things that contest them. By the same token, Guinevere could be lying about helping to raise her niece. (Just an example, since it was mentioned previously.) I don't necessarily have a reason to believe she's lying or telling the truth either, so I just stay away from making judgments about anything.

Anonymous said...

KATER HATER...that's funny!

Josie said...

Bigsis88

This statement " just hope they aren't hurt or embarrassed if they ever see the tapes of their parents saying negative things, like they wouldn't do it (in reference to having sextuplets) again if they could."

Thanks

JessieTYCG said...

Hey there Guinevere!

Nice article. I had to laugh at the part where you mentioned that all kids have weird quirks, because I can definately recall a few. School shopping for clothes with my brother was always a pain in the rear, because he refused to wear anything that had zippered pockets. My mom says that I would get embarrased at the word "massage" because I thought it was a naughty word (I guess depending on what kind of massage it was, I wasn't too far off in my assumptions :0). I also cried every time I heard the song, "The Old Grey Goose is Dead" - especially at the part where it says, "the gosslings are crying.." Interestingly enough, that verse would aptly describe every episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8. LOL!

For the most part, I agree that the Gosselin kids appear to be pretty happy-go-lucky. That said, I'm still not sure if it is a good idea to film the children on a weekly episode basis. Sure the kids seem un-phased by the continuous presence of cameras, but this show has set a precedence with this type of format. I think this is why there are so many opinions surrounding this show - the lives of multiples have simply never been documented in this way before. The public is usually cautious when presented something new. We as a viewing audience are used to seeing families of multiples like the McCaugheys and the Dilleys presented in the more conservative format of a "yearly update" special. It surely is a much more controlled image that is shown. If one of the Dilley kids is constipated, we would never know. If little Kenny McCaughey would have announced outloud how the male anatomy differs from the female's, we would have never heard it. Mrs. McCaughey also had a tummy tuck and liposuction to eliminate her post-pregnant belly, but this went un-challenged and un-criticized by anyone.

Is this a better way to quench the public's curiosity about multiples? Just because the Dilleys and the McCaugheys do it, does that mean the Gosselins have to as well? I think it is still too early to tell. The Gosselins could either be parenting pioneers, or parading their children around with a lightning rod in the public storm of controversy. In my opinion, when it comes to children, I would rather err on the side of caution and seek shelter immediately.

anya said...

"It kind of reminds me of a friend of mine who says that God gave her child #3 so she would realize that she wasn't the perfect parent that she thought she was. She explained to me that previously she thought that she was just a much better mother than others and she didn't realize that she actually had really compliant kids."

I thought this was a very interesting comment. I guess we are getting a little into the nature vs. nurture argument here. It is fascinating how different each child within a family can be. The Gosselin sextuplets are the prime example of this! Take Hannah and Alexis, for example.

I just can't wrap my head around the arrogance of someone telling Kate or Jon what is best for THEIR kids based on an edited reality TV show. The gall!

And I am glad someone else feels the same about the whole Joel on the laundry room floor incident that has been brought up again and again. It seemed a very logical place to put him. When I am sick, I too have sometimes lay on the cool bathroom floor even as adult. It's a heck of lot better than going back to bed, getting sick and then having to clean it up. Let's face it, when one is truly sick, there is no "comfortable" place to be.

I think Kate is a loving mother, but she is also a practical mother. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

Linda said...

Does anyone remember if Mrs. McCaughey had her teeth fixed too free of charge as well?

Anonymous said...

Guinevere said:
"I just get so sick of people thinking they know better than the actual parents of a child what that child needs."

Unfortunately, there are many actual parents that don't put their child's needs first. I'm sorry you don't have children, but when and if you ever do, you will understand better the intentions of those that see children in harms way.
No one but the Gosselin family knows what goes on behind the scenes at the Gosselin home but I have no doubt there is much love in their household and Jon and Kate think what they are doing is in the best interest of the children but sometimes love is blind especially when money is involved. These kids need a break from the cameras.

bigsis88 said...

Josie, I think it was the "Behind the Scenes" episode, though I can't say that with 100% certainty because it first aired awhile ago and I don't really watch the reruns. Sorry! =)

anya said...

"I'm sorry you don't have children, but when and if you ever do, you will understand better the intentions of those that see children in harms way."

Wow, what an unbelievably condescending post! In case you missed it, Guinevere already shared that she has raised her niece from birth. So she does have a child. Or, do think only those of us who have physically pushed a child out of our womb get this great insight? Well, what do you know, I have experienced the miracle of childbirth and I don't see things at all like you do.

I think most of the "intentions" of those who claim to see the Gosselin children in "harm's way" are self-serving and frequently malicious. And I'll add a big heaping dose of arrogance to the mix as your post aptly shows.

"These kids need a break from the cameras."

Well, that's not for you to decide. That's the Gosselin parents' decision. See, they aren't your kids and what you *think* is not relevant.

anya said...

Linda,

"Did Mrs. McCaughey had her teeth fixed too free of charge as well?"

Yes, that is my recollection.

JessieTYCG said...

Linda,

I think you are right about Mrs. McCaughey's teeth. If I remember correctly, she was in real need of braces/bite correction and I was happy for her when she had it done.

For that matter, I do not fault either mom for having a tummy tuck free of charge. That amount of stretched skin had to be not only cumbersome (Kate had to wear a Spanx-type undergarment just to zip up her pants) but also a painful load on their backs. In Mrs. McCaughey's case, I believe her procedure was covered by insurance because it was a health issue.

It really seems that the difference between one Mom getting accolades, and the other getting criticism for doing the same thing, is directly corrolated to the amount of exposure each one receives. Mrs. McCaughey could have a toxic personality, but without putting herself out there to the public where her every move, word and eye roll can be scrutinized, she comes off - simply by lack of info - as saintly.

I applaud Kate's ability to put it all out there - I certainly don't have that tough of skin. The issue for me though is that the kids might need to grow a thick outer layer to shield them from the daggers being thrown at their parents.

Ahhh, I am really on the fence with this show and I'm keeping an open mind. It certainly has generated some interesting discussions that have challenged me to not only look at this show for its entertainment value (which it has a lot of) but also to think about the possible ramifications of exposing a family to the relentless scrutiny of the viewers. I haven't thought this hard since my 8:00am college ethics course. My brain hurts - need alcohol. LOL!

Linda said...

Truthfully, I'm on the fence with this show too. I don't think that Kate is mom of the year. I don't think that Jon is dad of the year. I never have and I've never looked to television or the media for my role models so I look at the show in the same way that I look at anything related to multiples ... with curiosity.

But the intensity of the anti-J&K+8 is just maddening to me

MrsRef said...

While I am not saying that e-town mom is correct in her observations, I can say from personal experience that there are mothers out there who do not want to mother. I have one. She dumped me and my three siblings on my grandparents door step in 1965. She remarried and took 3 of us to live with her and her new husband, leaving my brother with my grandparents. she then had two more children that I basically raised until the oldest was 5 and she put me out of the house. I was 13 and 14 when she had those two. (no longer useful - started to get my own life) I was in junior high and had to get up with the babies every night, dress them before I went to school, etc. The kicker was that the neighbors all thought she was such a wonderful mother. The public can and is deceived. Just saying....

Guinevere said...

mrsref, of course there are mothers out there who don't have much interest in taking care of their kids, as well as mothers who have trouble expressing their love for their kids (I would have a hard time saying a mother actually didn't love her kids, since I don't know what's going on in anyone's mind but my own).

I just haven't seen any evidence that Kate doesn't take care of her kids or doesn't love her kids. And the majority of "pro-Kate" posts I see acknowledge that Kate isn't perfect; I've seen very few people who would say that Kate is "such a wonderful mother". I think she tries but her anxiety and control issues do cause problems. But I think she's a good mom, and I believe whole-heartedly that she loves her kids and is doing what she thinks is best for them.

Anonymous said...

I think Kate is very happy with her current parenting situation.

dotsicle said...

I just hope that Joel has a pleasant memory of being on the laundry room floor when he was sick. I hope it made him feel a little better.
I have a memory of being sick when I was 4; everyone was at Grandma's house for Christmas. Long train ride + short truck ride + fried chicken family dinner = a sick dotsicle. In my grandmother's bed, all over my cousin Lolly's quilt. Mom was embarrassed, Grandma was chuckling (likely recalling her own kids who did the same thing!), aunt Flo was bustling around getting me tucked into a clean blanket, dear Aunt Bea was comforting me. Only Cousin Lolly was moaning, because I got sick on HER quilt, LOL! I was not sent to lie on the laundry room floor.
I am old now, but I remember that night as if it were just last year. I hope Joel's memory is a comforting as mine.

Anonymous said...

jon, kate, and the production crew actually do make the children "work" because they consistently stage events and insist the children go along with it.

1. the christmas episode was filmed weeks in advance-- hence the children's initial annoyance with the issue.

2. the original airing of the zoo episode included one of the twins' saying "not the zoo again." their first attempt at taping a zoo outing was rained out, so they had to go back for another "fun day" to reshoot all the footage.

the inherent problem is that the children have no say as to whether or not they'd really like to participate in the day's shooting, nor does it seem that jon and kate respect any of the children's individual voices or opinions.

the kids are so entirely adorable, it's hard to imagine they don't enjoy their situation, but think about your own youth: would you have enjoyed if four people with a/v equipment PLUS a handful of kitchen/laundry/cleaning helpers averaged three to four days a week in your house, taping your every move, no matter what your mood or desire for private time with your family or even just yourself? on top of that, your parents aren't even advocating for you because they spend at least two weekend of every month travelling by themselves? the gosselin kids have absolutely no safe haven from the industrially-lit soundstage in which they live: kate has done a terrific job alienating her family from anyone and everyone who used to support them.

frankly, jon and kate disgust me to my very core.

i know this post won't change any of your minds, but i hope it might at least give you some food for thought. even their local media has stepped in on their charade...

Guinevere said...

I'd have to watch the Xmas episode again - I don't recall any "annoyance". As for the zoo, boo hoo, the Gosselin kids "had" to go to the zoo twice in a couple of weeks. How many kids across the world went to bed hungry tonight? I can't really work myself up into too much of a lather over forced zoo visits. It's hardly the Baatan Death March.

Most kids the ages of the Gosselin kids have "no say" about where they go, what they do, what they eat, etc. The Gosselins' situation may be different, but I don't think the level of autonomy granted to the children is much different. Would you advocate so strongly for the unnamed six-year-old who is "forced" to attend his brother's piano recital or "forced" to eat his cereal?

With eight kids in the family, I think "private time" is going to be limited, however you look at it. I am going by what I see - by and large - these seem to be happy kids, not adversely affected by the cameras.

If Jon and Kate disgust you, then you should stop watching the show.