Possibly Why the Duggar Girls Aren't Rushing into Engagements

The story is here.

Also one of the articles I read yesterday said only 1% of adults who were brought up with the ATI curriculum use it or plan to use it with their children.

45 comments:

Jenny O said...

Thank you for sharing the link to that article. I'm glad to hear that the woman who wrote the article has been able to forge her own life and sounds happy. It gives me hope that some of the Duggar children may one day also find their own way in the world, to make their own choices and decisions and be out from under their parents' thumbs.

It also explains why the entire family is dragged along to each and every function. We've commented on how inappropriate it is to bring small children to a Habitat for Humanity work site, but if you are ATI like the Duggars, either you all go or you all stay home.

Such an odd concept. The silver lining is that the ATI model is designed to fail. It's not sustainable in any practical way.

Willow said...

So, could it be possible that when the Duggars are visiting even their best friends, the Bates family, that the children must play in supervised groups so as not to form any one-on-one friendships. Even with all their odd ideas, I had not even considered this one. They are always saying that the two families have really similar values and they always seem to bring it up every time they visit. But what does that really mean? We probably won't know but now I am wondering about that. Reading the article surprised me that they are forbidden to have any friends outside their family, not even other Gothardites. This puts a new light on so many things. Wow. How can this not be considered cultish?

The Roaming Commoner said...

I read that article once and it is so telling. I seriously doubt that any of the Duggar girls would be able to make decisions on their own without their parents or siblings to help them out. Maybe the isolation has caused them to fear all "outsiders" so badly that engagement would be nearly impossible.

ennvee said...

Ha! You stole my article. :D

That site is a goldmine for anyone who actually wants to understand (and not just blindly believe) the machinations behind the Duggar's wacky "siblings as best friend" or "population myth" doctrine, and lends insight into the bowels of Gothard, as it were.

I think 1% retention rate is a little low, but it is interesting that the kids brought up in it leave, on average, in their early 20's. However, that's based on the very first generation of Gothardites, whose kids may not have been exposed to it until their teens, so they knew "real" life.

The generation currently being raised by my peers (the most conservative generation in something like a hundred years...my apologies) have raised their kids in this from birth - certainly the case with the Duggars...I doubt even Josh remembers being dressed up for Halloween - I think retention rates will be higher since the kids got full exposure and no other points of view for basis of comparison.

londonbridges said...

My goodness! I am grateful for the article, as it sure explains a great deal.

My hope is that the Duggar blessings may, too, find their own way, in their own time, make their own choices, and be far far away from JimBob and Michelle. It is hard to believe that they (parents in name only sometimes) think this is the only way to raise their blessings.

I need to process this article, and thanks so much Sharla, for sharing it. I may comment later on.

Rainbow68 said...

I think that one of the reasons children who were raised in the ATI curriculum aren't using it on their own kids is that it doesn't prepare you for the workplace. The girls I knew at our pro-Gothard church my husband and I attended in our early years of marriage who had turned 18 and weren't married, didn't know what to do with themselves. They seemed to be in a sort of holding pattern. The boys were encouraged to apprentice themselves to someone in a specific trade they were interesed in pursuing - carpentry always seemed to be the one they used as an example. There seems to be real suspicion in higher education - that it was "worldly", "liberal" and would undo all of those years of training. Gil and Kelly Bates both went to college, but seemed determined to keep their kids from having the same advantage. College is not to everyone's taste, but if you don't want to be a carpenter or tree removal provider and would like to do something that requires a college degree you are handicapped. I think this may be one of the reasons that the kids raised in Gothardism are bailing.

The Roaming Commoner said...

I really hope that Joy Anna Duggar bails on her family. I don't know what it is with that particular girl, but she seems as though the life has been sucked completely clean out of her. She always seems unhappy. I wonder if the Duggar kids keep each other in check to make sure none of them go off of towing the party line.

Rainbow68 said...

I'd like to suggest googling "My Childhood in the ATI"/Recovering Grace parts 1-3. He explains it better than I ever could.

The Roaming Commoner said...

I wonder what would happen if one of the Duggar girls did end up marrying and ended up in an abusive relationship. Would Jimbob and the family help them out of it? How would they deal with normal, everyday, problems such as depression?

positiveparent said...

I'd like to think that Jim Bob and Michelle would help a daughter who was abused in a marriage, but I actually think they wouldn't. Leave and cleave, remember? Also, I have actually listed to fundy relatives discuss (gossip about) people who left their marriages due to abuse... their comments weren't pretty.
Given the way that courtships are run, with so much oversight and chaperoning.... I can see who people could enter into marriages without realizing that their partner has a propesity toward violence, gambling, perversities, etc. After all, thise things don't get discussed in a courtship.

The Roaming Commoner said...

During Josh and Anna's courtship, her parents both went on and on about how courtship had so many protections (paraphrased). Yet, other boards have testified to the contrary. A lot of women get into these courtships and end up trapped in undesirable situations with no way out.

Sharla said...

I've spent too much time in "Gothardland" lately. I found this very odd nursing prep course today that lasts about a year and costs $10,000 on one his websites. It certifies the person for nothing but is recommended as a prep for a real nursing program for an LPN, RN, or BSN. The interesting thing I found was that Gothard did not seem to have a prohibition on college education or even attending a real college. The Duggars must have some other reason for discouraging college. All of the money making propositions Gothard has going along with using so many volunteers to run the center was giving me a bit of a Scientology type vib.

Andrea said...

This doesn't really surprise me. When the TV show ends (which is near) and they're hopefully free to do as they choose, I hope all of the adult women choose a college experience. I think it's pretty obvious Jana feels very uncomfortable much of the time on camera. I wonder what she really feels when she is parenting her siblings and cleaning the house, while Mom's on the elliptical and napping. I hope Grandma Duggar is a little birdy in their ear telling them there is more to the world than Jim Bob and Michelle. Remember Grandma only had two children herself, I wonder what level of education she attain and what her beliefs are. I don’t foresee big families in any of the adult daughters future’s, they’ve done more than enough work and their only in their early twenties. Of course, Josh will have a big family because he didn’t really do any raising of his siblings.

Forest For The Trees said...

The question as to possibly why the Duggar girls aren't rushing into engagements can best be answered by Jill Duggar in the recent "All You Wanted To Know" episode.

An unmarried male firefighter sent in the video question: "How would a single firefighter go about dating one of the Duggar daughters?".

And Jill Duggar answered: "ASK OUR DAD".

That about says it all, really.

Not even the choice of a spouse is going to be left up to the Duggar girls.

JimBob will do the choosing, whether the Duggar girl likes it or not. And right now, he's not choosing...because there is too much housework and baby raising for the girls to do.

Jim, Tori and the boys said...

I'm just wondering why people say that the Duggars discourage college (especially for the girls), when a couple of the girls are already taking college courses? They've talked about it on the show before. A couple of them want to be nurse midwives and it seems like one of them wants to be a teacher. Only one, Jana, has stated she just wants to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. And Josh has mentioned having aspirations to go to law school.

Anonymous said...

I think the Duggars are comfortable raising children, but they are clueless in recognizing and interacting with the young adults in their family. Therefore, they will keep treating the young adults like children as long as they can. Because serving others, cooperation, honoring parents, and self-control are mandated, but expressing one's inner emotions and generating ideas are outlawed, the adult children are destined to stay children until one of them figures out that they can do all of the above without the world coming to an end.

If I were Michelle, I would be totally embarrassed to be on TV shows and at events with all of my children surrounding me for every single photo op. On the other hand, I would be proud and delighted to be able to say things like, "Jessa and Jinger couldn't make it today because it's Finals Week at college," "Josh couldn't get away from his job," "Jana and some friends are hosting a bridal shower for a dear friend, "Joyanna was invited to spend the weekend with a friend's family in New York," etc. Something, anything, to show that my children have independent lives and engage in activities that are healthy for young adults.

Elvira said...

Because all they do it talk about education beyond high school. By 21 my kids had all graduated from college. Josh has mentioned law school. He could have finished it by now if he'd actually gone to college and then law school after getting his GED.

Andrea said...

To the comment: "I'm just wondering why people say that the Duggars discourage college, when a couple of the girls are already taking college courses?" College Plus! is not college. It's online classes which are then used as equivalency credits at an accredited university or college. When an educated person refer to college or University, they are referring to a place of higher learning, critical thinking and social interaction.

Patrice said...

Also, they are not allowed to attend a real college among regular folks, who might actually have different lifestyles than theirs. They have been advertising a program called CollegePlus! (yes, complete with the explanation mark) which many people have relegated to the name of College Minus. It is not even an online college program; rather it is something that pretty much grabs large sums of money from people to "prepare" them for a real degree. By the time one pays thousands of dollars to this program, they are just out the money and no closer to a degree than they were before. Some of the Duggars have been "thinking about" going to college for years now...Well, I have been thinking about winning the lottery for years now but my chances of that are no greater than a Duggar actually walking into a real school and registering for classes. Sad but true.

Jenny O said...

Josh did, seasons ago, mention his desire to become an attorney. Alas for poor Josh, getting a higher education was not going to be allowed by his parents, and so we see him running a used car lot owned by his father. He and his wife live in a house donated to them by his grandmother. He, his wife and children, earn money by participating in the TLC show, so he travels quite a lot lately. When he is gone, who runs the car lot?

When I look at puffy, prematurely balding and aging Josh, I see what happens when you stifle a young person's dreams and hopes and force them down a path of their parents' choosing. I wonder if it's dawning on Josh that his life is going to be pathetically limited, especially once the TLC money dries up. I wonder how he feels, still basically being under his father's thumb and having little recourse. After all, he has no real skills, no eduction, no training. His parents have raised him up to be exactly what he is - dependent upon them!

As to the girls taking college classes. No, they are not. Maybe one or two are taking occasional CLEP tests via College Plus (please be aware, College Plus is not a college at all, simply a for-profit institution that will charge a lot of money for tests you can take for free).

One girl wants to be a nurse, but that's not going to happen either. First, because her lack of a decent education would make it extremely hard for her to get accepted into, and then excel, at a serious nursing college. Second, because her parents won't allow it. She gets to "shadow" a doula, so that she can "help" at childbirths. That's as close as she'll ever come to being a nurse.

They have four or five adult children living at home, doing nothing much besides running the household. It's pretty sad how those young adults are so severely limited by their own parents, to have little to no opportunity to do well in their adult lives. I predict a lot of bitterness to come.

All I can say, is I hope the girls get their own back when JimBob and Michelle are in their dotage. Roll them out on an office chair, film them drooling and unable to talk, drag them around on trips they don't want to take, and especially (!!!) make Michelle do loads and loads and loads and simply loads of laundry, like she does to Grandma Duggar. Oh please fate, would you be so kind as to make this happen?

tulip said...

Thank you for providing this link...finally something that actually makes sense, that is, why The Duggars are the way they are. It's all so clear. The Duggars have been promoting ATI/Gothard from the start, sneaking it all in back when the specials first aired. There were so many of us intrigued with "how they do it", and listened to all their "great ideas" as a naive viewer. How cute the little kids would have an older buddy to help them brush their teeth & hair. How amazing a mom would take on homeschooling for ALL those kids. And how sweet the siblings are each others best friends.

It's not until now, that the older ones are grown, the truth comes out-and is so evident. When faced with dating, we learn about courtship. When faced with college, we hear about "CollegePlus!". And when faced with actually growing up and learning to become independent and an individual, we learn about living at home and acting mommy until prince charming arrives...that is, if Jim Bob allows him to.

Jenny O said...

And when faced with actually growing up and learning to become independent and an individual, we learn about living at home and acting mommy until prince charming arrives...tha
===================

Kind of reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy discovers the "man behind the curtain." A fancy facade, a man pretending to be wise and great, but really, he's a humbug. That's Gothard. I really do feel sorry for any children raised under his dictates.

At the very least, I wish homeschooling were more tightly regulated. The Duggars and others are slipping through the cracks.

Allie said...

What gets me the most is that these ATI kids have all the responsibility but none of the authority of being a parent. Although, I actually think the duggar girls do have authority. Remember when Jessa was telling Johanna to say, "yes ma'am" to her?

tulip said...

I have to say, I think the college talk is just that-TALK. The Duggars seem like they are putting up a front, especially with so much of their efforts addressing the topic.

Their website has a slide on the homepage stating, "It's Time For College...The Option We Chose"...WE (meaning Jim Bob & Michelle!) The kids obviously have no choice in the matter. They also have a link under Homeschooling for Oak Brook College of Law and, on CollegePlus, Josh still "talks" about pursuing a law degree. As we've all stated, Jill can do CollegePlus all she wants, but it's NOT going to earn her a degree for Nursing...oh, it will prepare her for the education she'll need (more like a complete waste of money, which, ironically is what Jim Bob states he's trying to avoid by choosing CollegePlus)

If The Duggars are so bold in standing up for their faith and witnessing, they should come clean to everybody about all this Gothard stuff, because the last time I checked, "Christian" means "Christ-follower", NOT Gothard-follower.

Rainbow68 said...

Bill Gothard has both a Bachelor's and Master's degree. He has never married nor had children.

Seriously? said...

What IS it that makes these people SUCH control freaks??

Of what are they afraid?

IMO this is reflective of a very weird combination of arrogance and insecurity.

"Encouraged"? Uh, no. Not so much.

Alberta Rose said...

I work at a fast food restaurant with three 18 year old girls who have graduated from high school, are working part-time, living at home and have no interest in moving out, going to college or getting married. My niece is 17 years old, lets her mother raise her child, has no interested in completing high school, moving out or getting married. A close friend's daughter didn't move out until she was 25, and is still unmarried at 27. I could go on but suffice it to say I think the reason why I'm not pondering why the Duggar girls haven't got married yet, to me it seems like young women aren't in as big a hurry to go beyond high school, move out or get married and the Duggar girls behaviour is normal.

SmokeyKitty said...

I have my own view on why the Duggar girls may not be jumping on the marriage bandwagon.

They might have it easy right now compared to what they would face in marriage. Yes, they are stand-in mommies and do all the housework but wouldn't it be even harder as a young bride/mother?

They have a lot of responsibilities but at least they can do them without morning sickness and the other unpleasant side effects of pregnancy.
I would bet that they've seen women totally defeated (physically and mentally) by prengancy. For every Michelle out there who has had it relatively easy they've seen fellow Quiverfull Moms who have had miserable pregnancies that aged them considerably.

Also, they live in a really big house with multiple washers/dryers; two fully equipped kitchens; and generally working/nice systems. On top of which they have each other to help with chores. As a young bride a Duggar girl would be on her own.
They can't be blind to other families they know such as the Bates who live in tiny houses with no a/c and old appliances living paycheck to paycheck b/c Dad works an essentially menial job with no benefits. (I know that the Bates house was renovated, but the charity of the TLC cannot always be counted on!)

They might not be rushing out there to marry a guy they barely know b/c they don't want to end up poor and pregnant. Not to mention, they have the opportunity to travel and do other things that other women in their movement would never get to do. I think its telling that the older Bates girls are also not engaged yet. They would certainly announce that in an episode so I assume it hasn't happened. I can imagine that they rather play piano and sing and go on missions rather than settle down for a couple of decades of morning sickness, diaper changing, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and managing a home that lacks many amenities (as well as stretching a salary that would be difficult for a small family to live on in order for a huge family to live).

It just doesn't sound like a very attractive life. And I think that the older Duggar girls have realized that. They are probably smart enough to at least wait around until someone who can provide them with financial security comes along at the very least. They could also be planning something like their own book or some other means that would allow them a measure of independence and perhaps a shot at a real education.

They are very smart young women. They may have something in the works a whole lot more attractive than courtship!!!

ennvee said...

Bill Gothard has both a Bachelor's and Master's degree. He has never married nor had children.

====================================

I know all of this, yet everytime I see his bio and how he's applied himself, I think "Jesus complex, much?"

Yet I don't think Jesus would approve of the restrictions and restraints Brother Gothard places on the children of the flock; if they're born into it, they have absolutely no choices in their lives (unless you're a male and can wrangle with a brother over which used car lot you'll run).

It's interesting that the retention rate of the first generation of kids was so low; they mostly came into it as tweens/teens when Gothard started this stuff in the late 80's. Those born into it like the Duggars or Bateses are probably going to keep more in the fold, which is exactly what Gothard is looking for in his end goal of dominionism, including the merging of church and state.

Thankfully, these people will be less and less educated with every successive generation and will never become "president" or "cure cancer" like Jim Bob seems to think is possible for his extremely inarticulate brood, even Jill, who is still THINKING about nursing school at least a year after the first time Michelle told us she was thinking about it.

*simultaneous eyeroll and facepalm*

j said...

SmokeyKitty, I think you hit the nail on the head. If I was one of those girls and my only options were staying at home or turning into Anna I would probably choose to remain with the family as well. Sadly that's probably the closest to independence those girls are ever going to get. For JoyAnna's sake, I hope she stays angry and builds up enough courage to do her own thing in life, at least somewhat.

Kit said...

I think that the older Duggar girls...are probably smart enough to at least wait around until someone who can provide them with financial security comes along at the very least.

I think you're right. But that DOESN'T mean that they don't wish they could "have it all" - a husband AND a comfortable lifestyle AND some personal privacy/freedom. Choosing between emotional loneliness and poverty isn't much of a choice.

Melissa said...

Totally agree with everything SmokeyKitty said. Also if the girls really do have goals (Jill & Jana with Mission work and possibly a Nursing degree down the road), then they probably realize they can accomplish this as long as they stay single. And of course, the longer they wait to get married, the less children they'll have. If they can wait til mid to late 20s to get married, that would potentially decrease the amount of children they have dramatically compared to Michelle (she already had 6 kids by the time she was in late 20s).
I hope for their sake that they can wait awhile! As I've said before, I don't think they need to worry about becoming old-maids. They're very attractive both outwardly and inwardly.

Also, just a side comment, I wonder if some of the families who attend ATI conference might use natural ways to plan family size (systematically following woman's cycle). It might explain why some of the families have around 5 to 6 children rather than 20!!! And some of the women may be able breastfeed their babies longer, too. Michelle and Kelly seem to stop breastfeeding around 6 months. Of course, I know you can still get pregnant while breastfeeding, but just a thought.

Sweetie Pie said...

Watched a program about the Amish & dating. The Amish have more freedom of choice than the duggars. They can date in groups of other teens, hold hands together, and be alone together. And they pick who they'll marry then announce it to the parents.They're also free to choose their religion or not, and treated as adults. The poor Duggar children are not as free.

Sharla said...

Anna's older sister Priscilla is engaged.

http://davidlovespriscilla.com/

ennvee said...

What is interesting about Priscilla's website is that there are no links to her parents' ministry, just a link for Josh and Anna because, well, she's a Duggar.

Unlike Anna's OTHER sister who is also engaged, this one might actually be taped for a show; they are running out of ideas and desperately need a wedding. This would put a great spin on the Gothard angle since the couple both work at Ground Zero and the wedding already hosted TLC for Anna's wedding.

Congrats, I guess. Not that I ever thought Priscilla Keller would be one to leave, but she's marrying a family who lives in the same town as Gothard HQ, so she's going to be involved in some way even after she marries and has to retire to the kitchen and approved wifely work for Gothard until her first baby comes.

roddma said...

"The Duggars must have some other reason for discouraging college." I think Jim Bob mentioned once that since they didn't attend college and got by with no college degree.

"I work at a fast food restaurant with three 18 year old girls who have graduated from high school, are working part-time, living at home and have no interest in moving out, going to college or getting married."
These girls obviously are making their own choices. I don't see the Duggar girls or boys old enough to work holding a part-time job outside of what Jim Bob or Michelle allows. You can be independent and still live with your parents. Amy is still at home too but she has much more freedom than any of them. You are right though,about kids staying a longer. the average age of moving out is around 23-25 I think. that is becuase the cost of living is higher and your average young adult can't afford expenses.The Duggars have no excuse.

Rainbow68 said...

Gothard teaches that married couples are to abstain from sex both the week of the woman's menstrual cycle and the week after that. Having gone through a time of secondary infertility, I know that the time that the couples is allowed to resume marital relations is the most fertile time of a woman's cycle. He says this is from Old Testament Law (too lazy to look it up). This "rule" combined with being taught that birth control is murder, ensures many little Gothardites. He's no fool. My family draws names for Christmas. I've asked for "A Matter of Basic Principles" a book about, and critical of, Bill Gothard. Will post about it after Christmas!

Willow said...

Thanks Rainbow68 - Will look forward to hearing about the book. I enjoy hearing your insight regarding the Gothard movement. I am afraid that in another generation or two, they could become much more cultish. I hope I will be wrong.

pumpkin said...

Thanks for the link about Priscilla's engagement. The family she is marrying into does a lot of international mission work - they were in Mongolia and Korea recently. Perhaps TLC will showcase them in an episode - this would be more interesting to me than watching the Duggars try and get somewhere on time or do another thirty loads of laundry.

Elvira said...

So far IBLP/ATI has had a fairly low retention rate from little I can find on that. Personally, I think when Gothard passes on, that particular movement will begin a slow death. Other similar groups are already out there but don't seem quite as extreme as Gothard or as all encompassing.

Seriously? said...

One wonders if Gothard/Gothard's business (aka 'ministry') pays the Duggars for all the 'product placement' via claiming (ad nauseum) on tv the basic Gothard mindset though never actually OWNING the Gothard connection.

If there existed a false reality, 'reality' tv is IT.

Allison said...

I think Priscilla and David's engagement is even shorter than Anna and Josh's. Wow.

Anonymous said...

After reading this, I finally feel like I've found the reason for the Duggar girls cool relationship with Anna. They've never seemed all that comfortable and friendly with her; it makes me question whether they even know how to make a real friendship. And for that matter, it makes me very concerned about what type of relationship all these children (boys and girls) will have with their future spouse.
-Beantown Mom

Alberta Rose said...

These girls obviously are making their own choices. I don't see the Duggar girls or boys old enough to work holding a part-time job outside of what Jim Bob or Michelle allow. You can be independent and still live with your parents. Amy is still at home too but she has much more freedom than any of them.

The Duggar girls and the girls I mentioned all know that being engaged doesn't mean "freedom", it's just swapping one set of restrictions for another. Regarding Amy, the last TLC episode I saw featuring Amy, she had a little place of her own. Plus Amy was not raised the same way as her cousins. Oh wait, there is one thing Amy has in common with her cousins. She's not rushing into an engagement.

LadyJayne said...

I was wondering if the girls aren't rushing into engagements because there are a lack of financially eligible suitors. Of what we've seen, other like minded families seem to be pretty poor. Huge famililies with outdated clothing, living in run down shoe box houses. The Bates are the prime examples of this, especially before their home was remodeled.

Are there other wealthy ATI Gothard families? I can't see any of the Duggar girls leaving their current home to go live in a trailer, or beat up old, small house. Because Gothard frowns upon traditional work, how would a potential husband earn a good enough living to keep a Duggar girl in her current lifestyle?