Friday, August 20, 2010

The Duggars and Sports

The Duggars do play sports, but not in the conventional way. If their kids were on organized sports teams, Jim Bob and Michelle's lives would be a circus, getting this one to soccer practice and that one to their basketball game. With 19 children, it just simply wouldn't work.

"Our kids don't feel like they're missing out because we have so many activities to keep us busy; I don't know how we'd work something else in," says Jim Bob.

Making life run smoothly in a family the size of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals provides a lesson in teamwork every single day. Each Friday and Saturday evening, the Duggars round up their kids and head off to play broom ball at the local rec center, which teaches them team skills, as well.

"I haven't seen our children get frustrated over losing a game," Jim Bob told TLC. "They've got a very good perspective on sports. Don't take it too serious, but just enjoy playing the game."

And athletics are not just for the guys. The Duggar girls enjoy broom ball, in addition to the sports that the family plays frequently out in their yard. Jinger's favorite is ultimate Frisbee, while Jill prefers kickball.

Did you, or do you, play organized sports?


  1. Our kids were in organized sports, Little League, for a short season. It was all around a bad experience for us. I honestly can say nothing positive about it.

    I suppose that if there were an organization similar to where the Duggars play broomball, we wouldn't be against it in moderation. We learned very quickly that the typical Little League was encouraging appetites and attitudes that we didn't want to have instilled in our children.

  2. I am terrible at anything involving a ball. Our kids don't play organized sports for the same reason as the Duggars. One year, I had two kids in karate and two kids in ballet (both met twice a week), and two too young for anything. I was WORN OUT with all the running around on those days. It was so stressful even keeping up w/ just two sports. Ugh!
    And it's such a joke that learn character and teamwork thru sports. If sports teaches character, our national athletes ought to have more integrity than the rest of the population. ROFL!

  3. I'm interested to hear more about your experience, Elizabeth.
    I plan to homeschool my 3 kids (the oldest is 5), and I am trying to decide whether to enroll them in sports or not. I don't really want to, but every single one of the dozens of people I have talked to about it seem to think that skipping the sports would be shortchanging the kids. Exercise, social time, teamwork, physical skills, individuality...everything is an issue.

  4. Gina, I may try to work up a post on it in a week or so.

    In the meanwhile, the Maxwell family has many good resources which mention Little League. The Duggar family recommends some of the Maxwell's literature in their book. The Maxwell's website is

  5. Michelle, I think you are doing a fantastic job with your family. If only more people could raise kids like yours our world wouldn't be in the mess it is right now!

  6. First, I want to say that I admire and respect the way the Duggars have raised their children. They seem to be polite, good-natured, and thoughtful young people.

    This being said, I truly believe that if every family, even 50% of families, chose to have as many kids as possible the impact on the Earth would be pretty bad.

    Have the Duggars ever defended their impact on the environment?

  7. Gina, the comment about exercise made me think of something very important. With younger children under the age of 8-10 years of age, organized sports do NOT provide a good enough workout. The average 7-8 year old playing an hour long soccer game will get about 10 minutes of worthwhile exercise. Better to just keep them home and let them play outside with friends or siblings, they'll do better. When they're a little older, they'll be better off for team sports, and can actually know what they're getting themselves into and chose accordingly. Swimming lessons are okay though, and I think a good idea. Look into other group type classes, like maybe group music classes, or art lessons, drama, yoga...I do agree that homeschool kids need opportunities to meet with other children, especially in smaller families and while sports can be one way, it's not my personal favourite way.

  8. The Duggars spoke about their "carbon footprint" on an episode last year. Given their size, their carbon footprint is small because they buy used cars, clothing, appliances, and home goods. The Duggars often travel in one vehicle, which minimizes pollution.

  9. I have realized that in pointing out the obvious comparison of the Duggars' small carbon footprint compared to that of your avg American family w/ 2 kids, new cars, new shoes, new clothes, etc etc etc, that I was missing the whole point: children are not carbon footprints. Human life should never be boiled down to just a carbon footprint.
    Not to mention that overpopulation is a myth. We have an underpopulation problem (ask China and Korea, for example). The Duggars' fertility is a boom to the economy, not a drain.

  10. Used isn't always better. It can only be taken so far. Old shoes can give you warts and hurt your feet. Some baby cribs aren't up to code. I read old mattresses are a no no too. It is perhaps best to buy them from someone you know.

    For some reason , there is a misconceptions all smaller families are frivolous. That isn't so. Average families don't have 19 kids lol. What is so bad about buying new clothes sometimes for kids if you can afford it?

    I wonder how 'green' their vehicles are. Many used vehicles aren't as green. They have a poor fuel economy and need repairs more often. I read the Duggar's old bus cost $500 to fuel up. Think about all the trips they took. My one and only car,1995 Mercury probably isn't 'green' but I cant afford a new one.

    I was terrible at sports too. I have to agree about the ball organizations. Sometimes the parents are the biggest kids. There other activities like scouts.

  11. Roddma, you are right that not everything can be bought used, but there are some great used deals out there. Everyone has their own opinion as to what should be bought new or used -- that's the beauty of choice. I don't know exactly how "green" the Duggars' cars are, but I know that they are big on saving money and do want to help the environment.

  12. That is so very true! Finding used clothes that fit well can be a challenge, but the prices are unbeatable. We have a 12-year-old car, purchased used, that is still in great shape. We bought it from our neighbor about 7 years ago for only $8,000! :O


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