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Reality TV Mom: Abusive?

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People are starting to question Kate's behavior on TLC's Jon & Kate Plus Eight. Is her behavior towards John abusive or is she just trying to keep her household together?

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The Gosselins have one set of twins and -- through fertility treatments -- one set of sextuplets.  Their reality show follows their life as they try to keep order in a household filled with young children.  Kate's behavior has been questionable at times, verbally berating her husband and apparently physically slapping him. But he's not laying down and just taking it either. He gives it back to her and they are often seen having immature bickering exchanges.  See clip.

The show's Web site implies that in a typical day, they have to put on 56 pieces of clothing, cook 16 pancakes, clean 80 sticky fingers, do five loads of laundry and make eight trips to the potty all before breakfast -- then he goes to work. That can throw any mom over the edge, right?

Are they bad role models or just honest models of how real families work?

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Realty Show Kids Celeb Moms of Twins


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90 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jessie August 1, 2008, 7:14 PM

Ugh…I stopped watching this show early on because I couldn’t STAND his wife…and he used to just sit there and take it, but now he’s getting mouthy.

Still, she has an annoying, strict Nazi-type personality…can only take so much!

Colleen August 1, 2008, 7:24 PM

I actually love watching their show. I think that they are truly honest models of what families can be like. I can’t imagine having that many children under 5 in my home! I think that family life can be messy, and we don’t always handle crises the “right” way. I can only imagine how many crises happen in one morning in that house! Yes, Kate has a controlling personality, but it seems to me that it helps them manage some of the more difficult things about having a large family. We can all work on how to talk to our spouses. Fortunately for us, we are not living our lives in front of a camera for the public to see.

la August 1, 2008, 7:27 PM

i think people dont like kate cause she reminds them of themselves or their own mothers.

to me, kate seems to be really honest. and i respect that.

the truth is…all moms nag, all parents have immature exhanges or bickering - and thats real life. she has 8 kids, can you really blame her for trying to keep her household in order?

Amber August 1, 2008, 7:40 PM

I’ve never watched the show, just seen clips on the internet but I they made me feel bad for the husband! I don’t think she’s some horrible monster but he just doesn’t look happy at all and I think she has a lot to do with it. I’m a naggy person but not like her and I wouldn’t be on tv. lol.
I think she is just a mom or 8 whole still thinks she needs things to be THIS way, HER way.
I just felt bad for the husband for how beaten and defeated he looked in the clips I’ve seen.

Kim August 1, 2008, 7:57 PM

I think they portray an honest family.. They have EIGHT kids.. six of them are under five. I think they’re totally normal and I love watching the show.

Hollie August 1, 2008, 9:04 PM

Sometimes I do agree that she seems a bit harsh but we only see a cut down and edited 30 minute part of their life. They addressed this issue on their show. They are blunt because they don’t have time to beat around the bush and they both like it that way.

Melanie August 1, 2008, 9:45 PM

Are you serious? I have to say this is one of the stupidest things I have ever read and can not believe people would honestly think Kate is abusive! I know the presidential election is a snore and that most of us are planning our move to Mexico if Obama wins, but there has to be more important things to talk about.

j August 1, 2008, 10:27 PM

if you watch the show a lot (and i do) i think you’d come to realize how much a part the husband has in his wife’s behavior. i think they have worked out a dynamic that works for them. obviously she is the more dominant partner. of course sometimes she is rude and out of line, sometimes we all are, and in those cases jon usually speaks up. there are plenty of times when he asks her not to yell across the store or some other thing and she usually apologizes (sort of, i think she could work on that) and tries to change her behavior.
frankly i think it’s nice to see such an honest portrayal of family life (even if it is under extreme circumstances) and the show’s a good reminder that we all work out our primary relationships in different ways. it’s ok to take on a specific role in a relationship, especially in a high stress situation where it may be necessary to accomplish your goals (like raising 8 children). i feel certain that both jon and kate feel (for the most part) comfortable in the role they fill and are capable of changing their dynamic if they so desired.

j August 1, 2008, 10:28 PM

if you watch the show a lot (and i do) i think you’d come to realize how much a part the husband has in his wife’s behavior. i think they have worked out a dynamic that works for them. obviously she is the more dominant partner. of course sometimes she is rude and out of line, sometimes we all are, and in those cases jon usually speaks up. there are plenty of times when he asks her not to yell across the store or some other thing and she usually apologizes (sort of, i think she could work on that) and tries to change her behavior.
frankly i think it’s nice to see such an honest portrayal of family life (even if it is under extreme circumstances) and the show’s a good reminder that we all work out our primary relationships in different ways. it’s ok to take on a specific role in a relationship, especially in a high stress situation where it may be necessary to accomplish your goals (like raising 8 children). i feel certain that both jon and kate feel (for the most part) comfortable in the role they fill and are capable of changing their dynamic if they so desired.

Tamsyn August 2, 2008, 7:45 AM

Jon has that trapped look. If he had less than four kids he would leave. Since he has eight, and is on national tv, he’s stuck. I’m so glad he’s talking back to her! You would think Kate would be nicer to him, especially in those sit down interviews. This is her personality, not Mommy Stress.

erica August 2, 2008, 10:27 AM

kate’s a smart girl. we’re all talking about her and she has gotten tons of extra publicity for her show, lots of free stuff, endorsements, etc. she wears that cool mom shirt and her kids wear em tanner designs and now everyone is on those websites ordering that stuff, too. that show is full of product placements and everyone is watching to see what kate will say or do to her husband and then they go out and buy juicy juice because that’s what kate gives her kids at snack time. this isn’t about kate abusing her husband, this is about strategy to get ratings and free stuff. and, by the way, it’s much more entertaining than the roloff’s, that’s for sure.

Keri August 2, 2008, 11:47 AM

I can’t believe that you people are actually talking bad about Jon and Kate. I know everyone has heard “You can’t judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.” They have 8 kids people!!! If you actually watch the show you will see how great of parents they are!!!

Anonymous August 2, 2008, 12:45 PM

Jon is whipped.

lea-ann August 2, 2008, 1:11 PM

you people that are talkin about kate, obviously do NOT watch this show often!! she and jon compliment each other perfectly, and WHEN she gets a little loud, or “controling” as you all like to call it, jon addresses that, and they work thru it. i think they are a GREAT couple, and if more couples in america could work together as they do, there might be some happier kids AND marriages in this world!!

sblondon August 2, 2008, 1:32 PM

I can’t imagine having 8 kids. I have only two and I loose it a lot of the time. You can’t blame Kate! She’s probably very stressed out. She probably has her way of doing things in her day to day life and once Jon is home he messes that routine up. He might not know exactly how she does things. He’s at work all day. I don’t watch this show that much. But I would not want to walk in their shoes even for one day!!


Mia August 2, 2008, 2:27 PM

I feel it’s hard to judge Jon and Kate, we really don’t know them, we just know what TLC decides to air. Oh and Melanie-Have a grand life in Mexico! Love how America’s “finest” (aka: racists) manage to add their lovely comments. WTF does Obama possibly becoming president have to do with this topic?!!! All you ignorant cowards don’t need to move to other countries, you need to remove yourselves from the planet.

LB August 3, 2008, 1:39 PM

I have always told my husband that one thing he should never do is humiliate me, especially in front of other people. I can’t believe Jon lets her humiliate him in front of millions of viewers. However, with that said….The show would be pretty dull and boring if we couldn’t tune in and watch how rude, and demanding she is. He is one heck of a guy to let us watch. It’s a lot like American Idol…If it weren’t for Simon Cowell, it would be really boring and there would be no show.

JR August 3, 2008, 7:14 PM

I think Jon and Kate do a really great job as partners and as parents. Everyone fights and nobody is perfect. There is alot of love in their family, and I love how they instill God in their lives, there are scriptures on cards written all over the cabinets in the kitchen. I love that! And for Mia’s comment on Obama, he would be a horrible president and it has nothing to do with him being black, but I love how of course white people would be called racist because of that, GET OVER IT!!! Obama sucks!!!

kky August 3, 2008, 7:36 PM

I think this is a true portrayal of how families work. If a camera followed me around all day, Im sure I would sound a bit differently than I would imagine myself being. Everyone thinks they treat people so nicely and respectful every minute of the day.
Kate is a wonderful loving mother to all her family members, including Jon. (Jon is not the most assertive person either.)

Kathy August 4, 2008, 1:41 AM

I love the show. I disagree with some of what she says and does but admire a whole lot. As with any family.

Put a camera in your home and see how you’re protrayed in a time slot of 30 mins. Enough said.


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