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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?


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
kate like August 4, 2008, 2:11 AM

o.k. I am just like Kate. I totally get why she is so anal about things getting done a certain way or not at all. I only have 2 kids and I am usally close to the edge.. With out complete order her home would be insane and so would she. She gets a little nuts with the cleanliness factor but who wants to constanly clean 8 kids as well.

Kristen F August 4, 2008, 10:30 AM


You don’t have to be racist not to like Obama. That’s like saying a black person is racist if they don’t like Bush. Why does the race card get thrown out immediately? Not saying that some people aren’t just being racist with not liking him, but not everyone is, so don’t judge and save the racist card when you know it’s true!

Love the Irony August 4, 2008, 1:32 PM

Obama has NOTHING to do with this topic, BUT since we’re on it for a bit, I’ll just add this bit:

Only RACISTS play the “Race card.”

Racists define everyone else by race and then get offended when others call them out on it.

If you didn’t judge people by their skin tone, there would be no “race card” to play.

so FYI: it’s not a “convenient card” that POC “like to play”…it’s how YOU RACISTS have chosen to see people of color and now you’re have to own up to it…SO DEAL.

Love the Irony 2 August 4, 2008, 1:39 PM

Obama has NOTHING to do with this topic, BUT since we’re on it for a bit, I’ll just add this bit:

Only RACISTS play the “Race card.”

Racists define everyone else by race and then get offended when others call them out on it.

If you didn’t judge people by their skin tone, there would be no “race card” to play.

so FYI: it’s not a “convenient card” that POC “like to play”…it’s how YOU RACISTS have stubbornly chosen to see people of color, REMIND them everyday about their race and then have the audacity to get irritated when they tell you about yourself and your race games.

So, RACISTS, Why not stop whining about this “race card” and DEAL with the mess you’ve created…starting with YOURSELVES.

L August 4, 2008, 7:12 PM

I think Kate will have her hands full when the kids grow up with what they have learned from her in their impressionable years. And maybe Jon will see that maybe he should have been more assertive with curbing their actions. Oh well.

Whitney August 5, 2008, 2:05 AM

I work in television so I think I am qualified in saying, unless you have met the person you have such a strong opinion about, you cannot judge them. We take hrs and hrs of footage and pick clips lasting a few seconds to represent these people and their lives. These families sign contracts where they have little or no say in what we ultimately choose to air- the networks contact ALL the companies for advertising/endorsements. We can edit anything to our advantage, just think of what you say or do in a days time and if someone took all the worst parts and showed it to 23 mil people/wk. You have no place judging them if you have NO idea what you’re really talking about.

Kristen F August 5, 2008, 11:17 AM

I love how only white people get called racist. I honestly think a lot of “POC” (I’ll use that term since Irony did) are more racist than most “white” people are. Get over it. You can’t change the past and by bringing it up everyday, you use it to your advantage or disadvantage depending on how it best benefits you in a situation. How can everyone move forward if things no one can change can’t be buried in the past? And that’s not just “POC” only with that remark.

Anonymous August 7, 2008, 4:19 PM

I love this show. The kids are funny and that’s one of the things i love most about being a mom. kate takes care of business and with eight little ones in tow you would have to grow some tough skin. How can you say that she’s loud and rude when she speakes her mind and keep it moving. Those kids are eating healthy and are very smart. She’s just doing her. When are we going to stop micro judging people on every single thing. She’s they are cool in my book and i can’t hate on Kate she takes care of business and i love the show.

kd August 8, 2008, 1:01 PM

Melanie — using a forum on a TLC program to advance your political position? Pathetic. It’s wimpish to say you’ll move if someone you don’t like gets elected. We don’t need cowards like you in this country. I HATE HATE HATE Bush and his ilk, but I stuck it out. I’m not threatening to leave because I didn’t get my way. That’s something only wusses and whiners do. What a patriot you are! You must be republican because Fox Noise told me they’re the only patriotic party.

e m lockey August 12, 2008, 5:53 PM

There are other people who have sextuplets and they are better behaved and do not act like a bunch of wild animals. Why not give them a chance to get tons of free stuff and take vacations for the rich and spa visits? She is a you know what. eml

Cindy August 26, 2008, 3:39 PM

I grew up in a family of 8 children. My mother had a dirty house, we were never fed, when old enough to wash our own clothes, we did. It was a big mess all the time, to top it off she was in the bar most evenings until 10 at night. The older kids raised the younger ones. I think Kate does a wonderful job. I am OK with her being OCD, neat and orderly. I am that way myself, born of necessity, as is hers, I think. Let up, her husband is an adult, I think they have a good relationship, he is laid back, they balance each other. The kids are adorable, and very well behaved. That is a testament to their parents. Most people should have such well behaved kids. Most only have 2 and can’t take them in public, or shouldn’t!!!

Casey September 2, 2008, 9:04 PM

Abusive? I think that adjective goes a little far. I love watching Jon and Kate Plus 8, and I think that it’s a fairly true portrayal (as much as you can get having a camera follow you around and then edited for a 30 minute show). They aren’t perfect, and they say that themselves many times, and I, as well as my husband, can relate to them in certain aspects. They’ve got EIGHT children, yes Kate is a little controlling but when you have eight children, being organized is the key in not letting the kids take over, and from what I’ve seen from the show, those kids are pretty well behaved, esspecially for her having eight!

carrin September 4, 2008, 4:24 PM

I watch the J&K show to see those funny and cute kids. Kate bugs me. She is a shew, an OCD nut, and fears contamination of germs to the hilt.

I don’t see how these kids will ever have a normal life again. The whole world has seen their potty training, throwing up, and being screamed at by you know who. Pitiful. Awful.

Anonymous September 21, 2008, 10:25 PM

All of this talk on the family is making me wish the show was cancelled

Linda September 23, 2008, 8:51 AM

What’s with all of the potties placed all around the house…? If their boys can use the plastic potties they can use the bathroom. I watched as they went around the house to gathed all of the pee and was sickened….

Jackie September 26, 2008, 5:32 PM

Why is it when a topic is asked about, people tend to get their two cents worth in, this topic has nothing to do with the election, or racism, or politics in general. You were asked about the show Jon and Kate plus eight. What the heck does that have to do with Obama and Mccain and racism? Get over it!! Always have to get that stuff in there on a simple subject, just to get your two cents worth in there. It seems no matter what the subject people have to get religion, race, or politics in there, and personally I get tired of reading about it ALL the time. We are all human beings being white, black, yellow, red, whatever color we are so go on with life and get along.
That is all I have to say.

Barbi September 26, 2008, 5:42 PM

I think Kate acts like Jon is another one of her children Her mind thinks faster than her voice. She comes up with so many put downs directed at Jon. I use to watch the show all the time. Now i just don’t like watching Kate screaming at Jon. TV should make people feel good. Jon does have a job outside the home life. To bad Jon just doesn’t tell Kate to shup up at lest once.

Alexzandra September 28, 2008, 12:26 PM

Jon is probably only married to her because he loves his children. when they move out…well, i can see a divorce in their future…

Pam October 3, 2008, 3:17 PM

OMG, Their lives are thier business, not ours! If they choose to put their lives on TV and get paid for it, more power to them. I’m sure if Kate was hitting Jon for real he wouldn’t take it lying down so don’t get your panties in a bunch over something so stupid

Pam October 3, 2008, 3:32 PM

I’ll tell you one thing, I came from a family of 9 kids, I was # 6 and it drove me crazy. If a mother of that many kids wants to let off steam, slap her husband, or anything else that you people are finding to gripe about, I say, LET HER BE! Try walking a day in her shoes and I bet you would be the same way. I told my mom before she died at 81 that if she wanted to ever have a breakdown or act a little nutty then go ahead, you deserve the pleasure, you’ve earned it for putting up with all of us. I bet half of you complaining don’t even have kids so back off and stop the hate on Jon and Kate!

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