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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
Tesla PDX March 13, 2009, 4:19 AM

OK, Kate is controlling —towards ADULTS, yet VERY inconsistent with those kids. Once in awhile she gets them under control, but the rest of the time the house is the screaming monkey-cage at the zoo. John is not really a grownup towards the kids or her. Having all the camera crew there is tragic, because it makes it impossible to really train the kids and educate them that the adults are in-charge. I’m from a big family, and it’s much different dynamics than my friend’s childhoods in small families. Parenting has to be very consistent and firm, or the prisoners will take over the prison. Punishments & rewards have to be meaningful, not a lot of useless nagging. We were ferocious, physical, aggressive kids similar to “Malcom in the Middle”, and from my parents own childhood stories, probably a genetic-personality trait. Soft, fluffy adults were destroyed.
John is doomed, he can’t leave her without becoming a world-wide monster, or being destroyed by child-support payments. At the same time, everything I’d seen, he wasn’t a consenting or informed adult regarding the creation of the 6 kids.

Single Mom March 21, 2009, 6:39 AM

I have watched the show for a long time now and I do agree with some of the parts of other comments ~ we only see what the editors want us to see; so if there is anyone to blame for the way Kate is Portrayed as a wife that falls on the T.V network and their editors. I am sure that Jon gives just as much as he gets and YES they do function as a normal family with a stressful life! The most important thing that society needs to realize is that whether or not they get paid in any fashion to do the show; they probably do need the help ~ and the food or clothes or money that they receive goes to their children and making sure that the kids have what they need and deserve. People need to stop judging and accept the fact that if they CHOOSE to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 ~ that they as a viewer will see what the network chooses to air; that is not Jon or Kate’s fault! If ya’ll feel so strongly about Kate being portrayed as an abusive wife ~ then you should write the NETWORK instead of blogging opinions on a site that can DO NOTHING to change what YOU are CHOOSING to watch!

eileen March 23, 2009, 6:24 PM

Please get that SHREW off the TV screens. She berates Jon’s choice of words, his pronounciation, the way he handles the kids (even tempered), even his breathing.
Everything is referred to as “hers”
e.g. “MY kitchen, MY floor, MY house, MY kids.
She should thank God every day for the the kids who are supporting her lifestyle - tummy tucks, vacations in Hawaii, North Carolina, California, etc.
frequent spa visits, etc. And unfortunately, some of the kids are growing up just like her - demanding and whining.
She ought to watch the Hayes family - 2 sets of twins, and sextuplets - THAT is a REAL FAMILY, a loving mother & father and nice normal kids. Love that show,
hate the Gosslin show.

Anna March 23, 2009, 7:50 PM

I watch this show all the time, and in numerous interviews they have talked about the hitting, it’s a “love hit” she dosen’t hit him in an angry way, she dosen’t abuse him either.
And everyone gets in arguments, seriously this article is just completely ridiculous.

Red March 26, 2009, 1:25 PM

“DITTO” elieen, “DOTTO”!

I came froma big, big family, 3 boys and 10 girls, count em’ sista’count em! Now thats a family! I wouldn’t change one single thing about growing up “Gist” either. Should of had cameras about our house, now that would have been a show to watch! It’s just a matter of time before the Gosselin clan is put out to paster, thanks to the table fortwelve and Miss. Octa-mom!!!

lei April 7, 2009, 3:10 AM

it seems that in watching the re-runs… I cant help but see KATE is always the one that has the last say. I know that there is a full household of children. But when they say “we are in this TOGEHTER”… it seems that is still is ONE SIDED… Like when he went and took Kate shopping. SHE wanted Jon to stay with her and have him give his opinion. And all he wanted was to go and get his things and meet up later. WELL, she stated (once again) that she comes first…. I think she has to LEARN to go with the flow when they are by themsleves with no kids around. It seems SHE acts like the child and jon is the dad. She is often seeen YELLING and stating hurtful gestures like “HELLO?!?!” and act like there is nothing happening. Jon.. kudos to you to keep this one going.

corie April 22, 2009, 6:44 PM

I truly believe Kate is in it for the dough-ree-mee….I’m sure she saw Jon as one who would do just about anything she said, when they were dating….he is a sweetheart and should not take any more of her abusive remarks or treatments…what she may call love “slap” here and there. He needs to stand up for his rights as the man of the house and set an example for his 3 beautiful sons.

corie April 22, 2009, 7:04 PM

Eileen your so right….I have tried to find an address to send a note to TLC and congradulate them on the “Table for 12”…now that is a mom and dad who are there for their children….not just for their celeb…..I like Jon on Jon and Kate 8….however like you said, Eileen it is all “MY” even the dogs…also Kate has this coy way of getting attention from contractors, business personnel and their adventures. She becomes so dramatic with her fears, not realizing this could transfer back to the children…Mattie gets away with much more than any of the other children….I see KATE in Mattie…..the others will see this as they grow……

kelly jo May 4, 2009, 11:07 AM

I think Kate is extremely abusive towards Jon no wonder he goes out looking for fun in other women when she isnot around. He isnot married to his mother he is married to his partner. Hopefully a bestfriend and lover.

a friend May 10, 2009, 5:33 PM

On the house she said her kids deserved it and then when she is cleaning up mouse poop she says that it was all hers looking out her kitchen window, why is it she has so much trouble with the kids but when she is gone, does Jon rant and rave “poor me”…I haven’t seen the dumb or stupid Aunt that gave them gum on lately…Auntie that would have been the last time I would have watched her kids too…..she says she is thick skinned, how does she know…she is the giver not the one being abused…Don’t believe for one minute she does everything herself..what a joke

SG May 10, 2009, 6:53 PM

What about TLC’s new show table for 12. That mom and dad do not act disrepectful to each other. Also the Dugger’s that have 18 children. They have plenty of respect for each other. There is just no reason to treat your partner like a whipping post.

beaglz May 11, 2009, 8:46 PM

have any of you people sticking up for kate ever WATCH the show? Jon does more in one day than she will ever do—she sits in the garage and gives orders—when he was trying to put the kids’ furniture together, she let the kids interrupt him and, even when he asked her to control them, she continued to let them get in the way. and now with the new house, everything is “hers”!!! the dogs are “hers”, the land is “hers”. this show is all about her and she loves every minute of it!!!!

Anonymous May 12, 2009, 5:15 PM

Kate is a selfish person and a terrible mother. Wee all make choices- she doesn’t get a free pass for being awful because she chose the risks associated with fertility treatments.

Heather May 13, 2009, 2:40 PM

Jon and Kate have the normal marriage (except with 8 children). I believe that Kate is the way she should be with 8 children. If your not SUPER organized the kids would run the place, and the situation would be even worse. Kate expresses her frustration differently then Jon. She doesn’t (usually) hit him out of anger, the most I see her do is yell/speak loudly at him. What wife hasn’t done this at some point? Jon is the typical male and just throws an attitude back if he doesn’t like it. There is NO married couple that has not bickered, yelled, snapped, or got rude with each other. I’m not saying it’s a “healthy” way to solve things, but it happens. Having that big of a family more stuff is going to boil over a lot more and a lot faster. I have seen clips of when the children are asleep and they are very affectionate and loving toward each other. They become like teenagers giggling and laughing with little kisses. They are a wonderful couple and balance out each other in a great way.

Victoria May 15, 2009, 3:59 PM

You said that Jon and Kate had twins and then sextuplets through infertility treatments. In all actuality they tried for only 6 months and couldn’t get pregnant. Then they did IUI (intrauterine insemination) to have their twins. They did IUI again to have the sextuplets.

Judy May 16, 2009, 2:35 AM

Kate is a drama queen, and she wonders where Mady gets her attitude? Hello?! I am surprised that any man would take a woman who always has to be right, even if it embarrasses him! She is controlling and everything is about her. I love the kids and watching him, but I would never have her for a friend.

Judy May 16, 2009, 2:55 AM

Haven’t you all watched the kids decorating cupcakes, or painting or some type of craft? Kate does her drama fit if the kids are at all messy, but that is how kids learn. She is going to turn them into neurotic adults. Jon tried to cook his ehthnic meal for his family, and all she did was complain that he was in her kitchen? Her kitchen? That so offended me. And so what if the kids get spots on their clothes? Soak them in Biz and grow up Kate! She complained about the men there to put in blinds, and then rugs, and then construction for extra bedrooms. My gosh, my aunt raised 12 kids in a two room house. Kate is a spoiled woamn, the type that is never satisified with anything. Most of these messages agree with me, that she needs to change her ways for she is making a horrible impression on her children. Never humiliate your partner, it teaches the kids not to respect him!

A May 16, 2009, 11:17 PM

People seem to forget Jon was dating someone else when Kate met him at a friends work party. But SHE decided she wanted him. SHE was ready to have kids. Jeez people follow the sequence of events…And as a mother of 4 kids under 7 years old (2 of which are 1 year old twins). Can you really believes she takes care of her kids with that hair flopping in her face?!?!?!!

Helene May 19, 2009, 7:49 PM

I am starting to lose respect for Kate. She treats Jon like a dog. I’ve been married for 35 yrs. and would never dream of talking to my husband like she does. He deserves respect from her. I don’t care how many kids you have, you don’t disrespect your husband, especially in public like the toy store and on the interview chair. If I as Jon, I’d be gone. No one deserves to be belittled like she does him. Even to the fact that she TELLS him to go work out. What is that except ordering him around. He’s her husband, not her little child. She needs to fix her ways because Jon will be gone for good and I wouldn’t blame him. Ultimately, this is ruining 8 kids’ lives. Their dad is a great dad and they deserve to have him there and happy.

FAYE May 22, 2009, 8:41 AM


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