Is She the Ultimate Mom?

As the mother of 18 children, Michelle Duggar knows a thing or two about raising toddlers. The veteran mom and her husband Jim Bob are the proud parents of 10 boys and eight girls, including two sets of twins.

You can follow their adventures in parenting on the reality TV show, “18 Kids and Counting,” which airs weekly on TLC. Of the episodes I’ve seen, Michelle seems unflappable. She keeps her infant daughter nearby while she homeschools her older children. In addition, she finds time to pitch in with the laundry, dishes and cooking (some of the older kids are assigned these chores, but Mom Duggar doesn’t leave all the dirty work to her kids).

Parents of toddlers know how difficult it is keeping two or three children in check, so how does Michelle do it with six times as many children? The super-busy mom says the key to raising well-behaved children, who actually listen to their parents, is easy as 1-2-3:

Michelle’s first rule is to always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well. If you’ve seen the show, you might have noticed that Michelle is not a yeller. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her raise her voice–EVER! In addition, to not using a harsh tone to discipline her children, she also resists employing offensive words.

Michelle’s second rule is to always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated. This is a challenging rule to follow, especially for toddlers. After all, how many two year olds do you know who can resist hitting back after being swatted by another child? Personally, I think this rule is more applicable to older children, but you have to start young for them to be able to grasp the concept (at least according to Michelle).

Finally, Michelle’s third rule is to always show off a joyful attitude, even when no one is looking. If you are a genuinely happy individual then this should be a piece a cake. However, if your living situation is not as blessed as the Duggar’s, then this one might take some effort.

What do you make of Michelle Duggar’s advice to parents?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.