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TV Alert UK: 15 Kids and Counting


johnhugh

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New TV series on Channel 4 in the UK:

 

www.channel4.com/programmes/15-kids-and ... /episode-1

 

The first programme meets two couples who can't stop having babies, and asks why not.

 

Noel and Sue Radford from Morecambe in Lancashire have 14 kids and are expecting baby number 15. Sue has spent half of her adult life pregnant and over the last 17 years has had a baby nearly every year. Thirty-six-year-old Sue loves everything about babies and is happy to keep adding to her massive family.

 

Tania and Mike Sullivan from Kent have nine children between them and Tania is now expecting twins. As strict Catholics, the Sullivans believe that children are a blessing from God and contraception is wrong. They feel the number of kids they have is not down to them. Pregnancy for Tania doesn't come easy and over the years she has had eight miscarriages. Due to her age and medical history, and because she has had so many children, her pregnancy is considered high risk.

 

This programme follows the highs and lows of life in both super-sized families, including a family holiday for 16 and a look at how feeding everyone is like running your own canteen. Finally, the show witnesses the arrival of yet more additions to these mega broods.

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It'll be interesting to see whether the first couple have any religious motivations for having lots of children. It doesn't say so in the blurb, but they could be concealing it I suppose? Though on the other hand, we have a much more secular society here in the UK than in the US, so it's entirely possible that the woman is simply addicted to having babies.

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I read a newspaper article on the first family - as far as I remember they didn't mention religion at all. The activities mentioned seemed pretty mainstream. She got pregnant at 15 and they got married a few years later.

Oh, I do remember she did at one point have a cleaner, but stopped that because she prefers to do it all herself! Definitely nothing like Michelle.

They own a bakery, and I think the oldest son has a trade of some sort.

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The second family are friendly with the Jeubs - she wrote a guest post for them.

jeubfamily.com/2011/08/25/which-would-i-choose-to-be-without/

I have read the Sullivan's blog for quite a while and they don't come across as particularly fundy (apart from the QF thing). She never really mentions faith on her blog, beside the odd comment about 'at church this week, someone said' and no peppering of scripture at the end of each post. :lol:

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I have read the Sullivan's blog for quite a while and they don't come across as particularly fundy (apart from the QF thing). She never really mentions faith on her blog, beside the odd comment about 'at church this week, someone said' and no peppering of scripture at the end of each post.

It's strange how little she mentions religion, isn't it? Lately her blog has been so boring with all the paid reviews. Occasionally she mentions the Duggars or spouts off something about how overpopulation is a myth, but that's about it.

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Any one else watching? Not bad so far, i do feel sorry for the 'children are a blessing' couple. 8 miscarrages must be tough!

These guys do seem quite fundie: home schooling, limeted tv, bible time, no contraception. She seems a but crazy tbh.

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I don't live in the UK, but I remember a few years back seeing a couple from somewhere in the UK who had 15 children and the mother mentioned having a lonely childhood and so she wanted a lot of children so her children wouldn't ever be alone or something to that effect. They were not religious that I could recall (as said-it's been a few years). They had to pack themselves into their cars and the children all went to regular schools and dressed normal. The older children said they liked their family, but they only wanted a couple children of their own. I wonder if this family will be featured. Would be interesting to hear how they are faring now.

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Definitely an interesting watch. Some of the things I picked out:

  • The first family had so many children in part because both parents had been adopted as babies and never knew their birth parents. There were definitely some unresolved traumas there
  • The Catholic mother seemed to wear the trousers in their relationship - she talked about homeschooling being 'her' decidion and what 'she' wanted
  • The children did not 'keep sweet' - there was lots of crying, and some of the older children described being embarrassed when people stared
  • All the parents cared for their children - no buddy systems!
  • None of the parents appeared to shirk their responsibilities in any way - all work hard

I'm looking forward to next week's now!

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I don't live in the UK, but I remember a few years back seeing a couple from somewhere in the UK who had 15 children and the mother mentioned having a lonely childhood and so she wanted a lot of children so her children wouldn't ever be alone or something to that effect. They were not religious that I could recall (as said-it's been a few years). They had to pack themselves into their cars and the children all went to regular schools and dressed normal. The older children said they liked their family, but they only wanted a couple children of their own. I wonder if this family will be featured. Would be interesting to hear how they are faring now.

I saw that! And now it's going to drive me crazy because I can't remember the name of the show. I think it may have been a one-time special on the Discovery Channel.

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Guest Anonymous

I am watching this now on 4OD. The couple with 14 kids seems familiar - I think they have been in the news before. Both were themselves adopted and struggled with abandonment issues and the mother in particular seems to see pregnancy as a way of ensuring that neither the parents or the kids will ever be alone again.

The Catholic family seem to be breeding for more religious reasons, but there is trauma there too - the mother has had 8 miscarriages and one fetus came out complete in the sac, on the toilet, which still distresses her greatly to think about.

It is interesting to watch the families and hear their thinking, without the added layers of church and religion superimposed on top.

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The first family is pretty hard to watch simply because I think the mom may have some kind of mental disorder/may be a bit unstable as the reproducing does not seem to come from a religious viewpoint, but more an excessive need go get pregnant. She is also extremely irresponsible with her money, buying a new baby stroller every time a new one is born (we see her buy one for 500 pounds) even though her older children state that she still has 5 or 6 others in the house. This to me makes it look like it is more of a game she has playing in her own head, rather than realizing the need to take care of the quite cute children she already has. Also she had her first baby when she was 14 (who is now 22 and still living at home) which I find pretty creepy. Though it is quite common for young people to continue living in their parents house through their 20's In the UK more than the US, I think if most people had 14 misbehaving children underneath them they would get the hell out.

The second family seems more like normal people (even with the catholic views on birth control, and the homeschooling) and the parents seem to "parent" the kids a it more closely than some of their American counterparts.

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