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debrand

Jealousy Among The Bateses

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debrand

Perhaps I am reading too much into this post, but considering our discussion about Erin, the topic of the article is interesting.

 

 

Quote
As our children grow up, we often face challenges – little lessons of life that have to be learned in order to experience true contentment.

 

One child might be concerned that another is faster, smarter, skinnier, prettier, more popular, more talented, more successful, etc.… We try to explain that God makes everyone different and has a special purpose in mind for each person. Which means each child will look different, have a different vocation, a different ministry, a different income, a different family size, a different amount of popularity or success, different hardships, etc

 

On the surface, the sentiment is lovely. God loves you and made you the way you are. However, I always grow suspicious when fundies talk about contentment. Sometimes the word contentment is code for, accept your lot in life, don't try for better and hide your real feelings under a mask of sweet, pretend joy.

 

The Bates' children can't help but notice that Erin is the star of the family I wonder if there is any jealousy or resentment. Or perhaps the post has nothing to do with Erin and some of the older kids would like to go to college or see the world.

 

I imagine that they must notice that the Duggars have a higher income and can afford nice items. It would be reasonable to question why god allow such a disparity of income between two, similar families. It is also interesting that she puts in the example, ' a different family size." Perhaps one of her children has been questioning the fact that their mother endangers her life through her endless pregnancies.

 

What do you all think?

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Glass Cowcatcher

I haven't followed this blog but I wouldn't read too much into it. Every family has to have this conversation with their kids at some point, though it usually isn't put into such religious terms.

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geniebelle6901

It's called sibling rivalry, and it happens in families of 2 or more kids. In most cases they grow out of it. However, in big families like the Bates, I could see rivalry turning to into jealously, even hateful jealously if mom or dad seems to favor one or more of the kids over the others, and I have no doubt that happens in large quiverfull families.

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debrand
It's called sibling rivalry, and it happens in families of 2 or more kids. In most cases they grow out of it. However, in big families like the Bates, I could see rivalry turning to into jealously, even hateful jealously if mom or dad seems to favor one or more of the kids over the others, and I have no doubt that happens in large quiverfull families.

I think that not being able to express their anger might make the resentment even worse.

Glasscowcatcher might be correct and I might be reading too much into the article, however, fundies have ruined the word, contentment. Everytime I see that word now, I believe it is code for, "Shut up and smile."

Although it probably won't add to the conversation, I meant for the Bates' quote to be longer.

Our job is to just accept His plan! When we yield to His will, we can become content with who we are and why we are different.

We explain 2 Corinthians 10:12 teaches us that comparing ourselves is not wise. As long as our eyes are on ourselves, our circumstances, or others, we will not be able to focus on God and His purpose for our life. Looking at these other distractions can cause us to become envious, discouraged, bitter, judgmental, boastful, or worse!

I wonder what is worse then being envious, discouraged, bitter, judgmental, or boastful?

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oscar

If parents have favorites among their children and treat these favorites differently, it doesn't matter how much they talk about special purposes and learning to be content with differences in appearance and ability. Kids aren't stupid.

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doggie

more popular? with who? it's not like they are in school or other social settings. More income???

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MamaJunebug

I think that not being able to express their anger might make the resentment even worse.

Glasscowcatcher might be correct and I might be reading too much into the article, however, fundies have ruined the word, contentment. Everytime I see that word now, I believe it is code for, "Shut up and smile."

Although it probably won't add to the conversation, I meant for the Bates' quote to be longer.

I wonder what is worse then being envious, discouraged, bitter, judgmental, or boastful?

What's worse is being: on birth control, educated, self-directing, free-thinking, questioning (and really thinking about the answers you get). ;)

With all respect to other responders, debrand, I think you're on to something in the macro, if not the microcosm of the Bates family. I remember all too well my mom - only one generation away from life as eastern European peasantry - in effect being afraid to "get above her station" or "try to appear something she wasn't."

Because of her hard work, she was, in fact, a solid middle-class homeowner with impeccable taste in a pretty nice, new subdiv. But she never felt comfortable with that and constantly belittled herself - and in the process (by default), belittled us kids.

I never knew where I "belonged," I just knew somehow I didn't deserve to be where I was. HUH???? My parents moved us into the nice ranch house and so I deserved to be there.

But you know ... couple that with an overemphasis on "you deserve but guilt and shame! You can NEVER be perfect enough!" from the pulpit (or living room La-Z-Boy twice on every Sunday and once again on Wednesday nights) and yes, you can see where "contentment" becomes not "stop whenever you feel you've reached your apex" and instead "accept you fate, don't get above your station."

In a dysfunctional family, "geting above your station" could be re-stated as "accept your family role, never try to be the golden child, because that place is already sewn up."

Nope, I don't think you're overreaching at all ... again, maybe in tha case of the BAtes family particularly, but not generally in human interactions.

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sassycupcake
It is also interesting that she puts in the example, ' a different family size." Perhaps one of her children has been questioning the fact that their mother endangers her life through her endless pregnancies.

What do you all think?

I read that as merely acknowledging the fact that in Quiverful culture, women are only valued for their clown car capacity. But since achieving a Duggar/Bates sized family is rare even among fundies, a lot of these girls will probably be stuck with a mere 10-12 blessings while a star sister approaches magic number 20.

I think Kelly is just saying that the other girls need to be content with Erin being the princess now in the same way that most of them will have to be content with not getting the best uterine resiliency genes in 25 years.

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geniebelle6901

I do have to say that some of the girls younger than Erin are quickly becoming as pretty as their sister, so Erin could end up being the jealous one (as far as who is prettier). But give them a few years, and their looks will go downhill fast if they become brood sows like their mother. I say if, because I pray everyday each and every one of those kids leave that lifestyle.

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Cassia

I remember when this was first posted on the Bates blog, people on FJ were speculating that it had something to do with their newest addition, little Jeb, and that perhaps there was something 'wrong' with him. Hence the "God makes everyone different and has a special purpose in mind for each person..... Our job is to just accept His plan!..... When we accept His plan..... One of the greatest lessons we can learn in life is to simply TRUST God."

Who knows? Read that post to 10 different people and you'll get 10 different responses about what they think it means.

Although I think you're spot on and that some of the middle girls are probably very aware that Erin is the shining star of their family. It would rub me the wrong way, too.

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fluttershies

I'm an ambitious person (SUPER ambitious and it sometimes negatively affects my relationships with others) so the whole 'you can never be perfect enough' mindset just spurrs me on. So I can see that contentment is a positive thing for me to learn. However, while it's a lesson most people have to take on, I suspect with fundie families it translates as 'know your place'.

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geniebelle6901

Since the Bateses prefer the country/bluegrass style of music, I wonder if they have ever been to the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler's Convention in Athens, AL (yes I just gave a way my hometown, but I don't think I'm well liked enough here to be stalked...LOL!). It's not all that far from where they live.

I think they would have fun. It's a huge event that attracts people from all over the country. There's all kinds of music, especially old fashioned bluegrass, country, gospel. And, I'm pretty sure they might be able to convince to the promoters to allow them to preform or even be persuaded to give them free entrance. I have to admit they do play and sing a little better than a lot of performers I've herd there. Plus it is a family oriented even with arts, crafts, and good southern food. Alcohol isn't served because it's a family event. There is however dancing...buck dancing, and square dancing primarily, so they might frown on that. As much as I don't want to see them in my town, I think I'll post the info on Kelly's blog (I probably won't be able to attend anyway due to my health). I think the more exposure they have to the outside world just may help make that decision to move out on their own. I know they get out some, but probably not as much as the Duggars.

Here's the link to the TN Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention to anyone who's interested in that kind of stuff: http://www.athens.edu/fiddlers/.

ETA grammar and spelling errors

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FloraDoraDolly
more popular? with who? it's not like they are in school or other social settings. More income???

Having visions of Jan Brady throwing a jealous fit because everyone at ATI camp likes Marcia, Marcia, Marcia...

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bananacat

When this was first posted there was also some discussion that this was aimed at Michaela and the messages was basically "It's your God-given duty to stay home and change diapers forever, so stop complaining about it."

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turquoise

I think that not being able to express their anger might make the resentment even worse.

Agree with both of these statements. I also think the fact that many of these fundy families have such rigid ideas about what is acceptable makes sibling rivalry even worse. In a healthy family, the girl who enjoys sports and the girl who enjoys cooking will both be encouraged to pursue their interests, and will feel that they are valued for who they are. In an overly rigid fundamentalist family, the girl who likes to cook will be held up as a shining example, but the girl who likes sports will be shamed for not being feminine enough. Even if those fundy parents don't really prefer one child over the other, that would give the appearance of favoritism.

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