Jon and Kate Plus 4.6 Million

jennifer trannon discusses how much money jon and kate gosselin make.

In Her Words

Jon and Kate Plus 4.6 Million

The children didn’t ask for this

-Jennifer Trannon

Jon and KateThe recent drama surrounding stars of the hit show Jon and Kate Plus 8 is nothing new, really: two famous people, one or both of whom are allegedly engaging in clandestine behavior; pictures and descriptions of said behavior are plastered across magazines and ubiquitous on the internet. Even the fact that there are children involved is not groundbreaking (though there are not generally eight children involved.)

What does make this situation different from the other marriage dramas to which we have born witness is our level of intimacy with this family. Those of us who have watched this show from its inception (and while I pride myself on the lack of reality-TV watching in my home, I must count myself in this number) have watched these children potty-train, take baths, misbehave and have fun. . . all the things every normal child in the world has done. These children have been growing up – the good, the bad, and the ugly – with up to four and a half million people watching.

In all honesty, if I found out tomorrow I was going to give birth to sextuplets and TLC knocked on my door and offered me big money to document the first crazy year of their lives, I just cannot say with all certainty that I’d send them packing. It is hard enough some days just finding the money to pay for food, clothes, and park district activities for three children – I can’t fathom trying to pay for eight. I believe in my heart that Jon and Kate made the decision to make their lives public so that they could give their children the lives all of us hope to be able to give our own families.

What has happened since that first hysterical season has probably surprised Jon and Kate the most. I doubt they ever imagined their show would eventually be one of the highest-rated cable shows, or that American families, down to the youngest members, would know each of their children by name. So it happens in modern TV-Land: one day you’re virtually unknown, and the next, cameras are following your every move. And mostly, I am not filled with pity for them.

But those kids! I have been thinking for about two years now that the eight Gosselin children are going to wake up one day and be mighty upset that their every flaw was broadcast nationally. To add insult to injury, the rough patch their parents have hit (and when we set aside our judgments, we can admit we’ve all hit those rough patches, albeit in different ways) is also front and center in American pop culture.

If you do a Google search of Jon and Kate, you will find everything from undying devotion to harsh criticisms of children’s behaviors (some even suggest they need therapy) and condemnation of Kate’s parenting and spousal styles. Those children will someday read things about themselves that no child should ever have to read.

My heart hurts for them – for those eight beautiful, innocent children. They didn’t ask for any of this. They came into the world like every one of our children, and they now live in a fishbowl. I am afraid for them and the effect this publicity will have on their lives.

But my heart also hurts for Jon and Kate. When I compare their family life to my own, two similarities I find are that we have both tried to do what is right for our children, and sometimes we’ve both been wrong. Fortunately for me, when I’ve been wrong, only a handful of people knew it. For the Gosselins, everyone with a TV can pass judgment on their lives.

I couldn’t take the scrutiny.

Could you?

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0 thoughts on “Jon and Kate Plus 4.6 Million

  1. My pity for Jon and Kate is limited — they’re the ones who thought it would be a good idea to subject their kids to being reality freaks! One day I wonder if we’ll have legislation preventing such exploitation.

  2. Like the author, I feel so badly for the children. they didn’t ask for this! but then again, how could the parents have possibly known what this would turn into when they signed up. sad all around. but i’m sure it’s doing good things for ratings.

  3. what jon and kate are doing to their marriage and brood of children is HORRIBLE! TLC is also horrible for continuing the show and jon and kate are horrible for cashing in on all this drama. they’re terrible parents and will get theirs somewhere down the line.

  4. Actually, I find it hard to separate the media drama from the truth out there. Having raised 5 kids, including one set of twins, and giving up a career in advertising to become a stay at home Mom, I can say unequivocably that its not an easy job. Tempers flared in our home, children misbehaved, I felt hopeless from time to time and spent a good deal of time just hugging them to make sure they knew they were loved. There’s no easy way to raise children – they’re all completely different and have to be raised differently – even in the same family. Some of mine NEEDED a quick spanking, some responded to time out and some would actually respond the best to just getting their attention and talking disapprovingly. But to point a finger at Kate and call her controling and all of the other things I’ve read about her is so drastically unfair. Raising that many kids, and an obviously kind but lackadaisical husband has to be like herding cats. Someone has to be in charge and God bless Kate for being that one. I feel so bad for what she must be reading about herself and how she’s being totally misrepresented and judged by all those single women and people with one or two kids who haven’t a clue what its like to manage a huge household. I hope she hangs in there. Media exposure or not, its all the kids have ever known, so when they’re grown, how it will effect them in retrospect wouldn’t be the same as taking one of us OUT of our comfort zone and throwing us in the mix. I wish them all well.

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