Buddy System and Jurisdictions
The Duggars are famous for their Buddy system though it also meets with much concern and criticism. From where a normal person sits,it may look as if the older children are raising the younger ones. Michelle says the buddy system is misunderstood (but is it really?). At age 8, each child is assigned a buddy to take care of. They help the smaller children with their baths, getting dressed, and sometimes their school work. Each older girls has at least two buddies. Michelle says in an older interview:
"Well, we work together as a team. As the older ones were young, we just -- we had a system. We had a schedule, and we just worked together as a team, and as they've gotten older we just seems
to have gotten easier in a lot of ways. The younger ones love the older ones, and they love to follow them around, and they want to be like them, and the older ones enjoy playing with the younger children."
This is why you see the girls pushing strollers or carrying a baby on their back. The siblings also are assigned jurisdictions or chores. One one episode "Jurisdictions",the boys swapped chores with the girls. the girls changed tires and the younger boys tried to cook. Funny, I never saw any of the older boys cooking.
Chore charts are posted in the kitchen. There are schedules from morning until bedtime so the siblings know what to expect. It teams up buddies in certain areas. The chore charts are color coded. The younger ones have chore cards that slip into their belt loops.The chores are age appropriate like making beds and picking up toys. They don't get allowances.
I have nothing against doing chores and helping each other but it makes me wonder what the grown-ups are doing. It was common over 100 years ago for siblings to help with the younger ones. . The younger ones obviously stay in the room with the older girls. Older girls shouldn't be treating scrapped knees, sick toddlers or teaching babies to walk all the time. Where is Jim Bob and Michelle? Once, Michelle said she took care of a scraped knee because the buddy was away. That is the parents job. I know we don't see everything on TV but if Jim Bob and Michelle are teaching babies to walk, why aren't we seeing it? I'm not saying the girls do all the work but they seem to do 75 %.