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« Child Labor Law Hearings ~ Harrisburg PA ~ 9/23/10 | Main | Kate Throws Jon Under the Bus Again »

This is Not Child's Play

The 9/23/10 child labor hearings taking place this week in Harrisburg have me thinking about the Gosselin children and how filming “reality” shows has impacted their young lives.  Although a few diehard Kate Gosselin fans cling desperately to the fantasy that being on television in a fake reality show is not only harmless but is actually beneficial to the children, most folks now know that not only have all of Kate’s shows been shams, but the children have been sacrificed in the process.

There are six forms of child abuse:  Physical, emotional/psychological, sexual, verbal, neglect and exploitation.  The list below is not an indictment of Kate or Jon but is intended to provide examples of various situations that the Gosselin children have experienced over the course of their being involved in entertainment.  Remember as you read this list that these things are happening to children, who do not yet have the education, maturity and experience to deal with difficult situations.  These situations would be challenging even for adults;   IMO they are abusive to children.


  • The children were filmed having a “pool party” on their sixth birthday, for the benefit of the cameras, in 47 degree weather.
  • Unregulated hours of work, dependent on what the producers need, not whether the children are tired, hungry or don’t want to work anymore.
  • Having to continue to work while vomiting or otherwise sick.  (Under what other circumstances would anyone – even adults – be forced to continue working under these conditions?)
  • Filming involves retakes, wearing fake happy smiles and staying clean and presentable at all times, plus lots of the “hurry up and wait” always involved in filming of any kind.  This is not “I work while the children play,” as one parent has repeatedly claimed.  This is hard, tedious, boring work.


  • Coming downstairs and being surprised by beautifully wrapped gifts, and enjoying the thrill and excitement of Christmas, only to be told after the filming stopped that it wasn’t really Christmas after all, and that the whole scenario had been faked for the TV show.
  • Years of invasions of privacy including cameras in the house, cameras following you  around, paparazzi following you around, seeing your pictures on magazines and in the media, and everyone who meets you, including kids your own age, knowing who you are and all sorts of embarrassing things about you.
  • The bullying and taunts that are routinely experienced by anyone on TV, but probably more so in this case because it’s called Reality TV so many viewers actually think it accurately reflects the children, and the children are shown in embarrassing, humiliating situations.
  • Being put into the painful position where you have to choose between your parents, due to being used as a pawn in situations like the kids having to meet a parent at the gate because the other parent will not allow him on the property.
  • Being subjected to repeated subtle (and not so subtle) comments from one parent putting down the other in public venues.
  • Growing up learning that your needs and feelings are not as important as money
  • Having your work, over which you have no control, repeatedly described by a parent as play, as in "I work, they play while the cameras are rolling."


  • Children being left alone with cameramen and others associated with the productions in areas such as bathrooms, bedrooms and woods without parental or adult caretaker supervision.  These adults are not given criminal background checks and child abuse clearances which are readily available, cheap, confidential and legally required of all child care centers and other work situations where children are in the care of adults other than their parents.  Why would a television production company that prides itself on being family-friendly not utilize these easily-accessible safeguards when working with children?  There are no deficits to doing so, and doing so would only make them look more professional, conscientious and caring toward the families they contract with.
  • Missing school and normal childhood activities, and disruption of normal childhood relationships, due to traveling and filming.
  • Losing a series of adults whom they’ve grown to love and bonded with, because the adults were concerned or spoke out against what was happening or because a parent resented those caretakers becoming too famous or earning too good of a living while working with the children.
  • One parent gone for long periods of time, leaving children with nannies rather than the other parent. 


  • No regulations about income.  Who knows how much the children have had set aside for them, if anything?  As recently as last month Kate stated she was worried about their college educations, despite the TV Guide claim that Kate makes $200,000 per episode of Kate Plus 8.
  • The children have said at various times over the years that they do not want to film, yet filming them continues to provide family income.
  • The children have been filmed having their diapers changed, going to the bathroom, in all manner of dress and undress, constipated, and vomiting, for entertainment of the audience.  The children are way too young to be capable of consent to having these personal aspects of their lives filmed and sold. *
  • Endangering the children by driving with them in the vehicle, up to 95 miles per hour in order to evade paparazzi, and driving at high speed at night with the vehicle lights off in order to be able to escape paparazzi.
  • Experiences that would normally create happy memories for the children, such as being given crooked play houses, or even going to the store with a parent, are created for entertainment rather than being freely given to the children without ulterior motive, thus tarnishing what should be normal, private family experiences.  (Children are not cute little puppies.)

My list is only a preliminary one which I was able to come up with in a brief amount of time.  There are many more examples of ways the children have been hurt in the process of being involved with reality TV.  Leave examples and links in comments and I’ll add them to this list as the week goes on.  (I know those of you who watched the shows can come up with lots of them for verbal abuse.)   In keeping with this week’s child labor laws hearings, examples should be specifically caused by the children being involved in entertainment.

Obviously, not all of the above issues can be addressed through proper legislation.  The bottom line is parents need to make their kids, not income provided by their kids, a priority.  We can legislate how many hours of work adults are allowed to squeeze out of minors, but we can’t legislate human values and integrity such as privacy or parents being empathic toward their children.

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Additions provided by commenters:


Kate announces dinner ... one of the twins goes by and makes a comment and Kate says something not nice along the lines of "living with this child on a daily basis".  (Mickey McKean, 9/22)

Kate threatened the kids with "severe punishment" if they stepped foot in her bedroom. (Tizzie, 9/23)

In an early episode the mother yelled at the kids about upstairs vs downstairs toys, and threw a large toy down the stairs, almost hitting one of the twins.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

Both parents on many occasions made fun of things the kids said or did on the show, particularly when they were eating something.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

The mother saying everything she does is "for the kids" when in fact she cares more about buying / doing things for herself than them.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

While other families have to downsize their home to something more affordable, the mother lives in a McMansion and complains about how "poor" she is.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

The mother did nothing but yell at the kids when back to school shopping (available on YouTube) and barked out orders. She totally took the fun out of shopping for those new clothes and back to school items.  (GeorgiaMom, 9/23)

The mother pinching a female tup and telling her she could DIE because she licked Purell off hands.  (Wonky, 9/24)

The mother accusing a twin of lying on camera about requesting a milkshake in NYC.  (Wonky, 9/24)


In the episode from 2009, when they first brought the kids to the new house, one of the older girls hit one of the little girls until she was on the ground, then proceeded to kick her.  Jon nor Kate weren't there and a camera and sound person, at least, were present to film the fight, but did not interfere in anyway.  (Lee, 9/20)

The vow renewal and fake re-wedding when they were already in the process of separation. The children were told Mommy and Daddy will be together forever, so their feelings were manipulated, just to sell a show.  (GrandmaC, 9/21)

The cameras filming the children all night long, even as they slept, just in case wonderful, entertaining moments like bed-wetting or night terrors occurred.  (Virginia Pen Mom, 9/21 ) *

Their parents' divorce was a ratings ploy for the kids' 5th birthday party episode. (CynSP, 9/21)

Mady rolling around on the basement floor with just a producer and a cameraman present, potty shots, and Hannah nude as a toddler.  (Konspiracytheory 9/22) *

Trying to lead people to believe that the children are not working.  (Heather, 9/22)

The kids were filmed changing into their gymnastics outfits.  No nudity, but I recall thinking the twins were way too old to be shown that way (never mind the little ones).  (Konspiracytheory, 9/23) *

All of the kids' embarrassing moments are filmed, and they get no say in what is shown and what is cut. However the mother's embarrassing moments get shown once and then are edited out at her request.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

Whenever one of the kids cries, the camera zooms in on their face.  (Tizzie, 9/23) *


When one of the twins and one of the younger girls both ran to Kate, one seeking justice and the other to cover up her crime of hitting the other, Kate ignored the allegations of a beat-down, and instead reprimanded the little one for offending the twin.  Kate failed to respond appropriately to one child striking another, effectively reinforcing instead of correcting the behavior.  (Lee, 9/20)

How about Kate berating that poor little boy by threatening to throw out his blanket (gumgate).   He was nearly hysterical.  (Linda 9/21)

How about Kate in NYC threatening to leave Cara behind with strangers.  (Linda, 9/21)

Then there was Kate telling poor little Aiden to stop complaining and be a man.  (Linda, 9/21)

Private body parts of Jon & Kate are publicly discussed  and shown in the media.  There's a legacy for the kids that includes thousands of pictures, stories, videos, etc. discussing the parents' "enhancements", body parts, wardrobe, life styles, friend choices, bodyguards and so on.  (sftk, 9/21)

Kate kicking the only real family these children have out of their lives and telling herself and the children that the film crew is their family.   (Barbara, 9/21)

One of the twins was humiliated when the clearly-favored, younger children received yet another fancy, expensive birthday party. The twin said, "I'll just die!"  (Virginia Pen Mom, 9/21)

Their father isn't allowed to come inside their property (it is their house...they earned it!) gate to pick them up or drop them off.  (CynSP, 9/21)

Mother making one of the tup girls sleep in the basement, alone.  (Bettina, 9/21)

The mother telling the kids not to listen to their father.  (txmom, 9/21)

One of the twins is having some sort of tantrum, mother yells at father to do something with her, then predicts on camera she will be a horrible teenager.  (txmom, 9/21)

Buying the kids dogs and then sending them back after filming was finished.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Setting the kids up for failure / competition:   K8 never cooks the kids a hot meal but when Cara and Mady play "mommy for a day" she gives them a challenging recipe (for their age.)  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Mother not participating on any of the boys' special days. (Lordybee, 9/21)

Mother's constant berating and demoralizing behavior towards the father.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Hundreds of YouTube videos and online groups that attack one of the twins.  (Lordybee, 9/21)

The Kate + 8 episode re the six pack's 6th birthday, where the kids were now in Florida and celebrating yet another "party" a week later and Mady does not understand why "they get 3 parties and we (twins) only get one day" and in the same episode Mady is feeling so ignored that she said, "nobody cares about me ... I just want to die".  (Mickey McKean, 9/22)

Their mother favors the girls and called the boys "icky".  (Mickey McKean 9/22)

On the Internet, adults with no formal education have not only labeled a twin's personality problems as fact, but have gone so far as to feel sorry for Jon and Kate to have a child like her.  The twin can google her own name and find web sites that bash her personality.  (Mickey McKean, 9/22)

In early August 2009 it was reported in the tabloids that per the father some of his kids were rebelling about being filmed - which kids were not identified - but the mother said on Larry King Live the show would continue.   (Mickey Mckean, 9/23)

For the record the mother did mention in this dairy farm episode that the twins were upset that they were not included on this day trip because they were in school that day. So, were the twins not included in this episode because they no longer wanted to be filmed or was it because they were in school and were unavailable to work?  It should be noted that this dairy farm episode was the last one to be filmed by TLC before the father stopped all filming of his children on October 1, 2009.  (Mickey McKean, 9/23)

It seems that unless it is filmed for a show, the Gosselin children do not get to participate in any outside fun activies such as taking gymnastic classes because it is too much trouble. One could say that their fishbowl world is all about home, school, and work.  No playing allowed!  (Mickey McKean, 9/23)

There has been no evidence that the kids do ANYTHING unless the TLC cameras are there. Where is Kate driving them to music lesson? Softball? Gymnastics? To a friend's house?  The father taking them horseback riding? Etc.? Nothing. No TMZ, radaronline reports or photos, and you know ROL would've jumped at the chance to promote Kate as a hands-on, do-it-myself mom.  (heather (NOT Heather), 9/23)

There is photographic evidence that the kids have felt "abused" by all the paparazzi attention and are trying to show the world that they want it to stop.  On several occasions a boy tup has been photographed hiding his face with his jacket or hands, a second boy tup did the same thing in New York City, a third boy tup made a face and pointed at the pap at an airport, and then at the father's apartment 3 kids hid under a beach towel.  (Mickey McKean, 9/23)

The mother does not allow the kids to do normal kid things because she doesn't want them to get their clothes dirty or stained, because then she can't sell them later.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

The mother says she's all about "making memories" but she threw away the kids' memory boxes.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

The mother cleaned out the twins' room while they were at school, and threw their stuff down the stairs.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

Buying the kids a treat and then the mother snatching it away from them because it's dripping or sticky.  (Tizzie, 9/23)

All of the children are not allowed to express opinions, to become individual persons, to grow up. It looks like the mother is trying to keep the clock from moving forward to continue to cash in.  (GeorgiaMom, 9/23)

The mother forcing the father to give up his job against his will so he could babysit kids while the mother and bodyguard went on book tour, and them the mother not allowing the husband or kids to call her while she was on the book tour.  (Wonky, 9/24)

The mother's commonly-known nickname for the father was "stubby," in derogotory reference to a private part of his body.  (Werny Gal, 9/26/0)


Adults (in the past it seemed to be always men on the crew) get in the kids faces with their equipment, but don't interact, respond or even prevent injury as the kids have meltdowns, injuries, get sick, or physically fight with each other. (Lee, 9/20) 

The lack of physical affection from the mother toward the kids.  (sftk, 9/21) and (Pat, 9/21)

An episode where one of the sextuplets was beating the other over the head with a toy repeatedly. Again, this stuff happens, it's kids growing up, HOWEVER, any normal adult at the very least would've yelled "Knock it off!!"  But the film kept rolling.  (heather-NOT-Heather, 9/21)

Not giving the kids sea sickness pills before the fishing trip, and taking them out w/o a change of cloths or sweat shirts - it's always colder a few miles out on the ocean and if you run into fog, freezing.  (Pat, 9/21)

Keeping the kids "babyish" - sippy cups, high chairs, not ensuring they learn age appropriate skills.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Mady rolling around on the basement floor with just a producer and a cameraman present.  Potty shots, Hannah nude as a toddler.  (Konspiracytheory, 9/22) *

The children are repeatedly around and alone with people whose background had not been cleared.  This is an easy step of precaution for them to take.  (Heather, 9/22) *

The fishing episode:  Life jackets - required or not - should have been insisted upon by their mother for their own safety.   (Heather, 9/22)

The six pack who are starting kindergarten still do not know how to tie their shoes which is why the mother bought them tennis shoes with velcro straps.   (Mickey McKean, 9/22)

In order to have the six pack available to film a reality TV show, in August 2009 at age 5 years 3 months they were enrolled in pre-kindergarten classes that were only held 3 days a week.  In August 2010 the six pack at age 6 years 3 months started kindergarten classes.  This means that they will be driving when they are freshmen in high school and will be 19 years old when they graduate from high school.  Many viewers believe if the mother had taken the time to teach these children age appropriate things instead of trying to keep them as young as possible to make them marketable for a TV show, these six children could have been enrolled in regular kindergarten at the appropriate ages.  (The episode where the six pack walked to the neighbor's dairy was shot mid week after school started. It should be noted that this episode could not have been filmed during the week if the six pack had been enrolled in regular kindergarten classes.)  (MIckey McKean, 9/23)

There was an episode where the mother decided she was going to hire a nanny.  The mother went to an agency that specializes in nannies and Kate had either the owner or a manager do an initial interview with the candidate while the mother was watching the interview in an adjoining room on closed circuit TV.   Only if the mother was impressed with the initial interview did she choose to meet and interview the candidate herself.   Discovery Channel was recently reminded that there are nuts out there - so doesn't it make sense to pay $15 per employee background check before something happens to someone's child and the finger is pointing at your employee(s)?   And aren't the lives of these eight children worth the parents paying for some background checks at $15 each if TLC will not do it?  (Mickey Mckean, 9/23)

Letting kids run like monkeys and out of eyesight while in department store.  (Wonky, 9/24)

Letting kids play with and fight over large display Croc in crowded display area of shoe dept while she tried on shoes.  (Wonky, 9/24)

The mother allowing kids to melt down from hunger on regular basis. ie: at dairy farm, kids were so hungry they drank several cups of chocolate milk each.   The mother then counted the milk as a meal and did not feed them dinner later that night.  (Wonky, 9/24)

The mother ignoring kids' squabbles, or shooing them off as they try to explain a problem (locked out of bedroom in Party City episode) so she can continue talking to the camera.  (Wonky, 9/24)


The filming of a boy tup's impacted bowels while his mother was completely immersed in choosing freebie bunk beds.  (Irene, 9/21) *

Boy tup being placed on laundry room floor because he has vomited on his new comforter- the mother exits, turning off lights & closing door - Leaving sick vomiting child alone laying on the floor in a dark windowless room - the father came home from work, rescued boy from laundry room floor.  (Susie, 9/21)

When dropping kids off at their church Sunday school, girl tup starts gagging - the mother yells"don't you vomit on so & so"- then the mother says to camera, "girl tup vomits when upset."   The mother then continues talking to the camera saying she (the mother) makes her daughter wear vomitus clothes the rest of the day as punishment, to break this habit.  (Susie, 9/21)

The clearly unhappy kids were taken out deep sea fishing without wearing life jackets and dragged around New York during a heat emergency for hours upon hours, for filming.  (CynSP, 9/21)

The mother's rough handling of the kids when she would brush their teeth in the middle of the kitchen.  All I could think of, was ouch, she was tearing out their gums.  (Pat, 9/21)

Cupcake episode, and denying a thirsty twin water.  (txmom, 9/21)

Kids had to endure a Good Housekeeping photo shoot wearing heavy fall clothing ( it was for a Thanksgiving cover) in August when the temp was over 90 degrees.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Extra bright stage lights installed in the home.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Buying the kids dogs and then sending them back after filming was finished.  (Lordybee, 9/21)

Keeping the kids "babyish" - sippy cups, high chairs, not ensuring they learn age appropriate skills.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Setting the kids up for failure / competition :  the mother never cooks the kids a hot meal but when the twins play "mommy for a day" she gives them a challenging recipe (for their age.)  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Mother not participating on any of the boys' special days. (LordyBee, 9/21)

Mother constantly berates and demoralizes husband in front of kids and on camera.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Kids witness mother's lies and deceit and must keep them a secret.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

Hundreds of YouTube videos and groups that attack one of the twins.  (LordyBee, 9/21)

How about the wooden spoon in the door of the van, and the big red spoon seen in several episodes (lying on the kitchen counter, tucked under the father's arm as he yelled at a flinching twin)... the Thomas the Tank Engine epi, where a twin flinches when her angry father approaches her.   Also, the father's 'walk in the woods' epi where one of the girl tups flinches when he angrily breaks a walking stick and hurls it into the woods...Then there's the infamous interview with the mother with the double whammy of denying a twin water and pinching a female tup to make her sit still.  The mother steering the boy tups by their heads, the mother forcing the tups in general to hold their arm directly upright while holding her hand (clearly showing them that she is in control).   The mother lifting the baby tups out of their cribs by their arms, the father taking them out of the van in the same manner, the mother recently chucking one of the boy tups out of the van (school bus photo op), the mother 'mashing' a boy top's mouth at the bus stop.  (Konspiracytheory, 9/22)

A guard at Seseme Place told them it was 113 degrees that day.  In the mother's words: "it was dangerously hot," and  "We're not water park people."   The kids had to settle for 'fun' in the sweltering heat on the few non-water rides there (they have added more since this was filmed - we've been many times), then indoor lunch and an indoor show (thank goodness), only then to be followed by a brief time at the end where they were allowed to do the water stuff because it took them "two hours" (the mother's words) to get them in and out of their swim stuff.  (Konspiracytheory 9/23)

The mother waiting over a week to make a doctors appt for a twin to address her hurt foot and blaming the ex-husband for not doing it even though she had custody of the twin for several days herself before calling the doctor.  (Wonky, 9/24)

One staffer told the media how the mother would smack her children with a large, plastic spoon when they refused to play nice for the camera and when they misbehave.   (Tizzie, 9/25)

When one of the boys closed a door on another one once, the mother got in their faces and yelled, 'You tell me the truth about what happened!' The children just stood there, terrified. Then she dragged one of the boys into the bathroom and spanked him five or six times with a large plastic mixing spoon. You could hear the mother forcefully whacking the child and the child screaming at the top of his lungs.  (Tizzie, 9/25)

About the above two incidents:  The source claimed that this happened more than once but the mother didn't want any of it in the show.  (Tizzie, 9/25)

Yard scenes were filmed when it was very cold outside, it was not shot in the fall or spring.   Before the scenes could be shot the lawn first had to have all snow removed and then the grass was spray painted green in order to make the white sign really "pop".    It took a lot of time to film these scenes - it took a lot of retakes - but the children were not allowed to wear jackets because it would not be "visually pleasing".    They were wearing long sleeved shirts, but not the jackets that would be required of weather than was the 32 degrees or less that is required for snow in PA.  (Mickey McKean, 9/25)

An eye witness on Sunday Sept 26 described the children being hounded by fans on a visit with their father and his girlfriend at a nearby arcade.  The witness said adults and children were trying to get near the kids by taking their pictures, ignoring the father and girlfriend when they tried to make them stop. Even in the ball pit area there were kids talking to the kids about the show; the kids looked uncomfortable.   (Mickey Mckean, 9/26)

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* NOTE:  This is the type of material collected by pedophiles.

Reader Comments (86)

Someone called the boat company and was told that life jackets weren't required for that size of boat. If they were required the kids would have had them on!

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlife jackets not required

A few mistakes in the post-

They were not filmed for their 6th birthday party in 47 degree weather. They went to Florida to film that party. Maybe they had a private 6th birthday party at their home, in 47 degree weather, but do we know if they swam? If the pool was heated? By the way, we've been in the hot tub, during a beautiful snowfall. You should try it.

The crew is not required to get clearances. Why would they? They already know they don't have a criminal history, they don't need to pay to find it out. I would bet that if the law didn't require the clearances, exactly 100% of the people who now get them would stop. There are many organizations that provide accreditation in various professions but people still don't even get that unless there is a pay-off. Counselors, for example, can practice in PA without a license, and many do, even though there is a simple licensing process.

The PA DOL&I has said that there are trust funds set up for the children and TLC is depositing 15% of their gross earnings into them. Who knows? They do.

The boy was constipated not impacted. Medically, these are two very different things. The treatment for the first varies, but could involved physical assistance from a caregiver, healthworker. The second requires surgical intervention.

Thank you in advance for the chance to make polite corrections. I know you care a lot about accuracy.

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCorrection Officer

I have two children and when they were the ages of the tups I never would have let them on that boat without life jackets, because as a mom I would require life jackets no matter what the state said. Of course, I wouldn't wave a big fish in the face of a child who was screaming at me not to or let someone film my child vomiting for entertainment, either, but that's just me.

Correction Officer, I doubt you are here in good will but since you abided by my request for courtesy on this site I'll respond. You're right, the pool party wasn't for their sixth b'day, it was filmed ON their actual sixth b'day. I'll change the word "for" to "on" to correct that.

Correct, the crew is not required to get clearances, only because they are not hired under the capacity of child care. Nobody knows if members of the crew have criminal backgrounds or histories of abusing children or not. No, organizations would not stop getting the clearances if they were not required. I've been working in the field of mental health in and around organizations, community groups and agencies that work with children for over 25 years, and that is ridiculous. Although the production company is able to avoid having to get the clearances for their crews because technically the crew doesn't provide child care, it is grossly irresponsible of them not to. And no, they don't know if their employees have criminal backgrounds unless they go through the clearances, and even then the clearances only show cases that have been founded or prosecuted. There are many child abusers and pedophiles who do not show up on the clearances simply because they've never been caught. You cannot be too safe when it comes to the care of children, period, and for a TV company that claims to care about children and families to neglect doing this one simple, cheap and easy to do thing is unprofessional, shoddy and negligent, and they have lost viewers because of it.

There is not a simple licensing process for counselors in PA. There are several different kinds of licensing available for counselors in PA and for all of them you have to have an advanced education, specific trainings and many hours of supervision. There are various reasons why having or not having various licenses in PA is or is not advantageous. It is not simple and it is taken seriously by responsible professionals.

I don't know much about impacted stools. Sounds like that's one of your areas of expertise so I'll go with you on this one.

Thanks everyone for your excellent contributions today...very impressive!

September 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Physical :

- Kids had to endure a Good Housekeeping photo shoot wearing heavy fall clothing ( it was for a Thanksgiving cover) in August when the temp was over 90 degrees.
- Extra bright stage lights installed in the home.

Emotional/ Psychological:

- Buying the kids dogs and then sending them back after filming was finished.
- Keeping the kids "babyish" - sippy cups, high chairs, not ensuring they learn age appropriate skills
- Setting the kids up for failure / competition : K8 never cooks the kids a hot meal but when Cara and Mady play "mommy for a day" she gives them a challenging recipe (for their age)
- K8 not participating on any of the boys' special days
- Constant berating and demoralizing behavior towards Jon
- Vow renewal ( imo, this was THE WORST)
- Kids witness K8's lies and deceit
- Hundreds of YT videos and groups that attack Mady

Oh Lordy Bee WG, I could go on and on and on.

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLordyBee

Yes, Mereete, my opinion is that it's total crap. Exactly what Elaine Benis said about all those times she slept with Jerry Seinfeld..."fake fake fake fake fake."

September 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

To me this list clearly shows excellent concrete examples of how the eight have been hurt by being on these shows. We can't say the situations or parenting would have been perfect if the shows had never happened, but clearly these examples only happened because of the shows.

Keep 'em coming and great work everyone!

September 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Oh, boy - so many choices. How about the wooden spoon in the door of the van, and the big red spoon seen in several episodes (lying on the kitchen counter, tucked under Jon's arm as he yelled at a flinching Cara...). Then there's the Thomas the Tank Engine epi, where Mady flinches when an angry Jon approaches her. Also, Jon's 'walk in the woods' epi where one of the girl tups flinches when he angrily breaks a walking stick and hurls it into the woods. Then there's the infamous Kate interview with the double whammy of denying Mady water and pinching Alexis to make her sit still. Kate steering the boy tups by their heads, Kate forcing the tups in general to hold their arm directly upright while holding her hand (clearly showing them that she is in control). Kate lifting the baby tups out of their cribs by their arms, Jon taking them out of the van in the same manner, Kate recently chucking one of the boy tups out of the van (school bus photo op), Kate 'mashing' Colin's mouth at the bus stop. There are other examples, but you get the idea.

Also, how about Mady rolling around on the basement floor with just a producer and a cameraman present? Potty shots, Hannah nude as a toddler, etc. I'll stop now - my blood is boiling!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkonspiracytheory

The crew is not required to get clearances. Why would they? They already know they don't have a criminal history, they don't need to pay to find it out

How do they know there is no criminal history? Because they said so on their job application?

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLearning

Werny Gal,

What an excellent thread with a perfect title - This is not child's play, far from it! Children are involved here, and they are our country's greatest resource. To have a reason to believe that any child is a victim of abuse - any kind of abuse - is simply not acceptable, anytime, anywhere. Kudos to you for starting this thread where all the examples can be gathered in one place.

The first thing I want to add is about sibling rivalry. During the first Surviving Septuplets and Twins special, in the first ten minutes Jon is talking about his initial reaction to the number of fetuses and thinking about his twin girls and said, "how is this going to impact their life? What have we done to them? This is going to ruin their life". Now fast forward to the Kate + 8 episode re the six pack's 6th birthday, where the kids were now in Florida and celebrating yet another "party" a week later and Mady does not understand why "they get 3 parties and we (twins) only get one day" and in the same episode Mady is feeling so ignored that she said, "nobody cares about me ... I just want to die".

There is no doubt in my mind that as Cara and Mady go through life the twins will always harbor mixed feelings towards their younger brothers and sisters, just like I'm pretty sure the 3 boys will harbor mixed feelings towards their 3 sisters, always wondering why their mother favored the girls and called them "icky". Unfortunately for this family, thanks to DVDs and youtube, even if their own memories are somewhat cloudy, they can easily remind themselves of their life, or complete strangers can clue them in as to what happened when they were little kids.

If nothing else, had the six pack not been born the viewing public would not know who the Gosselins are so there would not be web sites today dedicated to dissecting Mady's personality at the age of 6! We live in a sick and twisted society where adults with no formal education have not only labeled a child's personality as fact, but have gone so far as to feel sorry for Jon and Kate to have a child like Mady. What has Mady done in this lifetime so that she can google her own name and find web sites that bash her personality?

BTW, I just remembered ... there is an episode where Kate is at Ronald McDonald's house, I think it is the episode where she gets the pink scooter. Anyway Kate announces dinner ... Mady goes by and makes a comment and Kate says something not nice along the lines of "living with this child on a daily basis". I remember thinking at the time that Kate considers the twins "tokens", all she really cares about is the six pack since they are the ones that made her famous.

I'm sure I can come up with other examples for this thread, even though I am sure that the kids all love each other, I still wanted to be sure to point out the sibling rivalry.


September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

WG said to Correction Officer: I don't know much about impacted stools. Sounds like that's one of your areas of expertise so I'll go with you on this one.

************************************************************************************************ I would add that I am always suspect of anyone who comes to the defense of someone like Kate, as well as a clearly exploitative company like TLC. It tells me one of two things:

1. The defender is a narcissist like Kate.
2. The defender was raised or currently lives with a narcissist.

Can you really going to watch that episode where Colin was 'constipated' and say that is appropriate for public viewing? Put yourself in Colin's shoes for a minute and fast forward 20 years. Do you really think he's going to watch that episode someday and have a good chuckle from it or get a warm and fuzzy feeling from watching himself BEGGING his mother to hold him and comfort him and then change his diaper...only to be dismissed by her because she couldn't be bothered by him because she was shopping...and filming a TV show. Do you really think he's going to enjoy watching himself being laid out in the back of a van with his father 'assisting' him with the removal of his bowel (those were Jon's words used to describe what occurred)? Can you really watch that episode and defend the actions of Kate and of both parents for allowing this to be filmed? Really?!

I would also question anyone who would allow their children in this situation to be around and alone with people whose background had not been cleared. You are right WG when you say that TLC is really dropping the ball here. This is an easy step of precaution for them to take. I would question the motive of anyone who would question getting clearance on these adults.

The life jackets - required or not - should have been insisted upon by their mother for their own safety. I didn't see the episode because I no longer watch the show, but if the tide was bad enough on the ocean that day to cause sea sickness for several (or all?) of the children and even some of the adult film crew, I would say life jackets would have been advisable. Of course, I've NEVER heard of accidents involving children and boats so maybe I'm being overly judicious.

I believe your statement regarding their 6th birthday party speaks for itself: "They went to Florida to film that party." No comment needed.

I think the fact that there is still some question and doubt about trusts and funds for the kids is problematic. If there is money being put aside for the children, why not just confirm that? That's an easy answer that both TLC and Kate can confirm - "yes, each child has a trust in place and each child is receiving "x" percent." Period. End of discussion. The reason they don't answer the question is because they are still trying to lead people to believe that the children are not working.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Sadly, Kate is here to stay. As long as she has the backing of the big guns at TLC she will make sure she is in the spotlight, kids be dammed.
She appears to regress while the kids turn into the adults!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersftk

In this week's episode of Kate+8 - which I have not seen only read the comments - it seems that the six pack who are starting kindergarten still do not know how to tie their shoes which is why Kate bought them tennis shoes with velcro straps.

How long does it take to teach a child to tie a shoe when they are 6 1/2?

Why is it considered "entertainment" to let everyone know that they can't tie their shoes?

Last week's episode re the kids vomiting on a boat, I still have to believe that last Tuesday when they went to school at least one of their classmates came up to them and said, "Hey, I saw you guys puke your guts out last night on TV!"

Why is it considered "entertainment" to show a kid vomiting and/or covered in vomit?

What parent thinks it is OK to continue to share these tidbits with the world so that their kids can be teased about it the rest of their life?

So as for abuse, these kids are made to be targets of ridicule - not just by their own classmates but complete strangers. Not just now, but for the rest of their life!

The show needs to be taken off the air immediately. Kate and TLC need to stop giving ammunition to the bullies out there who will have no problem whatsoever in teasing these 8 children who did not sign up for all this exposure of their lives in the first place.


September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

I agree sftk, she is going nowhere. Her ratings are on the upswing again. There could be any number of excuses for it, but the fact is they are going up, not down. I'm sure the People article had something to do with it, but there will always be some reason because TLC will see to it that she is forced down America's throat and as long as they have the ability to do that, people will watch. I haven't seen a show since last year and I don't miss it at all. In fact, it disgusts me that I ever became enmeshed in this whole travesty. I blame no one but myself, I was the one who watched. People do what they want and for whatever their reasons may be. Trainwreck, cute kids, to see how Kate flops -- whatever, people are for some reason watching. She's going nowhere.

I also agree the episode about Collin and his bowels was a disgusting turning point for me. But as much as I dislike Kate and everything about her, he didn't have impacted bowels. If he did, he would have been in the hospital. You can't 'help' someone with a bowel impaction by 'assisting him in pulling it out'. It's much worse than that. But it was Kate sitting there intent on buying beds while he was so miserable and crying for her that disgusted me beyond words.

I also agree about the cupcake episode. That was cruelty, plain and simple. Hannah did not eat even when prodded by the twin. And yet she got her cupcake while the boys who at least ate a few bites were refused their cupcakes. After waiting all day with their mother acting like the witch she is at the shop, and then they were refused their cupcakes. And their explanation that by the next day they had forgotten. Of course they had, they were what 4 years old? What difference does that make -- on that particular day they knew they were being treated badly and in case they really forgot, it's recorded for all eternity for them to review when they get older.

It's a totally disgusting show but then so are most other reality shows. If this is what our country is coming to in terms of entertainment value, I seriously worry about all of us.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

In regards to the abuse/potential danger of children on reality TV show, I live in California and I feel "bonded" to the Gosselin children that live 2,500 miles away. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that I know that these kids are real people and not actors playing a part, and because they grew up before my eyes in my own living room. I feel that they are "family", and everyone who knows me is well aware of what I will do to protect family.

Good thing that I am NOT a pedophile, eh?

But what about all the real crazies out there that also feel bonded to these Gosselin kids for the same reasons?

What if someone out there feels that they would make a better parent than Jon or Kate, so in their mind they feel justified in snatching one or more of the kids?

When the show ends - when we no longer can see photos of this family on a weekly basis shopping or going to school - will any extra security measures be put in place to keep "fans" from having access to the kids?

Will the kids ever be truly "safe" as they go through life? Even if they are trusting today of adults because they have had so many come in and out of their lives already, as they grow older will they become suspicious of everyone they meet? Will they feel that everyone wants "something" from them but yet they don't know what "it" is?

Even though I think that Jon and Kate signed up for this show initially to help support the family, I'm angry that Kate in particular has continued to dangle her kids as bait for every child predator out there, and now other families are doing the same. I hate to say it, but until one of the children in a reality TV show makes it to front page headlines, the networks and parents will continue to exploit their own children for fame and fortune.

Parents cannot be everywhere, but to make your children targets of the crazy people out there, has to be considered abuse on so many levels.


September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

One episode when they were having a "fashion show" or some kind of dress up, the couch interview they were commenting on how Joel might be gay. How do you talk about that on TV when you son is only 3 or 4? The other one that bugged was when Colin didn't urinate in the potty chair and she told him that he would sit there until he did, turned off the light and left him in the bathroom, with the cameraman, in the dark.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSoCalRosie

Werny ~ All the above episodes have bothered me, but there is one I've never seen anyone else mention. If I remember correctly it was from the summer of 2008 at the E-town house. Don't remember what the theme of the show was, but during the epi there is a segment in the backyard. Jon is kicking a soccer ball to the boys. They seem terrified that they will get dirty, have absolutely no idea how to play/ interact during a sport. The viewer gets the impression that this is the first time they have ever been in the backyard (well, Kate did keep them on the driveway for every show). This was also shown to a lessor degree in the epi where Jon takes the kids for a walk in the woods at the new house. They don't have a clue what to do when they're off the driveway. Again, during the chicken coop epi when Kate tells the kids to race through the field. They look at her like she's speaking a foreign language. Seemed like this was an entirely new activity to them.

It's as if their lives have been so constricted they have no idea how to be children. Explore, play, get dirty, have fun, use their imagination. It reminds me of those institutionalized orphans in eastern Europe, never leaving the building & not knowing how to react when they finally get outside their official boundaries.

Is this an emotional beat down?

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

In the emotional abuse category--I remember the episode where they all went to NC the first time and Kate was making "her" flag cake with the girls. Little Joel wandered in and wanted to help, but Kate wouldn't let him and sent him back downstairs --I felt sorry for the little guy. There was no reason why he couldn't at least have placed a strawberry or blueberry on that cake and felt like he was included.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdisgusted in PA

Even if statistically parents of multiples have a higher divorce rate, we viewers of J&K+8 have no way of knowing if the Gosselin marriage could have been saved *IF* there was not the added stress of a TV show filming their lives 24/7 and this was their only way of supporting the family.

We do not know if the producers specifically pushed Kate's buttons knowing it would result in her being an abusive bully to Jon to keep the show "entertaining", or (what I personally believe is more likely than not) that as the show grew in popularity that the true Kate emerged and she did not need any prompting from anyone to belittle her husband and children whenever and wherever she felt like it.

I have a confession - I been watching some old shows recently and had I known then what I know now ... anyway I noted something in the episode where Cara has to go to "time out", something which Jon and Kate acknowledged never happens. In this episode Jon and Kate were bickering about something, and Cara was sitting at the kitchen table with both of her hands clenched in fists. Watching this episode after the divorce - seeing proof that her parent's fighting was emotionally abusive to this quiet twin - I get the impression that Jon and Kate were fighting a lot in front of all the children which of course is not a healthy environment for any child.

Therefore I am under the impression that this divorce was necessary and that it was in the best interest for Jon and the children. Whereas normally I would have said for all parties involved, after seeing Kate refer to the new home as "mine ... all mine" - with no thought whatsoever as to the other 9 people who were also living in the house - I don't give a rip if Kate winds up all alone. For the record this was my "last straw" with J&K+8.

Also like so many other viewers, I did not appreciate feeling like a fool with the fake marriage vows. But I am also well aware that it was *NOTHING* compared to the emotional toll it took on the children who participated in the ceremony after being told their parents would always be together. With hindsight being 20/20 the truth is that it was just another free trip and this vow ceremony was only about TV ratings; the children's feelings were not taken into consideration at all.

Last but not least, nine months after the vow renewal ceremony, at the six pack's 5th birthday in May, the show continued to be filmed even though Jon and Kate were going through a very nasty divorce with all the various tabloids covering the events. This was the appropriate time that the show should have ended - the Gosselin marriage was imploding in public and there are young children involved. But NO, the show must go on regardless of the fact that 8 children were going through a very difficult time that would impact the rest of their lives.


September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

Thanks all, I'm having a busy day but will add the latest examples soon. They are all excellent.
Werny Gal

September 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Cara has a foot injury. Mady tells her (again) about her sister limping around. Kate acts like she hadn't noticed. Later, Kate is being filmed playing a game with the younger children when it becomes clear Cara should go to get it looked at. Kate seems put out, calls someone to come get Cara to take her to the doctor while she continues with filming at home. Later, Cara needs an Xray, and Kate seems put out again that she has to take Cara at night to get that done. Final comment was "We don't have time for a cast, do we, Cara?"

Mady was having a bad day. Kate snarls at the camera: "Day after day with that child!" and does nothing to find out what Mady is upset about. Not even an attempt.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfidosmommy

I swear, these are so sad. Tomorrow afternoon I'll have time to add the new ones to the list. Someone should have compiled this list a long time ago. It is incredible how it puts everything into perspective, isn't it?

September 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Hannah as favorite child. Although I stopped watching the show about a year ago, I think even a casual viewer could list the children in order of their mother's preferences.

Although Kate is a horrible mother to all the children, some suffer more than others. Hannah is the most valued child; if Kate is holding any child, it's Hannah. Kate often has Hannah by the hand. The other girl 'tups follow Hannah, with Alexis being the least favored girl 'tup. Mady is towards the end of the line. Cara tries very hard to be invisible. Aaden is the favored boy, and sweet little Joel is the most shunned child. I hate to even type all that out. But I've seldom seen a mother who so clearly prefers one child and treats another so horribly.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Re: Parents of multiples have a higher rate of divorce.

Once again, THIS IS NOT TRUE, this is NOT A FACT.

You can find HUNDREDS of websites that offer proof to the contrary. From columns and blogsites written by mothers of HOMs, to papers written by professionals in the highest levels of academia, it took me less than five minutes to dispel this "myth" that originated from KATE'S BIG MOUTH.

Believe it or not, KATE LIED! She simply MADE THIS UP the way she makes many things up to suit herself and her world at that particular moment; she just lies. She is incapable of accepting responsibility for anything that goes wrong in her life. She made this idiotic statement as "fact" when she was excusing herself for getting divorced. For some (un)reason, this particular whopper really stuck!

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralana

CJ, I think the kids were/are terrified about getting dirty because they know how K8 would/will

Diane, great point about the blatant favoritism ( emotional/psychological abuse for $1000 Alex !)
5 years of filming have shown that yes, Hannah is the favored child followed by Cara, Leah and Aaden.

K8 has always been so dismissive if not cruel to Joel - from making him sleep on the laundry room floor (my first real WTF? incident ) to not letting him help decorate K8's original flag cake.


September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLordy Bee

I don't know how anyone could defend Kate after reading the above list. And I am sure there will be many more additions to it. How about Kate esp. in the early shows almost always complaining about how tired she was. She made is seem like she was the only one taking care of the kids, house, shopping etc. but she really had a lot of helpers. Of course some of her fans still think she does it all by herself! I think she resented the attention the kids got and always brought it back to herself, poor, poor, pitiful me. How about the church beggings? Making it seem like they had no money when in fact they had an inheritance from Jon's father plus free dental care for the family and the first house paid for by Jon's father.
IMO Kate's team feels an obligation to help take care of the family as Kate holds them hostage. I feel she tells them if they don't keep her on the payroll they will not survive. I don't think Kate would ever go back to an average lifestyle and will do anything to keep up the one they have. Sadly she has lost track of the purpose of family life and the emotional aspect that is so important to a child. She will learn a hard lesson in the fact you can't go back and undo a lot of the damage. She has sold her soul to the devil.
I hope we don't give up the fight to protect other children from this dangerous industry and that the hearings will help stop them.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersftk

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