The saying goes, "don't judge a book by it's cover." Often as humans we judge. We judge our neighbours, are friends, and people we don't even know. When viewers first tuned into the premier of Duck Dynasty in March of 2012, people weren't sure what they were in for.
How would these million air hillbilly bumpkins live their life and raise their family? We expected back country, cuss words, and a whole lot of flannel. It didn't take more than a few episodes to fall in love with the Robertson's. Behind their beards and camo jackets were kind hearted, strong, and genuine people. After 11 seasons and 5 years we realized Mr. and Mrs. Robertson knew how to parent and were darn good at it. Their kids were growing up to be wonderful humans, loving, and well-behaved. They had created a dynasty.
Episode after episode we looked to them for advice, we watched and learned their tricks, and were amazed by how incredible this family was. We thought we would do everyone a favour, and compiled a list of 20 things the Robertson's do in order to keep their family in line and on the right track. Don't worry, growing a beard is not required!
20 Have Faith
Their southern charm and daily dinner prayers allowed us to see that the Robertson's were not shy to express their faith. During an interview with Jim Daly, Korie Robertson said, "He has given you those children. He has given you the tools and the things that you need to help them."
The family strongly believes that putting your faith in God is important. She mentions that He loves them more than we do and it is important for them to see he is there for them. It is no secret that the Robertson’s are a religious bunch and their kids are out on missions trips, fostering children, and even adopting.
19 Food Matters
Surprisingly, with everyone in the world having their own opinions on everything, viewers continued to tune in. At one point, Duck Dynasty was ruling the ratings. It didn't seem to bother people that the show always ended around a dinner table with the family giving Thanks to God. Clearly, if every show ends with prayer and a meal, food is important!
During an interview, Willie explained that, "No matter how poor we were, our family came together around the dinner table, and everyone pitched in to make sure we had something to put on that table." When you have the ability to hunt the meat they have and a little southern cooking skills, you best believe dinner is going to be good! Phil mentioned,"Good food has always had the power of bringing people together." We couldn't agree more!
According to an interview on CBN, "One day, Korie was sitting with a circle of women in a Bible study when the question was raised: What are two important character traits that you want to see in your children?” This wasn't an easy question to answer, but Korie decided her answer was strong and kind. She also titled her parenting book those two exact words.
Her reasoning for picking those two characteristics is actually genius, “If our children grew up to be strong and kind adults, I figured we would have been successful in our role as parents,” she says. Strong was picked because in order to be strong you must be able to get through tough times and that life will often offer disappointments. Shall we just end there? My goodness, this lady has it all figured out!
The Robertson's wanted their kids to grow up to be kind because "kindness is all about being thoughtful, loving and gentle with others even though they don’t deserve it, and showing compassion to the hurting." She believed this was a key trait to go after when raising her kids.
She realized the only way to teach them was to show them. To live her life with kindness. Korie explained that they "would be role models for their kids so they wouldn’t hear empty words, but would see the fruit of those character traits in their hearts." Her kids have clearly understood the characteristic kind and they invest their time helping others in foreign countries and doing mission work around the world. Great job mama!
16 Marriage is #1
Korie is big on valuing her marriage with Willie. When kids come into the picture it is so easy to pour all your love into them. But what about the one you loved first? It is important to keep that love growing to help mold a strong family. To help agree on common issues and parent together.
Korie believes even when times are tough, your marriage must come first. She is the first to admit that her marriage hasn’t always been easy, but they battled through the rough and are stronger than ever. It is important to remember what made you fall in love and to not “grow apart.” Be a team together, you got this!
15 Set Goals, Dream Big
Every parent wants their children to succeed and be great, duh! A big key to raising children in Mrs. Robertson's eyes is knowing the difference between praise and encouragement. It is important for kids not to be amazing at everything.
She explains to A&E, "If they find they are good at something or have a special gift, we encourage them to work really hard at it and give it their best efforts. God gave us each certain gifts and abilities that he expects us to use for him. Telling kids they are great at everything they do gives them a false sense of security. Then when they enter the real world and have to accomplish things on their own, it will be very difficult for them to grasp the fact that they aren't as talented in that field as they were lead to believe." So true, and so helpful to remember as a parent.
14 Hobbies Are A Must
Not only does being on a team or having a hobby teach children so many important lessons but it helps shape characteristics. It teaches responsibility, dedication, failure and success, friendship, patience, and so much more.
Being involved in extracurricular activities as a family, and supporting each other's talents is key to creating a strong bond. Korie explains, "Mia takes piano and gymnastics but has always been her brothers' biggest fan. During football and baseball games, she is usually flipping on the grass with her friends but will stop to cheer for them when either is up to bat, pitching or catching a pass. In return, the boys will endure her piano recital." Go, team, go!
13 Chores, Chores, Chores!
A kid's worst nightmare. Am I right? Kids need to learn responsibility, and the Robertson's believe that children don't need weekly chores, yet they need to be held responsible for keeping their area clean. Fair enough, right? They also are expected to have good attitudes when asked to give a hand with yard work, a special project, or something that needs to be done. Boy, do I love that! No eye rolls, yes!
Although Jase and Korie don't give out cash rewards for completing their duties, they do bust the kids when forgetting. Korie went on, "When I tell my kids to take care of something around the house, they are expected to do it. If they "forget," they are responsible for the original duty plus an added one. (There are always weeds that need pulling or trash cans that need scrubbing.) Because of this, they don't "forget" very often." Mic drop!
12 Breaking Bad Habits
I think all parents can relate this the same struggle the Robertson's had. Just like us, they had friends, after-school activities, and were busy! Their social life seemed to be towering over more important things like school work! Mommy explains, "It's hard when you're a kid, but it's also hard when you're an adult. If you don't learn how to keep priorities in line at a young age, it will be much more difficult when you're grown."
She describes that the boys are allowed to play from the moment they get home until dinner. After dinner, it's all business. There are no if, and, or buts. Korie and Jase also do not let things slide, or they become bad habits. The kids now know the rules and after dinner, its homework time!
11 Traditions Are Everything
Food, family, belly laughs, and fun is what traditions are all about. Usually, we think of the holidays when we hear traditions. The Robertson's have them just like we do. Of course, they involve delicious meals, to many filled Easter eggs, and a house full of people! Their newest tradition is one that every parent dreams of.
Korie told A&E about "Mrs. Missy's Wednesday Night Supper Club." She said, "Three years ago, Reed started bringing a few of his football teammates over for supper after practice on Wednesday nights. This is a great way of getting to know your kids' friends. They all come in starving, like all teenage boys do, and gather in the kitchen while I finish cooking. It is always quite enlightening to hear about who is dating who, what teacher did the most awful thing to their class that day, or how unfair the new history assignment is. Jase usually gives them a little life lesson while everyone is eating, and then we all go to church together." Could this family get any more perfect?
10 "Because I Said So."
"But why mom?" was always followed with "because I said so," and of course a loud sigh and an obnoxious eye roll. As a parent, this phrase totally makes sense and the Robertson's are on board with it. Korie continues to share her wisdom with us. She said, "A child doesn't need to know the explanation of every decision a parent makes for them. That's why we're the parent.
They should just trust that we are doing what we think is best for them." Even though we hated hearing these words as a child, they seem fitting as an adult. Some things are not kid business!
9 Teach Responsibility
You would think with watching their parents build a dynasty and continue to do it with such grace, responsibility would come naturally. Like any other kids, they test boundaries and cross the line.
“We had very few rules and regulations. I would say, ‘If you want to stay up all night, that’s your prerogative. [For] getting up in the morning and catching the school bus, we didn’t go in there and say, ‘time to get up.’ We taught them to be responsible.” Their kids are traveling the world on their own, some are married, educated, and a tight-knit. Clearly, their "tough love" style works and has helped create disciplined and independent kids.
8 School And Teachers Rule All!
A teachers dream of having parents like Phil Robertson in their class. Ones who have their back and respect their decision making in the classroom. Phil told Fox News, "When it came to teachers I told them, ‘You’re going to have great teachers, fair teachers and some are going to be poor but always remember they are your teacher. Shut up and sit down and obey them and get out with a fair grade and onto the next one.’ I backed the teachers no matter what." Kids are in school more than they are often at home. So, if the teacher says your kid is misbehaving, then your kid is most likely misbehaving! Have the teachers back!
7 Love, Respect, And Working Together
Family business is hard. Money matters, tears, arguing, and decision making all take place on a daily business. Anyone you know with a family business will agree that the start wasn't easy, and while some days are hard others are a gift. The Duck Commander business has always been a group investment. Phil was in charge of taking the duck calls store to store while Miss Kay handled the accounts. Alan, Jase, Wille, and Jep helped by packing orders, phone messages, and assembling the product.
Korie and Willie went on to buy half of the company. If there is one thing they learned it was, "working together as a family when Duck Commander was a new, barely known business kept us connected daily, but it also taught us a strong work ethic and how to resolve conflicts."
6 Studying Your Children
Understanding your child is the job of a parent. Sadie, The Robertson's daughter, wasn't always up for Dancing With The Stars and public speaking. Korie describes her as shy and very nervous. Learning her daughter's fears and studying her helped Korie and Willie break her out of her shell.
They pushed Sadie to not have fear and to believe in her faith. Korie said, "When an opportunity arose, they pushed her to do what needed to be done, such as getting in front of an audience with her class for a show — even if she cried through it. Slowly Sadie learned that her emotions didn’t have to dictate her actions." Soon, Sadie became the confident beautiful girl we all know her to be!
5 We Are The Role Models
Korie nails it in the head with her book preview quote for Amazon.com. Seriously, this lady should open up a mommy school. Her wisdom is incredible. She wrote, "After being a parent for twenty years, I have come to believe that the most important thing for parents to decide-more important than bottle or breastfeeding, more important than co-sleeping or sleep training, and even more important than whether to put your child in daycare or become a stay-at-home parent - is what values are important to your family and how you will go about instilling those values in your children." So true, and just like her recent Instagram post, "children learn from their parents, and this is why parents must set a good example." I could listen to this women all day!
4 No Time For Negativity!
Yes, yes, one thousand times, yes! Negativity drains us and needs to go! On the way home from church recently, the tough mommy blurted, “Their negativity was sucking the life out of me." She preaches to her kids about how negativity actually affects your brain and how you feel. How negative words actually hurt you. She speaks to them about finding a silver lining with everything in life.
Robertson also talks about time her and Willie were struggling. She was constantly coming home and only sharing the bad events from the day. Her advice, "I started mentioning the good things more … And I promise you, it changed things. It changed me. I was a happier person. I felt better throughout the day–had more energy, smiled more."
3 Parenting Isn't Always Easy!
Oh, yes, the queen admits that parenting isn't easy. Shortly after the "positivity talk" with her son mentioned above, the following morning had her fuming again. The following morning, her son spit fired back that there is no silver lining when talking about school. "Seriously! This makes me crazy. Do you know the number of kids in the world that are so thankful just to be able to go to school, to learn, to get an education–kids that walk miles and miles, that cross rivers and valleys to have the chance to go to school. And here is my child saying there is ZERO silver lining to school." See, even a billionaire mother struggles as a parent too!
2 Be True, Always.
A big key to their success as parents is helping their children understand how to be true to themselves. In an interview with the Daily Journal, Mrs. Robertson says, "They also understand that they have and will mess up, but that they can go to their Father in heaven and their parents on earth for forgiveness and understanding. Success!"
Trying to live a perfect life, especially with social media these days, is tough. She also added, "I think it's important for them to understand that you have to be the same on Monday as you are on Sunday, and the same on Saturday night as you are going to be the next morning at church. I think that's the main thing - just to be real, really real to your kids. That's not just a cliché, but really try to do it."
1 Queen Of Social Media
Having privacy is not an option in The Robertson household. You don't have the right to privacy and will have it when you grow up and move out. Touche! Famous and all, I love that she is aware of the harmfulness of social media and young children comparing themselves.
She could not be more accurate with her quote in Foreverymom.com, "Kids today are under a tremendous amount of pressure. A lot of that pressure comes from social media. I think that is the main problem; you’re comparing yourself to all the perfect people. Of course, they’ve been through 45 filters and you’re comparing yourself to that unrealistic body image and flawless makeup. We’re seeing a lot of negative effects from that.” Thank goodness someone is addressing this!
Resources: www.gospelherald.com, www.focusonthefamily.com, www.cbn.com, www.aetv.com, mommyish.com, www.gospelherald.com, faithwire.com, foreverymom.com