Parents' Guide to

United Bates of America

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

19 Kids spin-off features family, fun, tradition, and faith.

TV TLC Reality TV 2012
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Like Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the Bates show what their lifestyle is like as practitioners of the controversial Quiverfull Movement, which has its roots in conservative Christian evangelism, and which views having large families as a way of promoting their faith. While the family does not discuss their religious philosophies in any depth on camera, they offer brief faith-based (but non-judgmental) explanations of why they live in a way that is often different from the mainstream.

Watching how this large family manages their lives is interesting, but some viewers may have difficulty with their efforts to keep the children from secular influences, from homeschooling children to limiting access to the media (despite their willingness to appear on a reality show). Their adherence to patriarchal gender norms may also be troubling. But the messages it contains about love, responsibility, and respect, are definitely positive ones.

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