Jon & Kate Plus 8 started airing on television way back in 2007. We know, it's hard to believe it's been that long! Their reality television show started with two short one-hour specials that covered the family's life.
There was enough interest to inspire the network to start a regular show, and the rest is history—the show was on the air for a decade, lasting until 2017 before finally getting canceled.
However, many fans may not remember the show when Jon was still on it. Jon and Kate divorced in 2009, and only about two years after the show started, they had to make some major changes. Instead of canceling the show that was doing so well for the network, they decided to rename it Kate Plus 8 and simply focus on Kate and the children.
Jon and Kate have had some major drama over the years, and with all the focus on Kate Gosselin, many fans have been wondering about the way she raises her children. Listen, we get it—it's not easy to look after one or two children, let alone eight! However, there are some things she does that just have us wondering.
Here are 20 little-known facts about the way that Kate Gosselin runs her household.
20 At 9 PM, She's Off Mom Duty — No Matter What
For most moms, it's valuable to have some 'me time' for a little self-care. Perhaps it's taking a bubble bath after a long week, or even just spending a few minutes reading a book just for fun. However, most moms can never really be 'off' mom duty—if your kid needs you in the middle of your 'me time,' you kind of have to help them, right?
Well, not if you're Kate Gosselin. Apparently, Gosselin has a strict rule that after nine o'clock, she's officially off mom duty, no matter what is going on. Even if she's in the middle of doing something, she puts it down and switches to off duty mode.
19 Her Nannies Have A Manual They Must Follow
For moms that employ nannies, it's fairly usual to have some kind of guidelines in place for when you're not around. Maybe it's something as simple as not wanting your children to watch more than an hour of television, or to eat processed food. After all, you're hiring the nanny to care for your children, you should have some say in their daily activities!
However, Kate takes things to an entirely different level, using a literal manual that the nannies need to follow to the letter. And it's not just about the kids—the manual supposedly includes Kate's pet peeves, times when the nannies couldn't vacuum lest they disturb Kate, etc.
18 Pulling Weeds Is A Go-To Punishment
Most of us have heard the phrase 'many hands make light work,' and Kate seems to take that to heart when it comes to keeping her yard looking green and gorgeous. Apparently, one of the go-to punishments that the kids are faced with is weeding the yard. It's not framed as something that will help mom out, or help keep the home looking nice. It's a task that they're assigned when they're misbehaving.
Many of the kids were apparently sent out to the vast yard quite often to help mom with all the weeding. I mean, how hard would it be to simply hire a yard company to take care of it instead of punishing your kids?
17 She Never Wastes Food — Even If It's Expired
With eight children, it's safe to say that Kate Gosselin gets through a lot of food in a week. That's a lot of mouths to feed! You would think with so many people in the family, she'd never have many leftovers—but that's not always the case.
Apparently, Kate is really big on never wasting food, which is admirable—especially when your grocery budget is so high, you want to get the most out of your dollar. However, her devotion to eliminating food waste is a little more questionable when you hear that she's apparently fed her kids moldy food before to avoid having to throw it out.
16 She Has Locked Her Kids In Their Rooms At Times
Sending kids to their rooms for a time out is pretty common for parents. Sometimes, you need to be a bit firm with kids to make them realize they've done something wrong. However, Kate doesn't just send her kids to their rooms—there have apparently been times when she locked them in their rooms when they weren't behaving well.
First of all, that seems wildly unsafe—what if something happened, like a fire, and one of her children was unable to get to safety because of that lock? Second, it just seems questionable on so many levels. Why imprison your kid in their room with a literal lock? Just get a timeout chair.
15 She Won't Let Her Kids Wear Their Regular Clothes At Jon's House
Jon and Kate Gosselin's divorce wasn't totally amicable, and the two had plenty of drama in the public eye for years. They have a shared custody agreement where the kids spend occasional weekends with their father, but Kate is absolutely not chill about it. Apparently, she's so controlling that she won't even allow her children to wear the clothes they like at their father's house.
Instead, she has them show up in their school uniforms, wear whatever clothes they have available at Jon's house, and then get back into their school uniforms when they come back to mom's. We understand not wanting to lug toothbrushes and pillows and all that from house to house, but the clothing rule seems way over the top.
14 Her Kids Aren't Allowed To Get Messy While Playing Outside
Kids of all ages love playing outside—and it's something that most parents encourage. After all, they're getting some exercise, they're getting some fresh air, what's not to love? Kate Gosselin sees no issue with letting her kids blow off some energy outside, but she draws the line at getting messy.
And, anyone who has ever watched kids play outside knows that it's pretty much impossible to not get the slightest bit soiled when you're having fun outdoors. And really, how hard is it to wash a grass stain or a little dirt out of clothing? It's so bad that her daughter even asked "can't you just let them have fun?" during an episode after she started yelling at the kids for getting messy. Yikes!
13 She Bought Her Kids Electronics Just So She Could Confiscate Them
Many adults didn't have cell phones or electronic devices growing up, but times have changed. Now, they're something that pretty much all teens have, and children are getting devices at younger and younger ages. While it's certainly not cheap to buy cell phones for all your children when you have eight of them, it's something that Kate decided to do.
However, it wasn't because she loved her children and wanted them to have devices to stay entertained. Instead, it's so she could have something to take away when they were misbehaving. That seems majorly manipulative! Most parents have confiscated their kids' devices from time to time, but to get them solely for that purpose is a different take.
12 She's Not Afraid To Yell
For anyone who has seen the show, it's no surprise that Kate Gosselin doesn't keep her cool at all times. While many moms will do whatever possible to ensure that they don't lose their temper and yell at their children, Gosselin isn't afraid to raise her volume in order to get her point across.
Now, there are times when yelling may be necessary, such as if your child is in the middle of running into traffic. Sometimes, you need to get their attention urgently. However, for the most part, you really don't need to yell in order to make your children listen to you.
11 She Pats Her Kids Down When They Return From Jon's House
Despite being married for years, now that they're divorced, Kate has some major trust issues when it comes to her ex Jon. And, she doesn't just keep those issues to herself—she incorporates them into the kids' lives with her actions. What are we talking about? Well, after the kids return from visiting their father, Kate doesn't ask them how their time with dad was.
Instead, she literally pats them down when they return to ensure that they didn't bring back anything they weren't supposed to. Sure, you want to make sure the rules of your house are kept, but there are ways to do that that don't involve literal pat downs. They're not in prison!
10 She's A Neat Freak Who Gets Majorly Upset If Anything Is Out Of Place
We sort of understand why Kate would put such a high priority on keeping things neat. After all, when you have eight kids running around, things could probably easily descend into chaos if you're not careful. You want to make sure your home is presentable and a safe environment for your kids.
However, Kate takes it to a whole new level and insists on a home that is spotless at all times, which isn't always realistic when you have eight kids running around. She's even done things like firing a cleaning lady on her very first day there because she neglected to dust in one particular spot. Yikes!
9 Crew Members Are Only Allowed To Use Certain Doors
The Gosselin family has been filming their life for a decade, which means plenty of time spent with crew members. After all, while they may have some cameras set up to capture footage, the crew members are integral in capturing their adventures outside the home and more. You would think that after so long, the crew would almost be more like family to them—but that's certainly not how Kate sees it.
Apparently, she has strict rules about how the crew can conduct themselves, including the fact that they can only use specific doors—the side double doors on one side of the house, and the basement doors. Why not just let them come in the front door like everyone else who visits your home?
8 There's Only One Bathroom Crew Members Are Allowed To Use
Okay, if you thought the door rule was weird, wait for this one—the crew is only allowed to use one bathroom in the house. Now, we understand the need to maintain some privacy when your life is being captured on a daily basis for reality television. It would seem normal for Kate to have one bathroom that's just for herself, where she can go to take a moment when she needs, away from the cameras.
However, given the size of their home, and the fact that the crew is always around, you'd think she'd be a little more flexible. Nope—if the crew needs to use the facilities, they have to leave the house and use the bathroom in the apartment, no exceptions.
7 Crew Members Aren't Allowed To Eat Or Drink In The House
Okay, this rule for the crew is probably the craziest of them all. Now, we understand restricting certain employees from eating on the job—for example, you certainly don't want your surgeon chowing down on a snack in the operating room!
However, when a crew is just hanging around your home filming, we don't see why it would be important to ban them from eating or drinking anything. Sure, you may not want them to eat something super messy or something with a strong smell, but why can't they sip a cup of coffee to get them through the day as they film? The rule just seems really restrictive and over the top.
6 Nannies Were Told To Listen In On The Kids' Phone Calls With Dad
Being a nanny for the Gosselin family can't be easy—especially when you're forced to answer to Kate. She seems to have put a lot of rules in place after her divorce with Jon to ensure that things happened as she wanted them to. That includes monitoring her children's phone calls with their father, which is a little extra.
However, she's not always around to do it herself, so she's apparently assigned the task of spying and monitoring phone conversations to her nannies. Whenever the kids were chatting with their father, the nannies were supposed to keep their ears open to make sure that... well, we're not sure what Kate was afraid would happen in the conversation. She just wanted to make sure she knew everything that was said. Talk about controlling!
5 She'll Make Her Kids Eat The Same Thing For Weeks
Look, we get it—sometimes, it's tough to come up with meal ideas. And, especially when you're preparing food for so many people, convenience often wins. So, the fact that Kate preps her kids' lunches in advance makes sense. You don't want to be scrambling to put together eight lunches every single morning! However, apparently, Kate will sometimes not only pre-make lunches but make the same lunch for day after day, week after week.
There's nothing wrong with rotating between a few staple meals, especially if your kids are picky. However, no kid wants to be eating the exact same lunch every day for a month straight. They need variety to keep them interested, and to make sure they're getting a good mix of nutrients!
4 She Often Takes Discipline A Bit Too Far
It can't be easy to parent eight children—after all, with that many kids running around, chances are there's always at least one misbehaving. They're kids! However, Kate won't stand for any kind of misbehaviour and isn't afraid to dish out some discipline when she feels she needs to.
Author Robert Hoffman dished on some of the juicy details of what Kate Gosselin is like behind the scenes in his book, Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled The World. We won't go into all the specifics, but let's just say that Kate has taken discipline a bit too far from time to time, which is just never okay.
3 She Has A Strict Chore Regimen The Kids Must Follow
Getting your children to do some chores is a pretty common thing for parents. It teaches them responsibility and can actually be really beneficial for them. And when you have eight kids, you probably need a little extra help just to keep things running smoothly! We don't take any issue with the fact that Kate expects her children to help with some of the chores.
The issue comes from the fact that she has really strict chore regimens that the kids must follow—and it seems more like she's just trying to get help with the chores rather than teach her children something with them. If that's the case, you may need to just hire a few more helpers around the home rather than trying to turn your children into labourers!
2 She Doesn't Give In — No Matter How Upset The Kids Are
A lot of the time, as a parent, you have to stick to your guns. If you let your children rule the roost, they'd happily eat chocolate for dinner every night and have no set bedtime, meaning they're all hopped up on sugar and exhausted at all times. That's not proper parenting. However, most parents will bend the rules every now and then in order to make their children happy—most parents except Kate, that is.
One of her former nannies told a story of a time when the Gosselin kids made a gingerbread house, and then Kate decided they weren't allowed to eat it, so they had to stare at it day after day, desperately wanting a bite. Eventually, the nanny gave in and let the kids nibble on their masterpiece—and we don't even want to know what Kate's response was.
1 Her Kids Aren't Allowed To Explain Themselves
Kate Gosselin's parenting style is very black and white, and very authoritarian. For example, she doesn't try to explain herself to her children or tell them why she's making them do certain things. Instead, she just tells them that she's the parent, and she demands that they follow all her orders.
That goes both ways, apparently. No matter what her children have done, or what the situation is, she doesn't allow them to explain themselves. While a lot of the time children might lie to get out of trouble, or fib to sway a situation in their favour, sometimes you do actually have to listen to your kids to get the whole story. The fact that Kate flat out refuses to do that is a little bananas.
Sources: Parenting, ET Online, Daily Mail, Radar Online, People, In Touch Weekly