What Adam And Danielle Busby Want Their 6 Girls To Learn From OutDaughtered - Exclusive Interview

We've all heard the saying "Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it." Adam and Danielle Busby no doubt know this from experience. When they wished for a younger sibling for their daughter Blayke, all three of them got way more than they bargained for: the only all-female set of quintuplets in the U.S. Overnight, their little family ballooned into a girly platoon of eight. To say it was a huge transition for the Busbys would be an understatement — because they were born prematurely, all five girls spent time in neonatal intensive care before being sent home. Once the girls were home, the family had to contend with a hectic, non-stop daily routine that involved over 50 diaper changes and 40 bottles a day.


The Busbys wouldn't have it any other way. While freely admitting the challenges of their new lives as parents of a supersized family, they also wanted to share and celebrate their good fortune. Indeed, the quintuplets were born on TV and have had their lives and adventures copiously documented on TLC's hit show "OutDaughtered," which starts its newest season on July 11 after a two-year hiatus. Viewers will notice a lot has changed since the Busbys last shared their lives on TV: The quintuplets are now 8, and big sister Blayke is now in middle school. In an exclusive interview, Adam and Danielle Busby shared what it's really like raising six kids and why the show matters to them.

The story of the Busby quintuplets was too good not to share

What motivated you to share your family's life on TV? What do you hope viewers will learn from it?

Adam Busby: I'm going all the way back to the beginning. It was a pretty miraculous story that we felt needed to be shared. Our family dynamics and stuff are very much different, and I feel like God has given us a story and it's good to share your story. We have a very tight-knit family, and you don't necessarily see that a lot on TV. Most of the stuff that you see on TV is centered around drama and dysfunction and stuff like that, and our life doesn't have much of that in there. It's a breath of fresh air, we believe.


I've heard that twins often have a special emotional connection and a sense for each other's feelings. Do you get any sense of anything like that with quintuplets? Do they have a special bond?

Danielle Busby: Oh, yeah. Within the quintuplets, we also have a set of identical twins within that bond. They definitely have the identical feelings and emotions. As far as the dynamics between the quints, all five of them definitely have the more sympathetic feelings of when someone is hurt. They all have that air and wonder and heart of, "Why is she crying?" or "Did she hurt herself?" They have those sympathy feelings, but the identicals in the mix are in sync with everything. Highs and lows, sads — they're the same.


Adam: You can definitely tell the difference between the identicals and the others that are fraternal amongst the quints. Even Ava and Olivia ... Whenever the other quints are in each other's space or we're watching TV or watching a movie or whatever, kids are kids, and sometimes one kid will crowd the other, get on top of the other, and the identical twins never push back.

Danielle: They always sit on top of twins.

Adam: They're always on top of each other. They don't care if the other one's touching them. It's weird. It's so different.

Danielle: It's cute, though.

All the girls have distinct personalities and interests — and their parents honor them

Do the girls behave differently off-camera than on-camera? If so, how?

Danielle: No, they're pretty raw. They all have different personalities, for sure. I think our viewers see that in all of our kids, how different they all are with their personalities. They all have held strong onto their personalities. We honestly identified their nicknames and identities in the womb. They're still the same as they were then.


How do you manage to keep things running efficiently while honoring each of the girls' individuality?

Danielle: That's definitely a challenge in the house when you have six kids who all have different personalities and different interests and likes. But we try to do our best to make sure we are listening to our kids [and] having that one-on-one time. When it comes to sports and activities, they all do different things. We want to instill in them "What is it that you like?" and let that flourish; "Let's help you with that" and not push them into things that they're uncomfortable with.

It's a challenge, and it's a challenge to discipline six different kids the way that they accept discipline. It's a challenge to keep them all happy in the way that it makes them happy. It's a parenting struggle every parent has with multiple kids, not just necessarily quintuplets. But we do our best, and we do love to split our girls up at times and do one-on-one dates. That helps us give them that quality time. Adam and I have always made that a point from early on — taking them out solo on dates or dividing them up three and three, which is what we do these days; divide and conquer. We do what we can and try to do our best at it.


With the girls growing fast, the rules are always changing

Related to that, Blayke has a special position in your family as the oldest kid. How do you ensure that she gets age-appropriate attention?

Danielle: People think that she probably feels left out the most, but I guess you could say it like that. But I have more sympathy and she might get the most attention — because in my life growing up, I was not the multiple. I have sisters who are twins, so I was [like] Blayke — I was not the multiple. My heart has a little bit of sensitivity towards making sure that she's included or what she wants to do or keeping her separate.


Especially now as a preteen, there is a big change in that age gap. When you're 10 or older [and] your siblings [are] younger than 10, things change. Your likes change, or — I hate to say this — you want to talk about boys or makeup and all these things, and it's very different than playing with baby dolls. We do our best ... I'm extra sensitive towards Blayke, more so because I recognize herself in me a lot as a kid.

Adam: It's funny because we do get a lot of criticism for that on social media. [On] the TV show, yes, the quints get a lot of the attention there because that's what people are tuning in for. It's the quintuplets and stuff like that. But as far as in our home, day-to-day stuff, I feel like Blayke gets more attention across the board than any of the kids.


Danielle: Solo, or ...?

Adam: Yeah. Solo.

Danielle: But we also try to respect all of our kids' privacy in a way. Do they want to do this, or do they want to be seen on this social media, or do they want to be in part of this scene that we're filming? We are very open, and if they're not wanting to do something, we don't make them do it, and we don't push them into that. That's part of our parenting too.

Adam: The nature of figuring out what your kids want and need ... We're constantly shuffling and in this constant season of figuring things out. We're not always going to make the best decision, but every day, we're trying.

The girls know they're being watched — and think it's funny

Now that they are getting older, are they more aware of what happens when they're filmed? Are they aware that people around the country are watching them?

Danielle: They definitely identify that, now more so — because we've always had a YouTube channel too, and they love watching YouTube. But they have this whole understanding now of, "Oh, to put that on TV, you have to film it." They get it now, when it comes to what we do at home versus the TV show. They enjoy it.


There's highs and lows across the board, and kids are kids. There's days I'm tired and there's days they're tired. But we try to do our best to involve them when they want to be and let them rest when they don't want to be. The recognition that they get these days around in public or whatnot ... They laugh at it because they're like, "They said they watch us on TV." They think it's funny at this point.

The Busbys hope the show will become a repository of memories for the girls

What do you hope your daughters will learn and remember from this experience of being on the show when they're older?

Adam: It's a very unique experience that very few people in the world will ever get. I gravitate to this idea of this show and our life being so public out for the world. It's a really neat legacy to have. I think of the future — whenever our kids are graduated from high school and start families of their own — their entire childhood was documented so that they can go back and their own children can go back and see this.


I would give anything to be able to go back and see how my dad interacted with my grandfather whenever he was a kid. I never got to meet my grandfather. But our kids and our grandkids are going to have such a unique experience of being able to go back and watch that and watch how their family evolved, and how their grandmother interacted with their parents, and their grandfather interacted with their mom growing up and what that was like. It's all there for them to see and enjoy, and it's a very unique experience for sure.

Danielle: We want them to remember, too, the closeness and the value of family and how important it is. They also get the best footage yet. I can't go back and watch footage when I was a kid. It was on a VHS tape, and who has VHS players anymore? We have a very interesting story, and God's given us many trials to face, and we've been trying to conquer them and keep our heads up across the board. Like Adam said, it's part of the legacy that we're leaving behind one day. It's very, very unique, and it's something that we hold close to our hearts.


Season 9 of "OutDaughtered" premieres Tuesday, July 11 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on TLC.

This interview has been edited for clarity.