Kim and Barry Plath of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville are known for their many strict rules. When the Christian fundamentalist couple was homeschooling their nine children in rural Georgia, they didn’t allow them to use cell phones or social media, eat sugar, dress immodestly, date without supervision, or watch TV or movies.
Several of their children – especially 22-year-old Ethan Plath and his wife Olivia Plath, as well as 17-year-old Moriah Plath and 19-year-old Micah Plath – began to rebel against the Plath family rules as they got older. But 16-year-old Lydia Plath, who is often responsible for many of the household chores, has continued to follow the family’s strict guidelines for behavior.
On the Nov. 17 episode of Welcome to Plathville season 2, Kim brought Lydia to Micah and Moriah’s new home (where they now live after being kicked out of the Plath household) for a rare visit. The worried mom told TLC producers she was somewhat reluctant to allow Moriah and Lydia to spend time together unsupervised.
Kim said the meeting with Micah and Moriah weighed heavy on her
On the most recent Welcome to Plathville episode, Kim admitted that her confrontation with Micah and Moriah had left her rattled and hurt.
During the heart-to-heart conversation with their parents, the teens expressed their frustration over their lack of preparation for the future. Micah said he was most disappointed in his education, while Moriah said she had a hard time forgiving her parents for making her feel so confined over the years.
Eventually, Barry asked his kids for forgiveness – but they admitted they weren’t quite ready to extend that just yet.
“It depends on what your version of forgiveness is,” Moriah told her visibly uncomfortable parents.
Kim told TLC producers that the discussion made her realize just how damaged her relationship with her kids truly was.
“We had a pretty intense conversation with Micah and Moriah a few days ago,” the Welcome to Plathville star said. “And there was a lot of hurt on both sides.”
The ‘Welcome to Plathville’ star said she only wanted Lydia to see Moriah in ‘small doses’
The Plath parents appear to have a standard reaction to kids who fly the coop or disobey their rules: They don’t tend to allow them to spend much time with the children they still have at home. If they do spend time together, they have to be supervised by either Barry or Kim.
According to Kim, she didn’t want Micah and Moriah to have too much alone time with their siblings, lest they sow seeds of “bitterness and resentment” at home.
After Micah and Moriah’s eye-opening argument with their parents, Kim seemed even more wary about allowing the teens to spend time alone with her other kids. But Lydia and Moriah had always been close – so when Moriah extended her younger sister a dinner invitation, Kim felt she couldn’t say no.
“Lydia said she wanted to go over to Moriah’s house,” Kim told Welcome to Plathville producers rather grimly. “And I’m okay with that…Occasionally, you know, in small doses.”
The mom of nine hoped Lydia would not be ‘swayed’ by her more rebellious siblings
In navigating the new Plath family dynamic – in which three kids were now openly rebelling against their parents’ beliefs and standards of behavior – Kim admitted that she wasn’t quite sure what to do. Her biggest fear was that the older children who’d ventured off on their own would influence her younger kids into doing the same.
“We’re trying to find a balance of them spending some with siblings, but yet not so much that the bitterness gets past even more,” the Welcome to Plathville matriarch said.
Still, Kim allowed Lydia to spend some alone time with her older sister – if only for a single dinner. What’s more, the mother of nine might have had other motives for permitting the sisters to continue building their bond.
“I feel like Lydia is grounded enough that she’s not really going to be swayed,” Kim said confidently, “and keeping that sister relationship alive may help bring Moriah back closer to the family.”
Lydia and Moriah have often described themselves as polar opposites. While Lydia appears to buy wholesale into her family’s beliefs, Moriah wants nothing to do with them. Still, their sisterly bond has always been airtight, despite their extreme differences.