This is one of my favorite interviews. I interviewed Karen and Deon Derrioco from TLC’s hit show, Doubling Down With The Derricos. They currently have 14 “amazing” children and as I conducted this interview, it was rumored that more babies could be on the way. The couple has a 14-year-old daughter, Darian, a nine-year-old son Derrick, and the eight-year-old twins Dallas and Denver (who are hilarious all by themselves on the show). Along with these four children, they have six-year-old quintuplets, Deniko, Dariz, Deonee, Daiten, Daician, and two-year-old twins, Diez and Dior. And not too long ago, they added triplets to the family, two girls, Dawsyn and De’Aren; and a boy, named Dyver.
All of their children are conceived naturally. Both Deon and Karen have multiples that run on both sides of their family but as Deon once said on the show, “We have the most multiples that anyone has ever heard of.” And you might have noticed that all of their children’s names start with the letter “D,” which was always in the plan, which you will find learn about when you listen to the BackTalk interview. Deon always knew that he wanted a big family and when he met Karen, he asked her how many children she wanted. Karen responded, “As many as God will bless me with.” Deon knew from her answer that they were perfect for each other.
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Deon always knew that he wanted a big family and when he met Karen, he asked her how many children she wanted. Karen responded, “As many as God will bless me with.”
The Derrico family has been through a lot. The couple has managed to go on through miscarriages, the loss of an infant right after birth, and on top of that, they received the devasting news that one of their triplets has a heart issue. Their positivity and faith got them through just as the family was hit with the Coronavirus. But most recently, one of the couple’s 4-year-old twins, Diez, had to go through a 10-hour operation on his skull. Through every trial and tribulation, the Derrico family is going strong not only for each other but for their other children too. They are all a team.
When you watch our interview, focus on the couple’s dynamic because they are definitely a strong team and play off of each other’s strengths — #BlackLove. To me, they are the warrior parents that are ready for anything and have faith that everything will eventually work out, even when they are afraid.
Karen told me that they plan everything days in advance with the children. She mentioned that lists are extremely important. The children have their own responsibilities too and they are extremely well behaved. Deon answered one woman on social media who wanted to know if they spank the children to keep them in line. He responded that they never spank their children but they will take things away from them.
A woman on social media asked Deon if the couple spanks any of their 14 children to keep them in line and he responded that they never spank any of them but they will take things away from the children.
When I asked where the children were during our interview since there was not a peep in the house, the couple disclosed that they reserve video games only for important moments when they need their children to be quiet like for this interview. Another tip was that the Derreco children have mandated naps and quiet time just like at a daycare center. In fact, Karen homeschools their children. She uses early childhood classroom techniques to help their lives run smoothly. When the children line up to leave the house, their parents tell them to get into “birth order, ” which is genius, really. Once they are all in the van, the children check in to be counted. It’s beautifully organized chaos.
One of the Derrico family tips is to clean as you go. The children’s items are lined up before school in the morning in order to get the children out of the house on time each day. Karen and Deon mentioned that the children go to bed at the same time every night. There are no negotiations about it.
They spend anywhere between $2500 to $3500 a month on groceries. Including going through 15 boxes of waffles and 20 rolls of toilet paper each week. They wash at least 18 loads of clothes too. And both parents wear a lot of hats. Deon does the cooking too. If you watch the show, it looks like Deon can throw-down in the kitchen. He’s also the children’s barber and Karen does the girl’s hair but dad can do it too.
These rules are all great because it gives children consistency and they know the schedule, which is extremely important. Children thrive when they know what is coming next. One surprise for me was that sugar is not off-limits. It seems everyone in the house has a sweet tooth but they have a brilliant way of allowing the children to have treats that you will have to listen to or watch on BackTalk.
They Derricos make it clear that their children are not a burden and that the children are included in just about every aspect of their lives. The children help out and learn from each other. Even when asked if they need a vacation, Deon made it clear that vacations are to enrich the children as well. They go as a family, which also takes a ton of planning, including mailing their luggage ahead of time and more. Like the Derricos say, “There’s always enough love.”
The key is that Karen and Deon are a united front on Doubling Down With The Derricos. They both stated that communication is important and that they play on each other’s strengths. They made it a point to say in the interview that they have each other to depend on and then saluted single parents for doing it all on their own.
The Derricos are definitely a couple to admire and learn from. The biggest lesson that Karen wants other parents to take away is that it is okay not to be okay. Calm down and take a moment for yourself, the chores will get done. Self-care is the best care.
Deon discussed mental health care. He said that it’s important to go into depth when talking to your children about topics like respecting others. He said to talk about every detail including that your words could push someone over the edge, which is great anti-bullying advice.
One thing to remember when watching reality shows like Doubling Down With The Derricos is to not forget the reality part of the genre. This is their real lives and we’ve been privileged to experience a peek at this family’s ups and downs while watching the children grow. Now go and watch Doubling Down with the Derricos on the TLC network. We need to support this series, not only because it’s a good reality show, but it also demonstrates to the world what a positive functional Black family looks like, no matter how many children you have — one or 14 plus. Also, be sure to listen to BackTalk’s entire podcast and/or video stream and then comment below.
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