The Duggar Family burst onto the scene when they got their show on TLC 16 Kids and Counting. Viewers watched this title change another three times as the Duggars added to their huge brood. The reason so many people wanted to watch the Duggars and were fascinated by the family was because of course, the fact that they were such big family that showed no signs of stopping. But also their fundamental Christian values on which their whole life was based on. The kids were all homeschooled, and for all intents and purposes were growing up very differently from the average American kid. Even though they lived a devoutly religious lifestyle, even non religious people could not get enough of the Duggars and their seemingly picture perfect life. The kids were all well behaved and overall it was just a feel good family program.
Then, some dark news came out about the skeletons that the family had hidden in their closet. Specifically concerning their oldest son Josh and some his conduct towards his sisters when they were teenagers. That fact alone was hard for people to swallow, but then the way that the Duggar's handled the situation just put an even worse taste in their mouth. Of course after this, people started to take a closer look and a lot of other strange things started coming up. Rules that the rest of us, even Christians find to be a bit weird and even creepy. This list is about the strangest rules that the Duggar's live by.
20 Older Brothers Are Never Allowed To Babysit Their Younger Sisters
This rule sort falls into the same category of the hide-and-seek rule we talked about earlier. It is obvious on the show that the oldest girls take the brunt of childcare, and are probably even more involved with their younger siblings than even Michelle is. By the way, lots of experts agree this is a horrible way for kids to grow up because it forces kids into adult roles, and the older ones are also robbed of their mother just as their youngest ones are. We digress though, while it is obvious that the Duggars subscribe to gender roles and this means the girls would be in charge of childcare regardless it is strange that this is a rule. Lots of older brothers have been good babysitters for their younger sisters and brothers. But it is, even in a pinch an older brother cannot look after a younger sister. Good thing they have about 5 or 6 sisters always at their beck and call to look after the little ones.
19 Girls Are Not Allowed To Wear Pants
This may not seem like a huge deal, but it really is. Especially in this day and age. Viewers may have noticed that the younger girls are allowed to wear leggings or the such, but it is still underneath a long skirt or dress. This rule also falls in line with the Duggar kids all having to look traditional and conservative at all times. Because obviously a woman that is not wearing a skirt or a dress and actually dressed in pants is very unconservative. One of the big issue when women are forced to wear clothes like this, is that there is a lack of mobility for them that men do not have to deal with in pants. Women don't need to run or do anything physical enough where wearing pants would be a requirement, and with this rule the Duggar's strongly enforce gender roles on their kids from a young age.
18 No Full Frontal
There are a lot of things that the Duggar offspring cannot do until they are wedded in matrimonial bliss. This is probably why so many of the girls got married so young. You would too if you couldn't do anything fun! Like have an Instagram account! As a Duggar, you better keep your dreams of full frontal hugs off until you are actually married. The rules for dating a Duggar, or 'courting' as the family calls it are pretty stringent. And a big one is obviously no full frontal hugs that could lead to lustful thoughts, or even holding hands. Scandalous. Side hugs are encouraged, but you better not side hug too hard or else it could lead to physical temptation. Its safe to assume once they are wed the floodgates open, so to speak.
17 Family Beach Day? No Go. Beaches Are Banned.
Did you really think anyone in that family would be allowed to wear a bathing suit in public?? Think again! But it is not only the fact that the Duggars would have to wear skimpy clothes if they were to go to a beach (newsflash, they don't) there is also another important reason that they do not go to the beach. The other bathers! Their innocent eyes cannot be exposed to so many human bodies that are scantily dressed. Michelle has talked about it before, and of course the main reason the family has eliminated the beach is because of the boys. 'It's just too hard for the guys to try and keep their eyes averted.' The Duggars do go swimming, but it is in their own private pools and in very specific bathing wear that most of us would not be caught dead in.
16 If You Aren't Engaged, No Social Media!
Social media has become huge, and while it has positive aspects to it there are definitely some proven negative traits. For this reason it can be understandable why parents do not want their young children using social media. They don't know what they will end up being exposed too and they can't watch them all the time so it is easier just to ban it. And we all know that social media has some stuff on it that kids really don't need to be exposed too. But even stopping a teenager from access to social media seems a bit strange and controlling. Now imagine you were 27 and you were not allowed on social media. Well, this is Jana Duggars and her twin brothers John Davids reality. They are the oldest of the massive Duggar brood, and while a bunch of their younger siblings have gotten married they have not. And one of the big rules in the Duggar, where of course kids stay till they get married, is that no one who is not engaged is allowed to be on social media.
15 Women Must Always Be Available To Their Man
Michelle Duggar has talked about this and the submissive role she takes to Jim Bob. She has made it clear, that if he wants to get it on than she does it even if she is tired. And you know that is what she is teaching her daughters as well. And not only should you always be available for your husband, you should be joyfully available. All we have to say, is that Michelle Duggar must be amazing at faking it. In fact the exact advice is even more annoying and gross so we will put it in Michelle's own words, as she heard it from a friend.
"Anyone can iron Jim Bob’s shirt, anybody can make lunch for him. He can get his lunch somewhere else. But you are the only one who can meet that special need that he has in his life for intimacy. You’re it. You’re the only one. So don’t forget that, that he needs you. So when you are exhausted at the end of the day, maybe from dealing with little ones, and you fall into bed so exhausted at night, don’t forget about him because you and he are the only ones who can have that time together. No one else in the world can meet that need.” Right.
14 Opposite Gender Siblings Are Not Allowed to Play Hide-and-Seek Together
This is one of the most strange rules from the family, which is saying a lot. It is honestly kind of disturbing because its not that the kids cannot play hide-and-seek at all, its that opposite gender siblings are not allowed to play hide-and-seek together. With the history that the Duggar family has, this rule is more than just borderline disturbing. Also the idea that they feel they need to keep their daughters and sons that separate makes you question the things we don't know about that happened in that household. There is no doubt that having to manage that many children is going to be difficult and there need to be rules and structure to make it work. But this rule does not seem to be about organization and efficiency.
13 Mom And Dad Need To Read ALL Text Messages
In fact, you are not allowed to text without Mom and Dad being in the conversation. Michelle and Jim Bob have to be part of any text messages their kids send out or receive. This means group texts only. Can you imagine your mom or your dad CC'd on every message you sent out to your friends or even worse, potential love interests while you were growing up? Don't feel too bad for the Duggar kids though, it is all they know. When Jessa was being courted by Ben Seewald, he jokingly sent her a message that said 'Give me a ring.' Well Jim Bob took it upon himself to respond in the group text to his daughters future partner by saying 'No ring yet :).' Creepy.
12 There Is A Rod In The House That Is Used For Discipline
We told you earlier in the list about the controversial parenting book that Michelle and Jim Bob have picked up techniques from, like blanket training. Well another big part lesson in the book is 'Spare the rod spoil the child.' This essentially means that kids need to be punished, using corporal punishment to be exact. We have proof that Michelle and Jim Bob follow this rule exactly, down to the rod aspect of it. When news broke about what their eldest son Josh had done to his sisters, the police report from that time came out. One of the Duggar children during their police interview told the police that their parents do have a rod in the house they use for discipline. Using a rod on a child just seems horribly out dated and wrong.
11 The Kids Are Basically Treated Like Slaves
Okay, we will say that it is up to parents how they want to make their kids do chores and what their reward system for it will be. Little kids would probably be thrilled about getting 3 cents per chore, because they just care they are actually getting money! And it is not necessarily the low wages that the Duggars give their kids, its more of how many chores they actually do per day and how young they start them. From toddler age, the Duggar kids are expected to do around 15 chores a day according to their family blog. They are taught how to clean and do things from a very young age so they do their part in their big family. It seems like Michelle and Jim Bob have a lot of free manual labor around the house, not to mention free childcare constantly from the older siblings. Great parents.
10 Even Hand Holding Is Reserved For Marriage
Yes, even something that is as innocent as hand-holding is not allowed until the big night after the wedding. Honestly, in a way with all these rules for courting the happy couple has basically everything ever to look forward to on their wedding night. These days, couples usually have very little left they have not done with their partner when they finally get married. But for the Duggars a whole new world of hand-holding, kissing, and you know other stuff opens up after they get married. In a way that is very sweet. Not sweet enough for the majority of the rest of us to every try, and lets be honest for most of us it is too late to have never done some of these things before.
9 Dates Must Always Be Chaperoned
This is another rule that is pretty standard and you will find in homes across the world that have teenagers in it. At least, until a certain age. Can you imagine your parents or younger siblings tailing along when you are out with your fiancee?? Well this is exactly what happens in the Duggar household. Until a couple is officially married in a Church, they are not getting any alone together. Thankfully, the Duggars have an abundance of small children they can set out for important tasks like keeping an eye on their older siblings while they go on a date. If they see a a full frontal hug happen at any point during the date, you had better believe they go home and tell Jim Bob and Michelle all about it and the culprit will probably get in big trouble for their physical transgression. Also, what older sibling wouldn't love to have their much younger ones on their dates?
8 Kids Must Look 'Traditional' And Conservative Always
This goes beyond clothes, which of course need to be modest in appearance. And it especially applies to the Duggar daughters Have you ever noticed that the girls, especially the older ones all wear their hair in the same way? This is because they believe that a woman should have long hair in loose curls. This is based on the teachings of Bill Gothard who runs The Advanced Training Institute. This is a very contrastive Christian homeschool system that the Duggars use for their kids. Gothard believes and preaches that woman should have long curly hair because it was more 'traditional and biblical.' Well, turns out that Gothard is a predator who taught his Christian followers this ideal because it was based on his own physical preferences. So gross. The Duggars have not commented on anything since news a bout Gothards ways came out, but they still stick to the same look. You can even find a tutorial online of the older Duggar girls showing how they curl their straight hair.
7 No To Worldly Content, Yes To Chess
This probably seems like a given, but to the extent of how far it goes may be a surprise to you. Nothing like isolating a child totally from the outside world to make sure they remain pure and ready to tackle any challenge. In the Duggar house you will not find any of the music that you may listen too, no romance novels, no to a lot of novels in fact, no movies or tv shows. Of course, if it is a Christian oriented book or movie it is allowed. The family makes their own music, as all of the kids are musically trained and they obviously stick to Christian music. They are allowed on the internet but their use is obviously limited and very controlled by Jim Bob and Michelle. Of course it makes sense that with these kind of rules the kids are not allowed on social media until they are engaged, the parents don't want them to see all the fun stuff they are missing out on in the Duggar household!
6 There Is A Lot Of Evidence They Employ Parenting Techniques From A Very Controversial Parenting Book
There is a parenting book called To Raise Up A Child and it is written by husband and wife duo Michael and Debi Pearl. It is a very controversial book with some obviously cruel parenting methods and has even been accused of being responsible for a number of child deaths. One of the big things in the book is blanket training, which both Michelle and Jill Duggar have been found to do. Blanket training is when you put a baby, under a year age on a blanket. And every time the baby tries to get off the blanket, it is swatted so that it begins to associate pain with leaving the blanket. Great parenting right? This starts when a kid is way too young to understand. Michelle explained this method in an interview defending it by saying 'It's not waiting until they do something wrong to correct them, but actually taking moments to train them. What they're learning is self control, they're learning to listen to Mommy's voice.' This is not the only parenting method the family employs from that awful book, but that is up ahead.
5 No To Dating, Yes To Courting
When we hear the word courting these days, what immediately comes to mind is some ole timey guy probably in a top hat bowing down to a lady. It is prim, proper, and antiquated. It is also the only contact that a Duggar can have with the opposite gender before they get married. Courting means that there is a romantic interest between the two people, but the rules are very different from dating. There is no physical touching except for the infamous Duggar side-hug. They are not allowed to go one dates without chaperones, it doesn't matter if their chaperones are a decade younger than them. In fact before their wedding night, the courting couple will have no privacy at all even in their written correspondence. As we mentioned, no messages are sent or received that Jim Bob and Michelle do not see. Sounds like a great time to be had by all involved.
4 Helping People Is Important, But Not If It Helps Unwed Mothers
The Duggar's are defined by their fundamental Christianity and their strict adherence to Christian 'rules and values.' Unfortunately, like a lot of religious followers they have cherry picked what works for them from the scripture. One of the worst things a person can be for the Duggar is an unwed mother. They do various charity work, a big part of it being spreading the gospel in impoverished countries because that is what people in poverty need, gospel. But when Jill who is trained as a midwife, wanted to help her unwed relative Susanna Keller give birth her parents forbade her. They did not think it would be good for Jill to be exposed to a woman in that condition. We are pretty sure this goes against some kind of midwife code of ethics. The whole family has cut off contact with Susanna, who is Anna Duggars younger sister because of this horrible moral transgression she made.
3 No Drinking Or Smoking Of Any Kind Upon Pain Of Disownment
This one is pretty obvious, did you really think for a second amongst all the other rules the Duggars have that smoking or drinking of any kind would be permitted? As far as we know and there really is no evidence to the contrary, the sweet nectar has never graced the lips of a Duggar. They have never woken up the day after a big night out and felt the shame and hangover that a lot of us define our youth by. Not the worst rule on this list, but not very practical in this day and age either. Also life is about fun, and drinking and smoking in moderation is nothing that isn't normal and is not morally wrong in any way. But of course the Duggars are a lot more pure than the rest of us.
2 No Dancing
No dancing of any kind at all. Michelle feels that dancing is too sensual and can lead to un pure thoughts and actions. Most of us who have been exposed to little kids, know that even little babies respond to music and start to do a little jig. It is almost human instinct, and it is an expression of joy. Little kids love to jump around and dance, and anyone that can look at that and decide that dancing is too sensual and bad has got something wrong. To ban dancing especially for young ones is almost unnatural. It's also just really sad! This is a family household and there just seems to be a lot of worry about the interactions between opposite gender siblings. Knowing what we know now about the Duggar family and what happened with Josh, it's all just very weird.
1 Worst Of All, No Halloween
Like a lot of devout Christians, Halloween is seen as a Satanic and dark holiday. Thats why we love it screamed the rest of us! While the Christian holidays are always a big to do in the Duggar household such as Christmas and Easter, Halloween has no place in the Duggar household. And even Christmas and Easter are probably celebrated much more different than you are used too. The Duggars obviously focus on the Christian aspect of the holidays, while the rest of us focus on the decorations and goodies lets be honest. Think of all the amazing Disney channel movie specials for Halloween that the Duggar kids have never gotten to experience. This just may be the worst rule on the list. Every kid should be able to celebrate Halloween!
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