The Duggar family recently took the Mannequin Challenge, and they pretty much nailed it.
However, responses to the Duggars’ Mannequin Challenge video were mixed. Some fans were surprised to see the family embracing a “worldly” trend, and others criticized the Duggars for using a controversial child training technique to raise such well-disciplined kids.
Only a handful of Duggar children took part in the viral social media trend. To create a Mannequin Challenge video, participants strike a pose and remain completely still while someone with a camera walks among them and films. The result is similar to the “bullet time” scenes in movies like The Matrix. There are no bullets frozen in the air in the Duggar family’s YouTube video, but two of the male children are pointing toy guns at other participants.
According to the Duggar Family Blog, 20-year-old Josiah Duggar “directed” the video by getting 11 children to pose on the Duggars’ playground equipment. The kids look like they’re acting out a scene in an action movie as they pretend to run, scream, and shoot at each other.
Mannequin Challenge videos are usually backed by the Rae Sremmund song “Black Beatles,” but its lyrics are way too explicit and sexually-charged for the Duggar family. They chose to play the Christmas hymn “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in the background instead, which is a song that may be better suited for a Mannequin Challenge nativity scene.
The Duggars shared the Mannequin Challenge video on their family Facebook page, and many of their fans were impressed. They were amazed that 1-year-old Israel remained completely still inside the Duggar kids’ plastic castle, and many fans pointed out that a little dog in the background is also motionless. However, others were surprised that the Duggar family even knows what the the Mannequin Challenge is. This is because Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have a reputation for keeping their children very sheltered from the outside world.
“Wow! I’ve been following The Duggars for more than 10 years and this is the first time I see them copying something from ‘the world’. I’m not criticizing them by the way; I’m just surprised. They tend to be very traditional and old fashioned,” one of the family’s Facebook followers wrote.
“You let your kids on social media now? I think it wastes more time than tv!” another commented.
However, it’s no secret that the Duggars spend a lot of time on social media. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar keep fans updated on their family’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages, and all of the married Duggar kids (except Jinger) are active on social media. Josiah Duggar is the only unmarried Duggar child who has a public Instagram account, but he hasn’t posted anything on it since last Christmas.
During a February 2015 interview with Covenant Eyes, Jim Bob and Michelle revealed that they do let their kids use the internet, but an accountability partner must always be present to make sure that they don’t visit any websites that are off-limits. The computers also have special internet filters installed to keep the kids from seeing certain things.
Some fans of the Duggar family also responded to the Mannequin Challenge video by commenting on how disciplined the Duggar kids are.
“If there’s one thing the Duggar kids are taught well and taught early, it’s self-discipline. Even the little ones. I may not agree with all of their methods or ideology but it does seem to work for them. This game is all about self control,” one fan wrote.
“It’s called ‘blanket training‘. It’s a thing, look it up,” another responded.
“Blanket training” is a controversial practice described in To Train Up a Child, a book Michelle Duggar once endorsed. The technique involves placing a baby on a blanket and slapping them with a ruler whenever they try to crawl off of it. To avoid the pain of being hit, the baby will eventually stop trying to leave the blanket. Parents can then use the blanket like a wall-less playpen.
One Duggar fan called the practice “horrible,” but another disagreed.
“It’s not horrible it’s awesome and those kid’s are amazing very impressive & blanket training does work at any age… They still cuddle them yet they also teach them,” she wrote.
As ChicagoNow reports, Michelle admitted to blanket training her kids many years ago while participating in a guest chat on Christian mothers’ web forum. According to Gawker, one of the Duggar children who was sexually molested by Josh Duggar also told police that Jim Bob and Michelle spank their kids to make them behave. According to a police report, the victim informed an officer that the parents “have a rod” that they use on all their children.
However, fans of the Duggar family have never seen this happen on any of the Duggars’ reality shows — all they’ve seen are well-behaved, smiling kids who do cute things like create Mannequin Challenge videos.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]