Fans of the Duggar family usually love it when Jim Bob and Michelle share pictures of the littlest Duggars on Facebook, but some of these family photos occasionally leave their admirers questioning their parenting style.
The latest Duggar family photo that has drawn criticism is a snapshot of five of the younger Duggar children—two boys and three girls—riding bikes on the dirt road outside the family’s home. None of the kids are wearing helmets in the picture, and one of the girls (possibly Jennifer Duggar) has a pair of flip flops on her feet. All of the girls are wearing dresses and leggings, while the two boys are riding their bikes in blue jeans.
“A beautiful day for a bike ride!” the photo was captioned.
Some fans responded to the snapshot by expressing concern that the Duggar children are not wearing helmets.
“No helmets? Serious falls can occur in dirt roads as well,” one fan commented.
“Looks great! Looks like they forgot their helmets though,” another wrote.
As you can see, the boys are riding their bikes around in the image. However, all three of the Duggar girls are standing beside theirs. It’s unclear if the girls aren’t sitting on their bikes because their attire is making it difficult for them to ride, but some Duggar family fans think that this may be the case.
“Normally I’d agree that they’d be fine without helmets if some weren’t also riding in flip flops and a dress. I think those long dresses are more of a hazard than the lack of helmets,” one fan wrote.
“I’m more concerned about a long dress hindering their ability to petal, and the material getting stuck or wound up in the chain,” another commented.
However, sometimes the Duggar family chooses modesty over safety. In one of her old TLC blog posts, Michelle Duggar revealed that she’s the one who is responsible for creating her family’s controversial dress code. Early on in her relationship with Jim Bob, she told him that God was asking her to honor him by wearing modest clothing and to define herself as a woman “by choosing to wear dresses and skirts.” According to Michelle, Jim Bob actually challenged her skirts-and-dresses-only rule.
“So Jim Bob said, what about when we’re riding bicycles or going hiking? Do you think the Lord wants you to wear a dress then? How are you going to do that?” Michelle wrote.
She responded to her husband by saying that they would “cross that bridge when we get there,” and she eventually decided that wearing leggings underneath a dress was the answer to staying modest while being active.
However, some members of the Duggar family aren’t as concerned about modesty as Michelle is. According to the former 19 Kids and Counting star, she has struggled to explain the concept of modesty to her younger daughters.
“When the girls are little, they’re jumping and playing and not even thinking about modesty,” Michelle wrote in another TLC blog post.
“As a parent I would have to remind them, let’s not stand upside down on your head in that chair because you want to practice being ladylike. And they look at me with this puzzled looked like, what does that mean? I’ll explain, well, it means that you sit up, put your knees together and pull your skirt down over your knees.”
Michelle tries to teach her daughters to “be proper and be a little lady instead of a tomboy that climbs in the tree all day long,” but she does allow the little girls to play outside with their brothers. They just have to “be ladylike and modest when we’re doing it.”
Michelle will relax her family’s dress code in certain situations, as evidenced by this photo of Josie wearing pants without a skirt over them while she and Jana play in the snow.
A post shared by The Duggar Family (@duggarfam) on
Even though Josie is wearing pants, she isn’t breaking her family’s other big fashion rule: Girls must wear clothing that covers them from neck to knee, so they don’t stir up desires in men.
Do you think Michelle Duggar should also relax her family’s dress code when the girls ride bikes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]