Raising 19 kids is hard work. Over the last three decades, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have devised a way to make sure that they not only raise kids under their religion but also in a way that keeps the order around the house. But some Counting On fans think that they went overboard in assigning all the household chores to their kids. As older girls like Jill, Jessa, Joy-Anna, and Jinger Duggar leave home to start their own families, it looks like Michelle is encouraging her younger children to pull their weight.
The fans of the Duggar family are familiar with the fact that the parents make sure that each of their children is responsible for certain aspects of work around the house.
"Everyone has jurisdictions, or chores, in our house," Michelle said in an interview with Parenting Magazine. "We all have our areas where we are responsible [...] They all feel like they are a very important part of life, and that teaches responsibility."
Jim Bob Duggar also chimed in that they "don't give [their kids] allowances" and instead "motivate them for initiative and responsibility."
That means that the kids, as young as 4 or 5, have been working without compensation around the house.
The latest photo that the Duggars uploaded on Facebook sparked the debate around whether it is ethical for the parents to put all the work on their children.
"[D]oes [Michelle Duggar] ever really do anything? She's always taking pictures and narrating but the kids are doing the work from a young age," one fan commented on the picture. "Have you not seen them sweeping and doing hard work at like 2 years old? Have you not seen the little 9-year-olds cooking dinner for 15+people?"
"The show has been on the air for how many seasons, and yet, not once has Michelle cooked a meal," another remarked. "It's always the kids doing it while mom and dad sit around saying 'I'm hungry where's dinner'. It's sad really. Chores are one thing but making a 1-year-old use a vacuum or mop that's way bigger than them isn't right."
Other fans observed how the younger kids are now having to step up to the plate as older daughters are leaving home after getting married. Since the Duggar family does not encourage their children to pursue higher education, the only way that the kids have been able to leave their childhood home was when they tied the knot.
The eldest daughter still living at home is Jana Duggar. She is often called the "Cinderella Duggar" for having been seen on Facebook doing a lot of work around the house. She will turn 28 this coming January.