The Duggar family is under fire again for their controversial parenting methods. Because they have been in the public eye for a long time, putting their family life out there on 19 Kids and Counting and now Counting On, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have been closely examined on how they treat their kids and organize their family life. So when Michelle gave a talk on being a mother to 19 kids this weekend, Counting On fans started to question her parenting philosophy.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are famous for having an extremely large family. They decided not to use family planning and contraception earlier in their marriage. That has resulted in 19 kids, plus one more child when they decided to take custody of their nephew, Tyler Duggar.
Having 19 kids means that Michelle cannot be there for every moment of every child. To make sure that everyone’s needs are met, she came up with “a buddy system,” which makes an older child responsible for their younger siblings. Some onlookers may think that it puts too much pressure on underage children, but the Duggar matriarch expresses that they love the responsibility.
“The older ones just loved it because they thought, ‘Wow, I’m big. I’m a helper. I get to be a helper for this little guy or this little girl.’ And the little guys absolutely loved it because it’s like a mentoring relationship,” she said on the TLC blog. “It’s so much fun to have that older one to be your buddy. I have noticed the ones that were teamed up and worked together a lot have such a sweetness in their relationship.”
To share decades of experience as a mother, Michelle spoke to a crowd this past week.
However, many Counting On viewers spoke out in the comment section to point out the fact that she may not be the mother she claims to be.
“I love the show but let’s face it you couldn’t have raised such a big family without the older girls who did so much of the work,” a fan wrote.
“It is not a child’s job to be a mom for the younger siblings,” another spoke up. “A child should do chores, have fun and go to school, homework is their job, not to be a mom’s replacement just because the parents were so selfish that they decided to have child after child.”
Others spoke specifically on how Michelle reportedly weaned babies early so that they can be passed on to the older siblings.
“Wow I absolutely do not agree that a baby at 6 [months] should be weaned and then you work on its replacement,” a fan commented. “Having older daughters help is one thing but to just basically adopt out your infant is ridiculous.”
Check out Jana Duggar, the oldest unmarried Duggar, with her younger siblings.
Many of the older siblings are getting married off, which means that more and more is falling on Jana Duggar, who has still yet to publicly court. The trailer for the new season of Counting On shows that the married and courting Duggars will be the focus, not the ones still living in Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s household.
The new season is set to premiere on February 26, 2018.