When Jessa Duggar let her 2-year-old son Spurgeon sit atop a large riding lawnmower, it wasn’t the potentially dangerous equipment that had some of her fans concerned. As reported by In Touch Weekly, the “mommy police” came after the Counting On star for her potty training methods.
Just a few months ago, another mom from a famous TLC family, Little People, Big World star Tori Roloff, came under fire for sharing a photo of her baby boy, Jackson, sitting on a riding lawnmower with his dad. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, some people assumed that the mower was in motion — even though Tori later revealed that it was not — and the Roloff parents were slammed for putting little Jackson in danger. On Wednesday, Jessa Duggar shared a similar photo on her Instagram page, but she managed to avoid causing similar outrage by having her son Spurgeon sit on the lawnmower seat by himself, making it obvious that the machine was not on. She also shared a video of Spurgeon playing with the control levers on the motionless zero-turn mower.
“Is that fun?” Jessa can be heard asking Spurgeon as she films him, and he responds by nodding his head vigorously.
Jessa then asks Spurgeon if he wants to mow when he gets big, and he replies with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
“I’ve never know another little boy who’s more in love with mowers, tractors and skid steers,” Jessa captioned the Instagram post. “It makes his day if he gets to sit in the seat and ‘drive’ it.”
While Jessa Duggar managed to avoid criticism for allowing her son to play on a lawnmower, mommy-shamers still found a reason to question her parenting methods. Her post about how much her son loves machinery turned into a discussion about potty training when one of her followers suggested that Spurgeon should be “out of diapers by now.”
Jessa responded with some real talk about her potty training “philosophy.” According to the Duggar daughter, she doesn’t want to mess with big boy underwear and toilets until she believes that Spurgeon is fully capable of mastering every aspect of using the bathroom by himself.
“My philosophy is that if they aren’t able to do the whole thing from pulling their pants down and getting themselves on the toilet, to pulling their pants back up and washing their hands, then they aren’t ready,” Jessa wrote.
She went on to explain that she feels like it just ends up being too much work for parents when they push their kids to ditch diapers before they’re fully prepared to use the potty without help.
“Otherwise it feels like it’s actually the parent who’s potty training and doing all do the work. Lol! I’ve been around kids, and I’m aware of the signs of readiness. My 2 1/2 yr old is getting close, but not quite there, so we’re not rushing it.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s common for children between 18 and 24 months of age to show signs of being ready for potty training. However, the healthcare website doesn’t list a recommended age for kids to be out of diapers. Rather, it reassures parents that there’s “no rush” when it comes to potty training. This is because the stressful process can actually take more time if parents push their children to make the big change before they’re ready.
Jessa doesn’t just have healthcare professionals backing her up; a large number of her Instagram followers were quick to come to her defense, including many moms who reassured her that their own kids weren’t potty trained before age 3.
“Yes, we all want our kids out of diapers as soon as possible, but both of my boys weren’t ready until 3 1/2 years,” read one response to the follower who criticized Jessa. “You sound like someone who has never potty trained or you would know how laughable your comment is.”
“You do not have to explain how you choose to parent your kids to anyone,” read a comment addressed to Jessa. “If you as his mom feel he is not ready than he is not ready and that should be good enough.”
It looks like Jessa has learned that the best way to beat the mommy-shaming brigade at their game is to respond to them by calmly and thoroughly explaining her parenting views. By impressing other moms with the way she deals with criticism, the Counting On star has created an entire army of social media defenders who drown out the haters with their words of praise and support.