Jessa Duggar filmed a Q&A with her parents, former 19 Kids and Counting stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, for a virtual family conference. Jessa asked her parents to share their advice on talking to children about tough topics, including “body safety,” puberty, and sexuality. Michelle ended up doing most of the talking.
Jessa’s chat with her mother and father was shared on the YouTube page for the Institute in Basic Life Principles, the Christian ministry that many members of the Duggar family belong to. One topic Jessa asked her parents to speak about is how they teach their kids about “body safety, body changes, and God’s design for sexuality.”
Michelle responded by saying that she has placed a list of body safety rules on the wall of the family’s bathroom to help her kids remember them. She revealed that one of her older daughters originally came up with the list, and she simply tweaked it a bit. Michelle shared a few of the rules, most of which were centered on her children’s behavior in their own home.
“You go to the restroom by yourself when you shower and you bathe, and you lock the door so that, you know, nobody accidentally walks in,” she said.
The mother-of-19 said that the list also includes the Duggars’ strict dress code.
“You don’t wear something low so that when you bend over, you’re going to play peekaboo,” Michelle continued. “Or something that’s too short that’s going to, you know, reveal when you’re sitting down or whatever.”
Michelle did not say whether these rules were influenced by the actions of her oldest son, Josh Duggar. When he was a teenager, Josh molested four of his sisters. Two of his victims, Jessa and Jill, spoke publicly about his actions on The Kelly File. They both downplayed his behavior, but Jill’s husband, Derick Dillard, later described her as “an abuse victim.”
Michelle and Jim Bob never mentioned what happened in their home while talking to Jessa about body safety.
Michelle revealed what Jim Bob says to their children when he’s explaining why it’s so important for them to protect their bodies. She said that her husband tells them that God has created them to be “a special gift” for their future spouses.
“One day, you’re going to get married, Lord willing. You’ll have a spouse, and you’re going to be this present that’s wrapped,” Michelle said.
“Because the scripture talks about, you know, your body is his and hers is yours, and so you want to keep that special package wrapped, nice and clean and neat.”
Michelle also spoke about how she talks to her daughters about the changes that they experience when they go through puberty. She said that she takes them shopping for toiletries like deodorant, powder, perfume, and even acne medication. She reassures them that puberty is a “good thing,” and she chats with them about how they’ll start feeling and thinking differently. She admitted that she encourages her daughters to talk to her about their experiences so that she can share her advice and pray with them about it.
Jessa also asked Jim Bob and Michelle about how they protect their children from being exposed to things that they don’t want them to see on smartphones and computers. Michelle revealed that she closely monitors her kids’ internet activity on their devices. She also said that, once again, communication is key. She and her husband encourage their children to talk to them if they see something that causes them to “be tempted and stumble.”