Why Fans Think the Duggars Use a Controversial Parenting Method That Could Hurt Their Kids

Since 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggars have caused uproar with their ultra-conservative practices. We first started following Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar when they were still having children, and they were critiqued for their antiquated dating practices and strange ways of dressing. Even so, we couldn’t help but get sucked in to the Duggar way of life. And thanks to Counting On, we’re still following the eldest Duggar kids and their own families, too.

It comes as no surprise that the Duggars are still under fire — and it seems fans have taken a particular issue with their alleged childrearing practices. And there’s one parenting method in particular that their followers fear they could be using on their kids.

What is blanket training?

As noted before, the Duggars take an extremely conservative approach to life — and it had many assuming they were in support of the childrearing practice of blanket training. In Touch Weekly reports the method was outlined in Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, To Train Up a Child. This book often circles in evangelical Christian communities and has methods included in the manual that supposedly help kids learn obedience.

As for blanket training, the Pearl family’s book suggests placing a young child on a blanket for an extended period of time. Any time the child attempts to roll or crawl off of the blanket, parents are encouraged to strike the child with a flexible ruler. Eventually, the child will learn through punishment that they need to stay on the blanket.

Fans think Michelle Duggar used it — and they also believe Jill is following in her footsteps

As for why fans think the Duggars abide by this practice, according to Inquistr, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are big fans of the Pearl family. The publication notes the couple has encouraged other parents to read the book that encouraged the blanket training practice. And a fan blog of the Duggars also explains that Michelle used a similar tactic to blanket training that required the kids to sit quietly for long periods of time. It didn’t specify whether there was any punishment here for the child disobeying, but Michelle did note that “what they’re learning is self-control. … They’re learning to obey Mommy’s voice.” Michelle also discussed blanket training in in her book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting!.

Some fans also think Jill might be using the practice of blanket training, too. Her husband, Derick Dillard, has posted on social media about “training” their kids before. And The Hollywood Gossip notes some of Jill’s photos of her kids in blankets has given her followers the idea that she utilizes the Pearl obedience method.

Jessa has also been slammed for ‘training’ her kids

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It seems Jill’s not the only Duggar to be under fire for her parenting. Jessa wasn’t afraid to clap back at a fan on Instagram who tried to call her out for “training” her kids just as her other family members have done. To that, Romper notes she commented, “We train for occupations, we train for jobs, we hire professional trainers for fitness… and we train/teach our kiddos in right behavior in the hopes that they will grow up to be caring, thoughtful and responsible adults.”

Jessa is frequently criticized for her parenting techniques, and Romper notes some fans have even gone so far as to say she’s providing an unsanitary and unsafe environment for her kids. But others are supportive of Jessa’s clap back to those who critique her. As one fan commented, “I love that you comment on negative comments and defend yourself 💕 you are a great mom. Dont ever let ANYONE. tell you different.”

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