Duggars Criticized For Controversial Parenting Methods: Are They Using Corporal Punishment To Train Children?

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Duggar Family

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have found themselves in another parenting controversy. In a recent interview with TLC, the couple opened up about their parenting shortcomings and it has re-opened a can of worms.

As the second oldest daughter in the family, the 25-year-old Duggar has plenty of experiences in taking care of young children. However, she admitted that “it’s totally different when it’s your own kid.” In fact, she revealed how she still asks for pieces of parenting advice from other mothers in her life in an effort improve her own skills.

While the couple is about to welcome their second child, Jill and husband Derick shared they are still facing challenges in taking care of their two-year-old son, Israel.  “We know that human nature is still there because he’s very manipulative,” Derick shared of their little boy. “He’ll say, ‘I love you, Papi,’ like if he’s really trying to get something to butter you up right before he asks for something.”

That comment sparked a heated discussion on The Duggar Family Facebook page with most fans criticizing the couple for focusing on training instead of nurturing the kid. One Facebook user interpreted his “human nature” remark to mean that they have yet to fully train the kid, saying: “Izzy’s human nature is here to stay. You can not blanket train or beat it out of him. That will only create a human being with mental health issues. Yes, your child is manipulating you. That is what kids do as a means to survive. Kids learn to manipulate as a way to get their needs met and for attention.”

Another fan wrote “It’s terrible to think of a baby as manipulative,” citing Michael and Debi Pearl’s parenting guide evangelical Christians use to teach obedience. According to InTouch Weekly, the book titled To Train Up a Child — Child Training for the 21st Century suggests that parents use corporal punishment in order to “train” children to obey their parents.

The Pearls’ Blanket Training

In the same interview, Jill revealed she’s been asking for parenting tips from her mom, Michelle, who has long been accused of using some of the controversial methods from the book to raise her 19 children. This includes blanket training.

Blanket training, for those who do not know, is one of the first training methods that the Pearls offer to parents. It uses swaddling or wrapping a baby in a blanket but not for warmth and security. Rather, it is to discipline by hitting them with a plastic instrument or a ruler when they attempt to roll over or crawl off the edge of a bed, for example. This way, the child will learn to be wholly submissive.

The books’ other training methods include giving cold water baths, putting children outside in cold weather and withholding meals. Carolyn Castiglia of Babble claims the book has already caused deaths in the past with most parents convicted of murder. Hana Williams, the most recent victim of the Pearls’ methods, died of battery, starvation, and hypothermia.

Despite the gruesome result of the teachings in their book, the Pearls reportedly declined to bear any responsibility or show any remorse for promoting such terrifyingly dangerous parenting ideas. This is apparently the case for the Duggars as well.

The Duggar Family’s Parenting Methods

In December 2015, we can recall the family uploaded now-deleted photos of little Izzy wrapped up tightly in a blanket. He looked like he was crying and screaming which many fans believed was another form of blanket training.

Previously, Jill and Derick also faced criticisms for sharing multiple photos of their son with reddish-purple spots around one of his eyes. Fans noted the marks first appeared on the little boy’s face in December 2015, while he and his parents were celebrating Christmas on the mission field in El Salvador. Jill did not disclose the cause of the markings until over a year later. This February, Jill wrote on their family blog that Israel had suffered an eye infection.

Israel loved his 1st Christmas! #israeldaviddillard #firstchristmas #christmas2015

A post shared by Derick Dillard (@derickdillard) on

With another baby is on the way, Jill and Derick will soon have double the trouble on their hands. The expectant mother, however, is hopeful that her second child will have a positive effect on their eldest’s behavior.

“Israel is ready to be a big brother,” she said. “I think it will be good for him, too. He’ll learn to share.”

Any thoughts about the latest Duggar family news? Leave your comments below!

Also Read: Duggars Criticized Over Jinger’s Daring Fashion Choice & Jessa’s $20 ‘Modesty’ Workshop

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