21 Strange Duggar Family Rules That Are Somehow Still a Thing

The Duggar family’s unusual dating (sorry, courting) rules had been well documented long before they were embroiled in scandal.

Once Josh Duggar’s child molestation history – and brazen adultery – was exposed, the family has been under a microscope.

Yet, despite his hypocrisy, and the fact that their every move is under heavier scrutiny than ever, they weather every storm.

TLC axed 19 Kids & Counting, only to quickly come back with Counting On, featuring the same Duggars and their beliefs.

Well, sans the radioactive Josh.

That’s a bridge too far for even the hard core believers. But when it comes to the Arkansas family’s core values, they stand firm.

Their belief system certainly requires conviction in order to practice, since their list of policies for love and life is not short.

Despite Joy breaking rules, Jinger’s new life in L.A. and Derick Dillard’s sex on the brain (so weird), the rules are no joke.

Here are 21 of the most bizarre.

1. Dates Without Chaperones

Duggar daughters
The Duggar parents often accompany their kids on dates in order to maintain “accountability” and “keep things from going in the wrong direction,” per Jim Bob. The girls are fine with this, as being alone with men puts them in grave “moral danger.” When the parents aren’t available, their older siblings will often tag along, making every date a group date and a family affair.

2. Non-Group Texts

Jessa duggar and ben seewald engagement
Even in the kids’ late teens and early 20s, mom and dad are creeping on their text messages. When Ben Seewald jokingly wrote to fiancee Jessa, “Give me a ring,” Jim Bob actually jumped in on the group text, writing “No ring yet.” With a smiley face emoticon. Seriously, he did that. Whatever you think of him, Jim Bob needs his own Instagram so he can start posting screen shots of this stuff.

3. Hugs on the Chest

Derick and jill dillard pregnant
This moment you see here between Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard would not have been permitted until the couple was married. Side hugs are the preferred method of PDA in order to prevent any further temptation or “hanky panky,” as has been well documented on 19 Kids and Counting. The Duggars love their side hugs so hard … though not too too hard, lest they lead to full-frontal hugging. And any touching beyond that? Save it for your wedding night.

4. Riding in Cars Together

Kendra caldwell joseph duggar
It’s no secret that the Duggars have strict dating rules. We’ve talked about some already and there are plenty more to come on this list. But one of the most bizarre was revealed only recently in an episode in which Joseph and Kendra Caldwell officially started courting. They were seen in a car, driving together … with one of the younger Duggar sitting in between them in the front seat of a pickup truck. Shortly after the courtship “proposal,” she was allowed to slide almost all the way over to Joseph. Not close enough for any inappropriate touching, obviously, but without another dude in between, which is mandatory during the “just friends” phase. Wow.

5. Co-Ed Hide and Seek

In the wake of the Josh Duggar molestation scandal going public years later, Jim Bob and Michelle gave in interview in which they talked about all of the things they did in its aftermath. In between blaming Josh’s indiscretions on being a curious pubescent boy, they discussed family rules that resulted from this, such as the children no longer being allowed to play co-ed hide and seek. That’s right, no two children regardless of age are allowed to go off alone, even in the context of this childhood pastime. How much that really helps the situation they were responding to remains to be seen.

6. Alcohol

Jill duggar and derick dillard together
This is probably an obvious one if you know anything about the Duggars. The family does not smoke or drink. They do, however, enjoy the occasional sugary dessert or getting high on life and love.

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Duggar Family: Still Abusing Kids With Parenting Methods?

Whether you’re a fan of Counting On or you simply watch the Duggars from a safe distance out of morbid curiosity, you have some sense of who and what you’re dealing with.

Put another way, you’re probably aware that the family’s belief system, and by extension, their child-rearing methods have been a frequent source of controversy.

Practices such as “blanket training” and other forms of systematic abuse have led to calls for boycotts and even demands for a full CPS investigation in the past.

But the Duggars have refused to shy away or even issue a public apology, which isn’t surprising – and now it looks like these lessons are being handed down.

According to a report from In Touch Weekly, it looks as though the torch is being passed from one generation to the next, in disturbing fashion.

Are Jim Bob and Michelle’s grown children now practicing the same techniques that were used to quite literally whip them into shape in their own youth?

Understandably, fans are terrified that this continued behavior and methodology may eventually result in someone paying the ultimate price.

1. The Originators

Jim bob duggar and michelle duggar picture
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have strict views on child-rearing and family hierarchies that were formed in part by their involvement with the unfortunately-named Bill Gothard’s Institute for Basic Life Principles.

2. The Fallen Idol

Bill gothard
Those who follow Gothard may now that he got what was coming to him. He is now a disgraced former minister who was drummed out his own organization after being accused of abuse and sexual assault by dozens of employees.

3. The Stubborn Ones

Jim bob and michelle today
Despite the scandal, and attempts to distance themselves from him from an image standpoint, Jim Bob and Michelle have remained true to Gothard’s teachings, including two beliefs that have attracted a considerable amount of criticism in recent years.

4. Full Quivers

The duggar family picture
Gothard is the originator of the Quiverfull Movement, which holds and practices the belief that women are put on this planet for the sole purpose of birthing as many children as possible.

5. A Dangerous Proposition

Michelle duggar crazy eyes
This isn’t a vaguely-defined “the bigger family, the better” sort of deal. According to Gothard’s teachings, women are to continue having children until they literally cannot bear any more of them. That means they are expected to conceive well into middle-age, regardless of threats to their health or the health of their offspring.

6. Casting Pearls Before Swine

Michael and debi pearl
It was also Gothard who directed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to the controversial teachings of self-proclaimed child-rearing experts Debi and Michael Pearl.

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Joy-Anna Duggar & Austin Forsyth: Was Their Marriage Arranged By Jim Bob?

It’s been over two years since Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth married in the sort of lavish, massively-attended ceremony for which their family has become known.

And it seems as though the young couple has been enjoying a life of quiet domestic bliss ever since.

Though Joy recently suffered a miscarriage, insiders say Austin has been a tremendous source of support.

The 25-year-old is making a way for himself in one of the few career fields Jim Bob approves of (real estate).

But there’s reason to believe that when they first met, Joy and Austin were not so thrilled with the idea of exchanging vows.

In fact, many fans believe that Joy was forced to marry Austin by heir overbearing fathers.

Here’s everything we know about the situation – and Austin’s surprisingly controversial father – so far:

1. The Not-So-Happy Couple?

Joy anna duggar wedding dress
Joy and Austin’s wedding looked just like every other Duggar ceremony. But one major difference may have been the fact that the couple wasn’t at the altar by choice,

2. The Duggars’ Version

Joy forsyth austin forsyth
The “official” account of Joy and Austin’s courtship is more than a little creepy, but it’s one the Duggars have been repeating for years.

3. Do the Math

Joy anna duggar and austin forsyth in a car
According to that version, Joy and Austin met through the church (of course), and there was an instant attraction between them … despite the fact that Austin was four years Joy’s senior.

4. Yikes

Joy anna duggar and austin forsyth rehearse
Not a big deal now that they’re adults, but considering Joy and Austin grew up attending the same church, they were probably pretty young the first time they laid eyes on one another.

5. The Wait Is Over

Joy and austin
Thankfully, Joy and Austin held off on starting a romantic relationship until after she turned 18. But that doesn’t mean they were able to avoid controversy.

6. Or Is It?

Joy and austin before their wedding
As you probably know, the Duggars have strict rules governing romantic relationships. The most famous of which is that virtually all forms of physical contact among non-married couples are prohibited.

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The Duggars: Who’s Courting? Pregnant? Next In Line? [THE UPDATES KEEP COMING!]

Counting On is basically the reality TV equivalent of Game of Thrones:

On each show, there are roughly four million characters, and it’s often difficult to keep track of who’s doing what … or whom.

The Duggars take a slightly more conservative view on coupling than the residents of Westeros, but all the same, courtships, weddings, pregnancies, and births are a big part of what keeps their core audience tuning in.

So here’s a rundown of what some of Jim Bob and Michelle’s kids are up to these days.

Don’t worry – unlike Thrones, the Duggars won’t be leaving your TV screen anytime soon. Not as long as they continue to make sure Earth’s population growth continues unabated.

UPDATE: The Duggar drama never ends! We’ll continue adding the latest developments to the end of this gallery!

1. The Gang’s All Here

A duggar family pic
The Duggars are an almost impossibly large family. With the adoption of Tyler Duggar last year, Jim Bob and Michelle’s brood swelled to 20.

2. The Next Generation

Duggar girls photo
And then there are the grandkids. That number currently sits at 12 for Jim Bob and Michelle.

3. More on the Way!

Jessa duggar at 31 weeks
Of course, as is usually the case with the Duggars, there are more babies on the way. Jessa Duggar is roughly 31 weeks pregnant at the moment.

4. She’s Not Alone!

Joseph duggar kendra caldwell image
Joseph Duggar’s wife Kendra is also expecting a child. The couple just welcomed their first child in June of 2018.

5. The Race Is On!

Josh and anna duggar photo
Of course, Josh and Anna Duggar still hold the record for providing Jim Bob and Michelle with the most grand-Duggars.

6. Aggressive Expansion

Josh and anna duggar with family
The couple welcomed their fifth child in 2018, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be letting up anytime soon.

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