The Duggar family doesn’t usually go into specifics about how they discipline their children, but fans are worried that the 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On stars follow the parenting advice of an extremely controversial couple. Could the reality TV family be using the Pearl method to train their children?
In Touch Weekly is reporting that Michael and Debi Pearl – authors of To Train Up A Child – advise using corporal punishment to make children obedient, but there is more to their method than just spanking.
In their book, the Pearls advocate training methods that include using wooden spoons and plastic tubing to hit babies and toddlers, while using belts and paddles with older kids. They also write about exposing children to cold weather and withholding meals as part of the disciplinary process.
— The Fame (@TheFameChannel) March 19, 2018
The theory is all about “training” children with pain before they disobey, and inflicting punishment until a child no longer has the breath to complain.
Police have linked the deaths of at least three children to the Pearl method, and a Change.org petition asking Amazon to stop selling the couple’s controversial book garnered 145,000 signatures.
No parent in the large Duggar family has ever admitted to using corporal punishment, but there is some evidence that points to the reality TV family using some of the Pearl’s techniques.
Jill and Derick Dillard appeared to have used “blanket training” – a method from To Train Up A Child – on their oldest son Samuel.
Blanket training is the method of putting a child in a blanket and swatting them if they attempt to move off of the blanket. Back in 2016, a Reddit user pointed out some now-deleted social media photos of Israel wrapped in a blanket and visibly upset.
In an old version of the original Duggar family blog, Michelle revealed in the frequently asked questions that she uses blanket training, but never specified whether or not she used corporal punishment. And, the Fort Rock Retreat Center – owned by Joy-Anna Duggar’s in-laws – will be hosting “family camps” led by the Pearls later this year.
Jim Bob & Michelle Ripped For Promoting Book Linked To Child Abuse Scandal
Joy-Anna Duggar came under fire when her in-laws announced they are hosting a couple known for preaching physical discipline at their Fort Rock Family Camp and Retreat Center.
— Andi Lutz (@MrsAndiLutz) February 13, 2018
Fans have also noticed a redacted police report from Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal that seemed to reveal that Jim Bob and Michelle spanked their children with a rod.
“Inv. Taylor asked [redacted] about getting spanked,” the report reads. “[Redacted] said that when [redacted] is bad that [redacted] mother and dad spank [redacted]. Inv. Taylor asked what they use to spank. [Redacted] said they have a rod.”
Another Redditor claimed that the Duggars had To Train Up A Child in the “family resources” section of their website for years, but it seemingly disappeared once the book started making headlines.
The Duggar family returns with new episodes of Counting On this summer on TLC.