15 Rules The Duggar Family Must Follow

The Duggar family is one that a lot of people seem fascinated by. They were one of the first reality TV families back in the early 2000’s. They appeared in several one-hour TV specials for TLC and Discovery Health about growing up in a large family.

In 2009 they started their first season of their TLC reality show. Over the years we have watched Duggars be born, get married and then watch them have little babies of their own. We have been given a first-row seat though to some of the families bizarre rules and regulations.

The Duggars are devoted independent Baptist from Arkansas. The family has made headlines over the years for some of the crazy rules the family has to follow. Some of those rules are that all of the girls must keep their hair long and curly because that is the way that Dad, Jim-Bob likes it. Another Duggar rule that is always being talked about is the families rule that no one is allowed to date. Instead, those Duggar children of age to be married (17 and 18) or encouraged to enter into a courtship after their potential mate has been vetted by Mom and Dad. It’s said that courtship better prepares you for marriage.

Whether we love or hate them The Duggars and their strict-cult like upbringing is surely fascinating!

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15 The Beach Is For Sinners

We know that the Duggars value modesty above everything. We know they don’t wear pants, shorts and swim in long dresses. But what we’ve also learned is that the Duggars also are banned from going to the beach?


Well that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? The beach is filled with bikinis, boobs, chest, legs and all things evil. In 2012 Michelle Duggar explained that the family was not allowed to go to the beach or really any event where public swimming took place because it was simply too hard for the guys to not look at all the scantily clad women and that her sons (and husband) just didn’t need to be tempted in that way. She said that for her boys it was just too hard for them to keep their eyes averted.

14 You Can Hug... But Only For 3 Seconds

Joseph and Kendra Duggar are the newest wedded couple to join the family. During this season of the family’s reality show Counting On we saw Joseph plan a romantic courtship proposal for Kendra. For this momentous occasion, Joseph decided to take Kendra and about 15 other people to a local car auction where they bid and bought used cars. But really Joseph just wanted to get Kendra across town to the land where childhood home once stood. When Joseph popped the courtship question the constantly giggling Kendra said yes. On the way back the couple discussed some of the courtship rules that they would have. One of those would be the infamous Duggar side hug, but with a twist. The couple decided to set a 3 second time limit on the intimate moment.

13 Top 40 Is Out Of The Question

Not Allowed To Listen To Modern Music

If you have ever caught an episode or two of the Duggars you will notice that they are really into music. But not just any kind of music. Like classic hymn style music with violins and pianos and choir style singing. You won’t ever catch a Katy Perry song on in the house or the Duggars “dabbing” and that’s because another rule the Duggars must follow is no dancing and no listening to modern music.

For one they feel that most modern music promotes sex and drugs and that just does not jive with their values. Instead, the family prefers Christian music, classical music or bluegrass.

Jill one of the older daughters gave an interview once where she said the family did not think it was appropriate to dance and that as a family they have decided not to stir up desire by shaking body parts around.

12 You Must Always Go To "Bed" With Your Husband

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have been married for over 30 years. And so far there has been no hint of marriage scandal. So what is the secret to their happy marriage? Well according to Michelle it’s found in this bizarre rule that was told to her when she was a 17-year-old bride.

Always go to “bed” with your husband when he asks and don’t just roll over and let him have at you while you plan tomorrow’s to-do list you must also be “joyful” in doing this.

Michelle says that when her own daughters were getting married she told them no matter how tired they were or how pregnant or gross they were feeling that it’s their duty as a wife to always fulfill the intimate needs of their spouse.

11 Chaperones Are A Must

Over the past few years we have seen a bunch of Duggar weddings and luckily for us, we have been able to see all of this go down on their TV show. Once we are introduced to a boring couple like Jill and Derek or it’s been revealed that the couples love song of choice is actually a hymn we are also introduced to the third or fourth wheel that must accompany the couple everywhere until they say their “I do’s” in front of a 1000 plus people.

During the courtship period for the couple (which usually last about 90 days) the couple is not allowed to ever be alone together. Michelle says that during the courtship period that emotions make you all hot and bothered (my words, obviously not hers) and to prevent any physical boundaries from being crossed the couples pick a Duggar parents to go with them and if Jim-Bob or Michelle are unavailable a sibling must go with them on all of their dates.

10 Hide 'n' Seek Is A Definite No-No

Not Allowed To Play Hide 'n' Seek

After the news about older son Josh came out a few years ago the Duggars did an interview where they explained what rules they put down to keep there other 25 sons from being child predators.

Both the Duggar parents and a few of the older girls made the TV interview rounds where they blamed Josh’s indiscretions on him being a curious pubescent boy. According to Jim-Bob and Michelle, one of the family rules is that the children are not allowed to play co-ed hide ‘n’ seek. No two children regardless of age are allowed to go off alone and they also put locks on the bedroom doors.

Another family rule to safeguard against any other issues is that only girls are allowed to babysit girls and boys are only allowed to babysit the boys.

9 Bathing Suits Are Not Allowed (Obviously)

Not Allowed To Wear Bathing Suits

The Duggars have some pretty serious modesty rules mostly for the girls but every once in awhile a modest dressing rules go both ways. One of those rules is what the family wears when they go swimming. Back in my day of “modesty” religious living when I would go swimming I was allowed to wear a bathing suit but I had to wear a big baggy t-shirt over top of that swimsuit, but once it got wet…well, what was the point?

The Duggars took that into consideration apparently and when they go swimming they wear something called “wholesome swimwear” which is a big dark colored dress over top of a pair of board short shorts and a t-shirt.

Michelle Duggar believes that in society we think it’s ok to be fully clothed some places, but not others. For this family, they believe modesty should extend to every place we go.

8 Single Moms Are Banned

Not Allowed To Interact With Unwed Mothers

In 2015 it was alleged that The Duggars instituted another bizarre and extremely hurtful and judgmental rule. Oldest daughter Jill is a practicing midwife. In 2015 Susanna Keller who is the sister of Anna Duggar (married to Josh) found herself a 22-year-old pregnant and unwed mother.

We know of course that the Duggars are very against any sort of physical intimacy before marriage so to have a family member find themselves in this predicament cause quite a stir. Susanna was very close to the Duggar family and Jill wanted to help Susanna give birth.

But once Jim-Bob and Michelle found out about the situation they reportedly banned Jill from helping her. They felt that it would be very inappropriate and potentially dangerous to Jill’s soul to be exposed to an unmarried mother. And that wasn’t all. Jim-Bob also banned her from every appearing or being mentioned on their show.

7 What's This Thing Called TV?

Not Allowed To Watch TV

This next insane (maybe) rule might come as a surprise since The Duggars have spent the last 10 plus years on television and have made a fortune, BUT the family is not allowed to watch mainstream television shows and don’t own a TV.

Michelle Duggars explained a few years ago that a family friend cautioned Michelle and Jim-Bob after they got married to not get a TV during their first years as a married couple and so they didn’t. But after that first year they raced out to Circuit City and bought one, but after three weeks they noticed that their communication had dropped and that TV was filled with nothing but salacious trash and that’s saying a lot since this was before reality TV days.

Over the years the Duggars have brought in TV’s and then tossed them out again. As a general rule, the family is not allowed to watch anything other than religious programming. I wonder if that makes their own show off limits?

6 Group Chats Only

During the courtship period, one of the other bizarre rules the family must follow is that all text between the couple is group text. So that means Mom and Dad are also reading everything that is going on digitally with your relationship.

The reason is pretty obvious. The Duggars have extreme rules about physical intimacy before marriage and therefore have put down some pretty rigorous and weird rules to maintain that. Jim-Bob and Michelle want to make sure there isn’t any kind of sexting happening or plans for secret tryst happening.

It’s been said that during Jessa and Ben’s courtship period Ben sent Jessa a text message that said “Give me a ring!” and Dad jumped in declaring “No ring yet!”

Gosh, could you imagine having absolutely zero privacy? Now I see why they get married so quickly.

5 They Have A Car Rule

It’s no secret that the Duggars have some bizarre rules when it comes to their children dating. One of the most bizarre was revealed in the episode where Joseph and Kendra officially start courting. The couple is in the car driving together and before the courtship proposal one of the younger Duggar boys is sitting in between them in the front seat of a pickup truck.

But shortly after the proposal at the field with the concrete slab and sewer the couple climb back into the truck and Kendra gets to slide almost all the way over to Joseph. Apparently, one of the rules during that “just friends” phase of the relationship is that they can’t sit next to each other in a car that privilege is reserved for those siblings that have gone official with their partners.

4 Facebook? Instagram? NOPE!

Poor Jana Duggar. In a family that values marriage and procreation the way the Duggars do I can’t imagine the feelings of inadequacy that may plague 27-year-old Jana Duggar. She’s had to watch for the last several years as her sisters, many of whom are younger then her run off, get married, buy houses and pop out babies. And instead of getting to do the same thing she’s just stuck at home minding the children.

And to add insult to injury when it’s late at night she’s not even allowed to just relax to a funny viral video found on her Facebook feed. Why? Well, the rule at the Duggar house is, unless you are married or engaged you are not allowed to have access to social media. Why?

I guess they figure those kids might secretly start planning their escape with the help of their Twitter followers.

3 Divorce Is Banned

It was the scandal that was heard around the world in 2015. The Duggars have been in the spotlight for a very long time and have maintained a pretty scandal-free existence. That is until the revelations about their oldest Josh came to light in 2015.

It was first revealed that when Josh was a teenager he molested 5 girls, 4 of which were his sisters. While everyone was still reeling from that revelation just a few months later it came out that Josh was on a website for married men who were looking to have affairs and that he assaulted a porn star that he slept with.

Josh, married to his wife Anna since 2008 had 4 children at the time. There was speculation that Anna was going to leave Josh but did not. The reason? Divorce is banned in the Duggar household. Instead, they sent Josh off to rehab and moved Anna and the children in.

And maybe it worked because Josh and Anna just welcomed their 5th child. Rumor has it they named it Band-Aid. Get it?

2 Halloween Is Demonic

Not Allowed To Celebrate Halloween

Just a few days ago families from around the US put on their scariest, creepiest, funniest or cutest costume and went door to door asking for candy. One family noticeably missing from this holiday was The Duggar clan.

That’s right, the Duggars are banned from celebrating Halloween. This particular rule I have first-hand knowledge of because I too was not allowed to participate in Halloween stuff as a child. For a sect of Christians, they believe that God does not want them to participate in a Holiday that is about witchcraft, magic, and horror. Michelle has said that she believes that this “demonic” realm is a space that God does not want us to participate in and so they don’t.

Instead, the family does do harvest time activities like corn mazes and pumpkin patches. They also go to their local church where they are in a “safe environment” and let the kids get candy.

1 Of Course No Birth Control

Not Allowed To Use Birth Control

The Duggars have a rule that none of the (married) women can take birth control. I mean does that rule really surprise you? Michelle is the mother of 19.

The reasons The Duggars don’t allow birth control? Well, it’s two-fold. For one Michelle has always said that early on their marriage they studied the Bible and found that children were always a blessing from God and wanted instead to leave the number of children they had up to God.

But it was later revealed that shortly after Jim-Bob and Michelle had their oldest son Josh that Michelle started taking birth control. Shortly after she found herself unexpectedly pregnant while taking the pill. Unfortunately, Michelle had a miscarriage and their doctor told them that the miscarriage could have been due to the birth control she was taking when she got pregnant.

The couple immediately decided to ban birth control indefinitely for not only Michelle but for their married children as well.

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