Michelle Duggar "Blanket Training" Methods Under Fire From Critics

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Ever since the Josh Duggar sexual abuse scandal broke, the beliefs and child-rearing practices of the Duggars have been the subject of intense scrutiny.

Yesterday, a police report filed by officers investigating Josh surfaced online, revealing that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar hit their children with a "rod".

As punishment for minor offenses, no less. As if that weren't controversial enough, another one of Michelle's techniques is now under the microscope ...

While Michelle and Jim Bob have written two books on child-rearing and endorsed several others on the subject, they rarely get into specifics.

Regarding the methods they use for disciplining their children, they have been surprisingly vague ... or perhaps it's not really a surprise at all.

When asked about their use of corporal punishment, the parents of 19 have thus far managed to avoid giving any sort of clear answer.

A Q&A from Michelle's blog, re-posted by Gawker, highlights just how evasive the matriarch can become when asked if she spanks her children:

“We’ve really chosen to focus on praising our kids for good character, for Godly character," Michelle writes, before delving a little deeper.

"And as we do that, we find we have a lot less trouble with correction."

“In training the little guys, day in and day out, if I see the little ones not being kind to each other, I will take them aside and I will deal with them."

"I will talk to them and have them work this out."

Michelle carefully avoided revealing whether or not she strikes her children (though the phrase "deal with them" certainly implies as much).

But in the past, she has admitted to practicing "blanket training." 

This controversial child-rearing method that involves using physical pain to coerce a child into remaining on a blanket for as long as they are told.

The Duggars' own website claims that blanket training is an effective means of teaching "small children to exercise self-control in any situation."

Critics of the technique claim that it's simply a new name for old-fashioned child abuse, and it's hard to dispute that there is a very thin line.

To Train Up a Child - the definitive guide to blanket training on the market today - encourages parents to "use whatever force is necessary."

The goal? To "bring [a rebellious child] to bay" and "defeat him totally."

"If you have to sit on him to spank him, do not hesitate," the book instructs. "Prove that you are bigger, tougher ... accept no conditions for surrender."

Michelle's self-professed favorite parenting mantra, "The first time I say it, you obey it," reflects a firm belief in the blanket training philosophy.

Naturally, the renewed interest in Michelle's controversial parenting style may have no direct relation to the shocking charges against her eldest son.

But as is so often the case with public scandals involving high-profile figures, one ugly truth has caused a whole web of deceit to unravel ...

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Michelle Duggar Quotes

When you've missed [sex] for seven days, you look forward to it even more! - Michelle Duggar

Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls. - Michelle Duggar on saying yes (yes, and more yes) to sex