Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are no stranger to fans criticizing their parenting, and a new interview has re-opened that can of worms.
One thing that the couple and their critics can agree on:
Jill's comment that they are not perfect parents.
Critics interpret that statement more harshly, however, while Mrs. Dillard is going for modesty in an interview she recently gave with TLC.
As the second oldest daughter (behind only maligned Cinderella Duggar) in a family of 19 kids, Jill has plenty of experience with kids.
Still, "it’s totally different when it’s your own kid.”
So what does she do? In an effort to improve, she does what any regular folks do, and that's ask the opinions of other moms in her life.
“We’re far from mastering any skill of parenting,” Jill says. “But we do pick up on little tips here and there from Derick’s mom, my mom."
"We’re always asking questions of other people.”
That's perfectly normal, but where the interview became controversial was when Der discussed a new parenting challenge they face.
"We know that human nature is still there because he’s very manipulative,” Derick says of Israel, who is now two years old.
“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.”
Fans quickly jumped on Der for ... basically criticizing his son for being two, and focusing on training vs. nurturing the kid.
Reads a post on The Duggar Family: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page, a frequent critic of the crew:
“You can’t be human without human nature."
"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."
But, the commenter points out, "[it's] what kids do to survive. Kids learn to manipulate as a way to get their needs met and for attention."
"Izzy’s human nature is here to stay.”
Another fan weighed in harshly as well: “Their religious zeal leads them to believe that children are just little adults with no moral training."
"That’s very medieval,” the fan said, adding that “the Dillards seem to be more about training Izzy and less about delighting in him."
Are Jill and Derick really doing that though? Do the Duggars treat kids as little adults "as opposed to human beings who are not developed" yet?
The controversial practice of “Blanket Training,” referenced by one of the commenters above, has been linked to the Duggars before.
Blanket training, as advocated by Jill's mom Michelle Duggar, involves placing a baby/child on a blanket on the floor and hitting him.
In order to train him or her to obey, that is.
While there is no evidence that Jill or Derick personally do this, they were criticized over their use of a blanket in the 2015 photo above.
"More and more I have begun to question the judgment skills of Jill and Derick," wrote on the Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page.
"What is going on in their heads to think posting two photos of a bound up toddler screaming his head off is appropriate?"
"This isn't even swaddling a newborn," the site lamented. "Izzy looks to be about 6 or 7 months here. What are they thinking?"
Jill and Derick have been criticized in the past for exposing their son to dangerous mission work in El Salvador, right now especially.
With Jill pregnant with their second child, her ability to care for Israel - not to mention the risks of Zika - have heightened fan concerns.
In an April 17 blog post, Jill revealed that her first-born recently battled a fever, and this one was much worse than previously thought.
“Israel is back to normal after a somewhat scary five days of him running a fever and not feeling well,” she wrote on her blog.
Much ado about nothing? Possibly.
Duggar fans could certainly stand to take a chill pill with some of this stuff. Let the people live, especially if you claim to be fans of theirs.
They're humans too, after all.
Still, some of the points are valid and when it comes to what religion the Duggars follow and it impacts the ways they raise their kids.
Criticism invariably follows.