If you watched 17 Kids & Counting — a number that eventually grew to 18 and 19 kids — then you're well aware that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar raised their children a bit differently than most people. Because of their conservative religious values, common things like dancing, wearing pants, and listening to a pop radio station were supposedly forbidden. Now that many of Michelle and Jim Bob's children are grown and have families of their own, plenty of fans have probably wondered: Do the Duggars watch TV?
To answer that question, let's go all the way back to 2011, when Jim Bob explained his family's views on television and and how they evolved throughout time. “I grew up watching TV, but when we got married a doctor friend of ours encouraged us not to have a pet or a TV the first year of marriage," he told HuffPost at the time. So we did that. For the first year we lived on love."
Apparently, Michelle and Jim Bob were so glued to the television that the communication in their relationship suffered. This — combined with their apparent dissatisfaction with the content of TV programming — compelled them to ditch the television once and for all. "And I would say that is one of the best things we have done for our family," Jim Bob said of the decision.
There is a bit of a catch, however: The Duggar children were allowed to watch certain DVDs their parents deemed acceptable, like The Andy Griffith Show. Not to mention, Michelle Duggar even has a favorite actor, Growing Pains alum Kirk Cameron. “We are very selective about what we watch, Jim Bob explained. "We actually don’t watch broadcast TV.”
If you're like me, then you're probably thinking: How in the heck did they survive with 19 children and no TV? Because sometimes, mama needs to turn on some Paw Patrol and just have moment to catch her breath. But as Jim Bob explained in a fan Q&A during the family's 19 Kids & Counting days, there's plenty for the kids to do without watching TV.
"I tell you what, there is nonstop entertainment," he said. "It's like a 19-ring circus. There's always things going on, and the kids, they're drawing pictures, they're making paper airplanes, there's a basketball court, there's volleyball. There's never a dull moment around here."
Now that we know how the Duggar kids grew up — sans TV, for the most part — the real question is: Do they watch television now that they're adults and have children of their own? Based on a recent update from Jessa Duggar, it seems like at least one Duggar does.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the mom-of-three took to Instagram to share a photo of her youngest child/ Baby Ivy dressed in an adorably frilly outfit with colorful chicken print on it. "Because of Peppa Pig, we call this her Happy Mrs. Chicken suit," Jessa captioned the post. "One of our many adorable clothing finds from the recent @rhealanasofnwa kids consignment sale."
Wait, Ivy is a Peppa Pig fan? This is quite the interesting turn of events!
It didn't take long for one Instagram user to call Jessa out. "Thought they weren’t allowed to watch TV," they commented.
A few other followers came to Jessa's defense, pointing out that she was no longer under her parents' roof.
One replied, "19 kids and counting was years ago. Now she is an adult and can make her own rules for her kids so they can watch TV."
Another Instagram user commented, "That was her parents rule not hers."
Yet another person chimed in with, "Did she ever say that they weren’t allowed to watch tv? If she didn’t don’t assume things."
Although Ben and Jessa seemingly allow their children to watch certain cartoons, it's unclear whether Jessa's other adult siblings have followed suit. Jill Dillard, for example, doesn't seem to have a TV in her new home, according to Cheat Sheet, leading fans to believe she upholds the no-TV rule with her sons, Israel and Samuel.
What it comes down to, I guess, is personal preference. Just like how Jinger Vuolo and Jill Dillard both wear pants while Joy-Anna and the Duggar men's wives stick to dresses, the Duggars seem to have their own opinions now that they're married and have families of their own. And you know what? Good for them.