Of Course Parents Are Criticizing Jessa Duggar For Not Potty-Training Her Kids

by Jen McGuire

So full disclosure here: it's possible that I don't always agree with the choices that Duggar moms make. But that doesn't mean I'm sitting here at my laptop, fingers hovered over the keyboard, waiting to go after the young moms for any minor or imagined parenting transgression. Beyond the fact that people frequently don't get someone's whole story based on the limitations of social media alone, I also think it's just kind of mean. Fortunately at least one of the Duggar sisters isn't afraid to call people out. When parents were criticizing Jessa Seewald for not potty-training her son Spurgeon, she shut things down quite neatly, thank you very much.

Jessa is mom to two sweet little boys, 2-year-old Spurgeon and 1-year-old Henry. Despite the fact that Spurgeon was born in November 2015, making him not yet three years old, people seem to expect him to be potty trained. And even more than that, they expect his mother to potty train him based on their personal schedules and expectations, apparently. Not that Jessa is looking to take anyone's unsolicited advice, however. Back in July she posted a cute picture of Spurgeon sitting on a tractor to Instagram with the caption: "I've never known another little boy who’s more in love with mowers, tractors and skid steers ... It makes his day if he gets to sit in the seat and 'drive' it."

You can see why such an innocuous picture would get fans heated, I'm sure.

Instead of just checking out a picture of a kid having fun on a tractor, critics of the Counting On star were focused on the fact that Spurgeon has yet to be toilet trained. When one critic wrote, "Don't you think he should be out of diapers by now?" Jessa decided to nip this weird conversation in the bud. According to Cafe Mom, she wrote:

My philosophy is that if they aren't able to do the whole thing from pulling their pants down and getting themselves on the toilet, to pulling their pants back up, and washing their hands, then they aren't ready. Otherwise it feels like it's actually the parent who's potty training and doing all the work.

For the record, kids tend to pick up potty training at very different ages. Anywhere from 18 months to three years old, according to Web MD. I like Jessa's message that she will do it when her son is mature enough to actually be potty trained himself, instead of her just running around after him.

You might think that her clear, firm response would have put an end to the discussion. I mean, it's not like Spurgeon is heading off to high school in diapers or something. Unfortunately, people are still going after Jessa about potty training. She recently shared a video of Henry and Spurgeon (plus dad Ben Seewald) using a big empty diaper box as a fort with the caption:

Pant-less toddlers in their cardboard box “forts”— and when dad gets in on the fun, it’s that much more fun! 👦🏼💙👦🏻 Play hard, then pull out all the snacks. 😋 (and next up, diaper changes)😆@ben_seewald, you’re simply the best! I love doing life with you

Despite plenty of fans gushing over the sweet moment between Ben and his sons, the Duggar critics were back at it instantly.

Time for potty training!
after a child starts eating solid foods, the smell of their diapers can be nauseating. I made sure my kids were potty trained completely by 2 1/2. I don’t understand why parents wait longer than that. There’s no reason for it

One person even took it upon herself to tell Jessa that Spurgeon is ready to be trained (based on her superior knowledge of Jessa's child, apparently).

With Spurgeon’s language skills, I believe he would train easily. He speaks well, and seems to have very good comprehension for his age. As a suggestion, have his potty readily available and only wear a tee shirt and underwear at home. I do believe Spurgeon would quickly make the connection to using the potty.

As someone who raised four sons I have this piece of wisdom to offer; stop trying to tell other moms how to raise their kids. Even if you don't like Jessa Seewald, respect that she gets to make her own parenting choices. And let's all stop judging each other, okay? It makes life so much nicer.