Michelle Duggar on Courtship Chaperones

by | Oct 8, 2015 | 19 comments

Question from a “19 Kids and Counting” fan: How do you pick chaperones for each couple? Does it change depending on who is free that day or is there a designated chaperone for each couple?

Well, it has been very flexible so far. We’ve set an age limit of 10 years old and above. So we have a lot of potential chaperones with 15 kids over that age! With Derick and Jill, they wrote out their courting rules at the beginning of their official courtship. These were their commitments to each other. After they agreed on them, they shared with their chaperones and family members so that they would know what they want to be held accountable for. Ben and Jessa have done the same thing.

The chaperones then have clear guidelines for what is acceptable and what’s not. They’re the accountability. What that means is they’re allowed to say, “Hey, are you supposed to be doing that?” But the funniest things have come up. For example can they high five during a game? And so as they go along, the couples have made some tweaks and changed things up a little bit.

Sometimes with all of our busy schedules, we’ve had to call on other folks to be chaperones. When Jill and Derick were courting, everyone went on a trip and Jill had to stay back for her midwifery work. But she still wanted to see Derick when he got off work. So she called Ginny, a family friend, who was able to meet her and Derick at a restaurant and then they could all eat together. Ginny was at Jill’s bridal shower recently and she said, “I had the most fun. I got to be Jill and Derick’s chaperone and they treated me to lunch. What a deal!”

Grandma Duggar has also taken a few turns chaperoning, which is extra special for the girls. After a recent visit with Grandma as a chaperone Jill told me, “Grandma gave me some amazing advice. Derick and I were just so encouraged by her wisdom.” So you see, chaperones can take lots of forms and are quite helpful in many ways!

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  1. Bethzahely Abigail Alford

    I am 19 years old. I was very blessed watching 19 kids and counting… I have no words to express how much love the Lord has put in my hear for your family specially for you Michelle. I admire you, I didn’t know what courting was until I saw it on your programs.. I will courting soon because the Lord has put that in my heart. I wish I could meet you… but I think it would be kind of impossible because I am a stranger.. I even had a revelation once and you where in it talking about the gospel. May God keep blessing you in the name of Jesus, amen.

  2. Barbara j Lazzaro

    i wonder why the long hair Why the skirts(I thought Jewish women did this)also the chaperones I am curious was to why you did not send the children to reg public schools and why you did not encourage your children to go to a trade school or college.? I would have thought that. The girls would want a trade after they get older and kids r older it would give them A career. At the weddings there is no dancing or a luncheon why not?. Thank you for your time

  3. †å?k•Gï™

    I was wondering··· How old do your children need to be, before they are allowed to start a courtship? ?

  4. Beverly ann

    What are you going to do now, the girls are leaving & you will have to actually be a mother & maybe even clean the house. God gives us childern for us to take care of. Your not a good person or mother. Shame on you. You have baby after baby & you don’t mothet any of them

  5. Beverly

    I knew you wouldn’t except what I wrote. You only want to print the nice things people say, not the truth….

  6. Maddie

    I love your show and the way you have raised your family! It is so inspirational, and it has encouraged me to guard my heart and save myself for marriage. But I’ve seen a lot of interesting comments on this website. One inparticular had some explicit details that are not suited for this kind of website. And on that note saving sex for marriage is not about std’s or premarital pregnancy, it’s about giving that important part of your life to the one you will spend the rest of your life with. Having sex before marriage is like stealing from your future husband. I once listened to this lady talk about this topic in detail and she just cried and cried as she told us her biggest regret was that she couldnt give that part of herself to her husband because she had already given it away. I have another friend who was in an abusive relationship and is now in her second marriage. She said that the hardest thing was being able to compare your husband to others. “When you are being intimate you don’t want to have these thoughts of lovers past running through your head,” she said. I don’t want to be able to compare my husband to anyone. I want to think he is, not to be too explicit, the best there is. If I know there is something better out there I would be more likely to want to look elsewhere for that satisfaction. I just thought I’d put that out there incase maybe someone has never considered it like that. I know the testimonies of the two ladies I mentioned have really helped me and I pray that they can help others as well! May God bless you and your family!

  7. Jennifer R

    What will you and Jim Bob do if one or more of your children does not want to enter in a courtship and wants to date in the more traditional way?

  8. Shelly Foster

    We are using the same concept of courtship — love it!! And on the question of support for their family — they did real estate. No state assitance ever!

  9. rosie maY ATKINS


  10. Pat W.

    I am so grateful y’all are on tv! I record episodes to view in the winter when y’all are not taping. I love it that God is the focus of your lives, as He is to be the focus of all our lives. He is to be honored, and I can sit down and watch tv without having to channel surf to find a decent show to watch. I am SO pleased for Jill and Erick about their handsome son, Israel David. And thrilled for Jessa and Ben! Now It’s Joseiah’s turn. Thrilled for him and his special lady too!

  11. marina Zapata

    I love your show i watch it every Tuesday i don’t miss no episodes.

  12. Mae odette Dalapo

    I truly admire ur family, when it comes to courtship, i respect and i like the way your children follow and respect that, if Only i can turn back the time, i would definetly do that aswhile. God bless you always.

  13. Deidre Pestanio

    What a good idea. I’ve always thought so.

  14. Martha Lamonds

    I love your family. I really think that if people would all have courtships and leave the physical aspects of a relationship for the marriage, they could save themselves a lot of pain and heartache. A whole lot of children would be spared a lot of heartache also. god Bless You and Your Family!!

  15. Cynthia J

    Thanks for sharing relationship advice. I’m grateful for it. Your family has been so encouraging to me. You are in my prayers that God will continue to bless and keep you all.

  16. mark moore

    Hello, I watch your show and am a big fan. I also agree with living the wholesome lifestyle which you posted. I am just curious on a couple of thing: such as what do you teach your kids about the world ? Mean politics, crime, national events, terrorists threat , national security? Im of course using these things as an example. Marriage and dating is something i wonder on too. I am a father of 5 and taught my kids how to be respectful proper and thank god they had that. if you teach to wait till marriage do you teach them how to be a good husband or wife ? how do they know? and on chaperoning, you don’t trust that you taught your kids right? or think they wouldn’t listen to you?

  17. Sheila Flynn

    Hi – not trying to be argumentative, but I have some questions to try and gain a better understanding of certain things. I have followed you for quite sometime and often thought how great I would be to have some many people around. But now it seems the.com racks are starting to show and have become confused and quite frankly lost my belief in how your family portrays yourself. Here are some of my concerns: Does it say anything in the Bible that kissing before marriage is a sin? If not, why is there so much emphasis on the “testimony” of those who wait? Does it mean that you and yours that do wait to kiss think you are better and more “Godly” than those of us who kissed prior to my vows. I grew up in a christian home and was raised with the knowledge and certainty that it is God’s perfect plan for us to abstain from sex before marriage, and I chose to abide by this, however, I did kiss my husband before my vows and do not feel any guilt, condemnation or conviction that I have sinned or ignored God’s instruction in some manner. I know this is getting long – will just ask the questions. Do you really think that your children and their spouse create their own courtship rules? From the outside looking in, it appears to us (those fans like me who have followed and enjoyed your family over the years as well as those who are no longer fans) appears to us that they don’t know any other way BUT to follow the extremely strict courtship rules you have trained them over the years to believe is the “right” way to go. A lot if us are concerned that your adult children do not seem to think for themselves, challenge (respectfully, of course) or counter with THEIR own convictions, not yours. Example) when Derick flew back in from Nepal, Jill ran into his arms and definitely did more than side hug, to which Michelle’s immediate response being negative judgement with her remark being something to the effect that they won’t let that happen again. To me, what I have just said is not meant disrespectful in any way, it is just an observation on my part which is shared by many fans like me as well as ex-fans. It is much easier to see what is really happening when one is looking from the outside in and not enmeshed personally in the situation. Does that ever occur to JimBob and Michelle or are they even willing to think outside the box – take a step back from whatever the situation is and try to view objectively versus subjectively. Another question: In your heart of hearts, when Ish sang the loyalty sing to Anna, did you believe this was coming from his true heart and desires? Do you think he believed and was sincere in his words/comitment? I feel for everyone involved with the molestation situation I too, was abused as a 5 year old and have witnessed first hand the agony my parents went through when they inlay found it and the guilt they suffered through when they realized they had not been able to protect me. It was horrible to watch – there were winners – it was hard on me, it was hard in them and I also know there is not a “correct” or “incorrect” way to react, however, I have been so confused that there did not seem to be a visceral reaction to the pain of your daughters and friend who were harmed. It certainly appears to current fans, ex-ans and those who never were fans that more focus was in protecting him instead of your girls. Again, looking from the outside in. An objective observation. I have spent time writing this, and hopefully I did it in an appropriate manner, respectfully as well as making VERY sure there was no attack towards you ie family. I hope since I spent this time respectfully for clarification purposes that you would respect me as a fan to take time and give me some insight/answers to these questions. Thanks in advance and wish all the duggar’s dillards and Seewalds, as well as Amy and Dillon King, Grandma Mary – all of you a Merry Christmas!

  18. Arjay

    Your’s is a point of view where real inngclieetle shines through.

  19. Janet Lester

    I think courting should make a comeback. Anymore people are giving there hearts away to the wrong ones, and children much to young are “dating”. Parents need to be more involved in their kids lives. Not only will it help keep them from broken hearts, but it will help keep them out of trouble. I love getting updates and reading your blog. God bless you all.


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