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!