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Q&A: Learning From The Past & Preparing For The Future!

Hey guys! This is our 4th video in our question and answer sessions. In this video we cover some tough questions on the topics of extended family relationships, our decision to leave the show, therapy and future international mission work. If you missed the other Q&A videos, be sure and check them out here on the blog or on our YouTube channel “Dillard Family Official.”

If you have any additional questions, drop them in the comments below and we might just answer them in a future Q&A session!

The photos above are considered the property of the Dillard Family and may only be used with their written permission. Please request permission to use the photos.


  1. Hannah

    Jill!! I adore you and look up to you so much. I’m an aspiring midwife and I was wondering if you would ever talk about Sam’s birth story? It seemed like there may have been complications and an ER visit?

    • J.D

      I’ve been following your Q&A sessions! I love that you guys are speaking out about the distance between your family and the choices that you and Derrick have made for your family! I’m not sure if you have but you should look into natural family planning or fertility awareness method! My husband and I have used NFP since 2013 and it’s been so great for our marriage!!

  2. Erin

    I figured you couldn’t go into detail, but it’s what we were all hoping for. I cant think of anything that would cause my parents or siblings to distance themselves from me. So with that being said.. I’m so sorry Jill. You should never be put under any expectations as an adult from your extended family. By my familes standards, you are an absolute Saint …

    • Marijke

      Then you are so lucky to have flexible parents

      • E Montes

        First a kudos for being so honest on your Q&As

        Question is Political

        I saw your Q&A on LGBT and was wondering, if a political candidate represented the issues that you deemed imp and her/his opponent didn’t, would you vote from them regardless of their status?

        Also was wondering, how do you view the current political environment in context to your Christian beliefs? Has there been any change that has occurred in that aspect.

  3. RsPont

    I want to say thank you for being open and honest. I love your family and I love you and your honesty about the show and life issues. I’ve had to walk away from toxic family (not saying your family is toxic, but mine was) and it was hard. I know you deal with so many haters also and you are so strong about it. Please know you are a light and inspiration to many.

  4. Erin

    I’m also curious what you mean by extended family.. Do you refer to your parents/siblings as extended because you are distanced from them?

    “Generally, your parents, siblings, spouses, and children are considered immediate family. … Whereas your extended family is anyone you are related too but would have to draw more than one line on a family tree to get from them to you.”

    • Valerie

      Questions for future video:

      Can you share about Samuel’s birth and birth story? Did events around his birth lead to the decision to stop filming?

      Any plans for writing a tell-all book? (I will preorder!)

      Do you follow IBLP and ATI principles?

      Do you plan to raise your children differently than you two were? (Blanket training? Corporal punishment?)

      Jill, what was it like to start doing things that you may have been taught were wrong (drinking, public school, watching secular TV)?

      So many of us are so proud of you and cheering you on. You both look so happy and healthy and relaxed and it’s so wonderful to see. I loved the clip at the end of Jill snuggling Samuel.

      • ROsa

        The message above sounds like a Tabloid Writer.
        These questions are nobody’s business.

  5. Betsy

    I applaud your decisions and your honesty ( both of you). Jill, you have come so far in your journey toward finding the real you. You are so right that REAL therapy is a God send to so many ( been there done that myself). You can be very proud of yourself for what you have already accomplished and continue to accomplish as you are going forward. Don’t be afraid to keep striking out. If some of your siblings shut you out, so be it. It is their loss. If your new path helps even one of your brothers or sisters to find their true selves you will have helped work a miracle. Some of your family members are doing damage control. It is obvious to a lot of us. Just let it slide and know that you are being true to yourself ( unlike most of your siblings). My best to you both. There are so many of us ( non-Duggar fans, if you will) who have been rooting for you for a long time. You have made us all proud as we hoped for so long that you would break free and you did! Hugs to you.

    • Sarah

      Why would it mean so much for someone to know that someone broke free from their nucleus family?
      I’ve been in that situation personally with my parents over the way they spoke to me as if I was a little girl BUT they apologized and God restored our relationship. I missed them tons and I can tell that Jill also misses her extended family. Now I’m going through the same thing with my daughter who is 21 yrs old and who should be home submitted like my male young adult nephews are with their parents, but she’s not. She’s claiming to be in a better place? Without family contact? Doing as her flesh pleases. She got 3 tattoos (neither her dad/my husband or I have tattoos), she’s working her butt off to pay rent?! For what? To prove something to who? To herself?? We must be careful of not being deceived and sucked into this liberal culture as Christians. If we’re rebellious at heart (generational curse- Mrs. Duggar confessed that she was rebellious at one point) we better repent before Almighty God first and then our parents because God is a generational God- the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. God taught me that several years ago. I repented and renounced the evil spirit of feminism. It’s engrained in every girl raised in the U.S. and quite frankly around the world. Women around the world no longer submit. Submit to our husband, yes of course, but most importantly to God’s Kingdom culture. We need to stop trying to fit in with the world. It’s pathetic to see American Christians twerking, TikToc-ing , and behaving like the world. Our Christian brethren around the world are not doing so. Christian men need to stop being such enablers of their wives. Just because everyone has a piercing doesn’t mean we should get one too.

      • ERIn

        Your comment was so hateful and unnecessary. “Submitted”? Who in their right mind wants to live like a beat down child all for their parents approval? Who are you without your Bible telling you what to do and what to think? It’s pathetic to come on here and admit you’re no better than what her abusers have done to her. She is happy and free and I hope her siblings flock to her in the same mindset. Shame on you.

      • Marijke

        Maybe some parents need to learn that they need to let their adult children free… Only then you can see if your way of upbringing was good 😉

      • Regina Shea

        Thank you Sarah. You have spoken well.

      • G.

        Sarah @ 4:11; Oct. 7 It sounds like you expect your 21 year old adult daughter to be living at home with you and submitting to your authority, like she’s still a child. Even in nature, the young leave the nest and find their own way in the world. You basically have two choices: Spare no words in expressing your disapproval to your daughter about her choices, while alienating her and jeopardizing any chance at having a relationship. Or, you can come to an understanding that she has a right to live her life in her own way. Agree to disagree on things, but assure her that your love for her is not contingent upon her following your religious doctrine. I’ve seen both paths followed in my own rather complicated family dynamics. I can assure you, the first choice never worked out well. The tighter parents take hold of their kids, sometimes the harder they fight to break free. BTW, when women relinquish their autonomy to a man, they are “submitting” to the notion that the male is superior in intellect and wisdom. One only needs to look at the sorry state of this world to see how patriarchal governance has worked out. It’s high time we let women have a go at it by electing a woman for POTUS!

        • A.S.

          Nobody – NOBODY – has the right to control someone else’s life like that! Your daughter is an adult and can do as she pleases. If you don’t like it, if you harden your heart against her and what she’s doing, then YOU’RE the one who’s going to be missing out, not her! She should NOT be made to feel guilty for doing things you don’t approve of. IT’S NOT YOUR LIFE, it’s hers! Really, posts like Sarah’s that show that kind of thinking even exists any more are positively worrisome. To your daughter – you go girl! Prove something to yourself and to others – you’ll do great! Don’t look back. The future is straight ahead!

  6. Gwen

    Would it be possible for you to comment on your relationship today with Josh and Anna with everything that happened. Not only Josh abusing you and your sisters but his cheating on Anna. Do you even speak with them.

    I think you two are doing wonderful. I wish you all the best.

  7. Sarah

    Thank you for posting these Q&A’s! I first discovered your entire family when TLC aired that very first special about your family. I love the positive content and how encouraging everyone has always tried to be throughout the show regardless of what’s been going on. I’ve watched you guys give praise during difficult times, encourage even when it seems discouraging, and ultimately reflect Christ’s love.

    Even though you guys decided to separate yourselves from the show, I continue to love seeing you guys aim for the goal of honoring God throughout all things. That’s been the most encouraging thing.

  8. tori

    Do you and Derick attend couples/family therapy as well as individual therapy?

  9. Regina Shea

    Thank you Derek and Jill for taking the time to answer the tough questions. I’m so very sorry you are not close with your family anymore. I appreciate you not going into detail about what happened.
    I think if you should do another show perhaps UPtv would be a better choice but again you may be stuck at the mercy of the producers.

    Anyway, I will be praying for you that your relationship with your family will be restored. It breaks my heart to know you all aren’t close anymore. Just keep praying for them daily. Pray that their eyes will be open to the wrong teachings of IBLP but open to what the Bible really teaches. I was hoping that once Bill Gothard was gone things would change drastically with that organization. ☹

    You’ve blossomed into a wonderful wife and mother and you all will be in my prayers. Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer here even if it’s unspoken. God knows and there those of us here who are your sisters and brothers in Christ who will pray and are praying.

    • Regina Shea

      Jill I want to update my comment about praying “for” you to praying ” with” you. Meaning that I will be in agreement in prayer. Our pastor reminds us regularly that it’s not enough to just say we will pray for someone but we are to pray with them. We don’t need to be physically with someone to agree in prayer. When we are praying for something and we ask others to pray that is how we are able to pray with you. So I will make a commitment to pray with you for healed relationships with your family.

  10. Allisob

    You guys are very inspirational and show true humility, growth, and strength! Also your style is so cute! 😉

    Your willingness to share your story is so courageous. I know you didn’t have much choice in being PUT in the spotlight, but now that you have your own autonomy over what you share and don’t share, I applaud you for setting your own boundaries. Please answer what you’d like, and keep private what you’d like. That said, some very personal questions my friends and I have for you are:

    Where do you stand on IBLP, ATI and other things you grew up with?

    Gossipers, with regard to your family, talk a lot about ‘blanket training’, corporal punishment, the Pearls, etc. Will you be willing to address their claims and clarify your stance on training children?
    Likewise, roles and expectations within the family, for the husband, wife, and children.
    Is there ever a valid reason to divorce if the marriage involves abuse, adultery, etc?

    As for the standards you set for courtship, would you do things the same way if you could go back? Such as physical touch and waiting for different aspects of that for marriage, having chaperones and monitored texts/phone calls. Do you plan (years from now!) to implement something similar with your boys?

    On a lighter note, what non-Christian / mainstream media do you enjoy? Do you set standards for what you expose yourself to? Regarding movies, books, Tv, music, etc.
    what about things that are explicitly not your beliefs, like Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, atheism, LGBTQ+, have you seen/read that you could enjoy or appreciate in some way? Either as education or learning a new perspective, or entertainment, whatever.

    Keep doing what you are doing, to the both of you! Watching you two discover yourselves and discover each other and grow in that is beautiful!

  11. G.

    I give you both credit for addressing many of the questions viewers have had since you left TLC. Family strife, no matter the reasons, can take a toll and present challenges that seem insurmountable. I do have a question: Were the differences between you and your family primarily a result of the TV show, or do you think there would have been difficulties regardless of that?

  12. Darlene

    Please be careful in the choices your making. No, we don’t live according to the law. Jesus came to fulfill the law not abolishing it. Many people look to you and your husband and the world wants nothing more than to see you and your family conform to it.
    I have to admit I was disturbed to hear you and Derrick talk so easily about your nightly pins colada’s and him going out for a beer after a nice debate.
    Will these things send us to hell probably not, will it hurt your Godly witness to a lost and dying world, probably so. Many rejoice at your choice and how much it makes you more like them. Is this really what you want? To be more like the world?
    I would hope being a light and being in the world but yet being a light to Christ would be the better choice.
    I’m sure these new revelations brings more curiosity in you and Derrick which will maybe bring more opportunities for more money.
    I am not trying to condemn you I am praying God will help you and guide your path.
    Fitting in with the world is not the best goal Loving everyone no matter their choices and praying for them is a good thing. Treating everyone with love and respect is a good thing. Conforming ourselves to what the world deems popular is not always a good thing.
    I send this with much love and prayer not to condemn you or your family but just wanting to give an old woman’s view who has spent many years making some wrong choices and dealing with the consequences.
    You have a large platform. Never have I ever had anywhere near the people looking to me for what I stand for. If I did I pray it would always bring glory to my Lord and Savior and not be what the world finds accepting.
    I know there are a lot of people who will have lots of critical comments on what I have said and that’s okay. I just couldn’t as a mother of young adults like yourself not share my thoughts with you.
    I hope you realize I write this in love not condemnation.
    God bless you both!

    • Erin

      How many times do you have to say you’re “not condemning” Jill.. before you actually believe it? It sounds like you have a lot of guilt and shame on your shoulders and you’re pushing it onto Jill and Derrick. The real world is exactly what they need. Not condemning Christians who think they know it all.

    • Marijke

      When I read this, Iguess you are afraid of God and from that you think you need a lot of rules to live by… I rather have a relationship with Christ in stead of being afraid what anyone else could think of me 😉

    • Regina Shea

      Thank you Darlene. I appreciate what you said as I’m an ” old woman” myself.

    • Cynthia

      As a 27 year old woman, I appreciate this message and can totally see the love and concern you are expressing. The Bible mentions that those with a larger platform will have a greater judgment on judgment day. About the drinking, the Bible does mention that a drink is ok but drunkenness is not. However the Bible also goes on to say that we should not do anything that would cause another believer to stumble… so before sharing whether one drinks, there needs to be much prayer involved. Especially if there’s a chance that many are stumbled into drinking because of what was shared. That doesn’t mean that drinking needs to be stopped if the person is able to drink and has the self control to prevent drunkenness or even buzzed feelings. However, if it is realized that others may have been swayed to drink from sharing pictures of a drink then the sharing would need to stop.

  13. Reeta Young

    So sad that there are problems between you and some of your family. As Christians, I would think you can all work them out. Prayers. Thanks for the Q & A videos.

    • Sarah

      No one is under any obligation to “work things out” when family members are causing trouble or, as someone else said, “toxic.” Nobody should be made to feel guilty for keeping their distance. Usually that’s healthier for all involved. Just as divorce can be best when married people can’t live together without fighting and causing pain, “divorcing” family members can also be best too. Live your life as you wish and be happy. Stay on your own steady path. Others will see you doing that and probably be envious and sorry they caused you trouble. If that never happens, then so be it. At least your life won’t be spent trying to deal with them or please them. That’s no way to live and no situation in which to raise children.

  14. Tara

    I have a question for your next video if you choose to answer it!
    Q: What are some fun/adventurous dates you have done that you recommend all couples to do?

    I ask this because sometimes figuring out what to do with date nights is hard and always the same old thing.

  15. Mary

    I just love your family Jill and Derick. What are some of your favorite meals to make as a family? Do the boys like to help you cook?

  16. Tori

    Would you be willing to do a video all about what it’s like behind the scenes of filming a show? Do they plan activities for you to do? Are you required to film a certain amount? How many hours a week do you film? How does filming happen when it comes to birth episodes? Did you have to have your births filmed? Do they pay for things like weddings, honeymoons, trips?

  17. kim

    I am curious to know, if you, Derrick and the Boys are around when we see them doing gender reveals, family night, Christmas Ugly sweater party, or the zoom calls with everyone. I know you said you are edited out if you attend weddings and funerals, but wondered about the intimate family gatherings. Really enjoy the Q & A videos.

  18. Jane

    Well you didn’t fully answer the questions, lots of hemming and hawing, but that’s not a surprise. With someone like Jim Bob hovering over your lives, we can understand. Rest assured that a lot of us feel for you and how you’ve had to deal with him. That level of egotism, greed, and manipulation is off the charts. At least you realize now that you don’t have to be obligated to him as you were before. None of this is your fault or your doing, we hope you understand! The savvy viewers of the show are not fooled. A lot of us wish more of your brothers and sisters would take the same route you did and refuse to be part of the show any more. It’s long past time for production to fold. It must be messing up everyone’s life the way it messed with yours. Your parents weren’t even supposed to be on a show any more, after they lost 19KAC! How they have managed to be in front of the camera again after all that happened is deplorable. Thanks again for posting another video, answering questions, and opening up a bit more.

    One last question: Did Derick’s mother and step-father help you realize that you needed to step away from the show and get lawyers involved to get back pay? How instrumental was that side of the family in helping you through this?

  19. Carrie

    Hi Jill and Derick! Jill, it makes me smile to see you looking so genuinely happy and at peace. I didn’t always see that in you, especially in the later years of the show and right after you left.

    I have a couple questions. If they are too personal, I totally understand if you decide not to answer.
    1. I remember on the show that dancing and secular music were not allowed. As an adult, how do you feel about those things, and if you listen to secular music now, do you have a favorite song?
    2. Do you look back and feel as if you lost some of your childhood as a result of having to have “buddies?” I was always uneasy with the responsibility put on the oldest girls and wondered what things you were unable to do as a result of that adult responsibility. On a side note, I never saw the oldest boys put in the same situation and it made me sad for you.

  20. Amy Baase

    Jill, do you see a point in the future, when the kids are older and in full day school, that you would possibly take some college courses or higher education certificates through secular or perhaps mainstream accredited religious institutions? Wondering if you will feel like you need/want to reinforce your education from your homeschooling background as your kids get older and continue on with their more traditional education path.

  21. Maureen Oughton

    I admire your honesty in responding to questions, so we’ll done for putting yourself in this situation. I have a couple of questions. First to Derek, what type of law do you wish to practice? Second to Jill, do you ever regret not obtaining a degree and would you agree that your upbringing prevents giving you and your siblings that opportunity? Good luck with your future, God bless you

  22. Jennifer


  23. Jana

    Have you improved your understanding of Muslims? Derrick and Anna have made their opinions clear in the past.

  24. Charlotte Lindop

    Are the boys affected by your relationship with your family or are they kept separate from the issues I.e do they still spend quality time with their grandparents?

  25. RL

    Instead of dancing around things why don’t you answer the questions people really want to know:

    1) How do you REALLY feel about your brother Josh? Do you regret defending him on TV in 2015?
    2) What REALLY happened with Samuel’s birth? Derick has dropped little passive aggressive hints on Twitter about the NICU and whatnot, but what’s the real story?

    • M.S.

      Follow-up to that question #1: Were you “forced” to appear on that TV special to defend Josh, and how much were you coached in advance about what to say? It appeared your father consulted with a PR firm to advise him how to spin this story and to carefully orchestrate what would be said in an attempt to gain sympathy from viewers and maintain control of the TV show. What really went on there? Why did everything come out as if it had been so carefully rehearsed? Did you girls REALLY want to go on the air to talk about this?

    • A Mom

      For some people, it’s none of our business!

  26. Cynthia

    Hi Jill! Really enjoying watching these videos!

    I was wondering if your parents and siblings are apart of IBLP? How has that affected your family? Are you going to use those principles in your family?

  27. Jeannie

    Your parents have made it clear from the beginning that they look at the show as their own Christian mission work. If your dad pocketed money for the work his adult children did on TLC he is a criminal. Derrick has said that you are not permitted to be in your parents home without special permission. Years ago when the Duggar family went to Europe your dad said “this is where King James wrote the bible”. King James did not write the bible, and I would hope that was just a blunder in front of the camera on his part, because even a baby Christian knows that is not true. Your parents protected your brother Josh at the expense of his victims (you and your sisters). I believe they protected him again after he was caught in the recent prostitute/pornography/adultry activity. These things do not paint Christians in a good light, and have made non-Christians more critical of Christianity. So, my questions are: 1) Have you lost any respect for your dad/mom over their treatment of you and Derrick (and other siblings as well)? 2) Do you think your siblings are being pressured to shun you at the direction of your dad? 3) Have your parents made any effort to see your children, or are you perhaps protecting your children from their influence?

  28. Elizabeth

    Regarding the past and please I am not trying to be rude but would you let Josh watch your children alone? I mean that would be the ultimate forgiveness.

  29. leann

    Hi Jill, Derrick and family!!
    I’ve noticed in your family that there have been past miscarriages [Anna+Josh] [Josiah + Lauren] [Joy + Austin] [Jinger + Jeremy] along with your mom and dad, I was wondering with your difficult pregnancies did a miscarriage happen to you?
    Next, with your parents two miscarriages, I was actually wondering if your mom would have carried her second pregnancy, Caleb Ryan, do you think of what your parents would have named you if you and your siblings didn’t get named with a same letter, J?

    Pets, do you and Derrick have any? If so, what kind?

    Thank you for being open and honest.

  30. Sarah

    How has Israel been liking school? What’s his favorite subject?

  31. Qr Hn

    Would you guys consider leaving AR? The northern USA and many cities have almost no gospel influence. (From Philadelphia)

  32. E Montes

    First a kudos for being so honest on your Q&As

    Question is Political

    I saw your Q&A on LGBT and was wondering, if a political candidate represented the issues that you deemed imp and her/his opponent didn’t, would you vote from them regardless of their status?

    Also was wondering, how do you view the current political environment in context to your Christian beliefs? Has there been any change that has occurred in that aspect.


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