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Jinger Duggar Says Her Relationship With Parents Is ‘Not Perfect’, But She Still Loves Them

19 Kids and Counting alum Jinger Duggar has love for her parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, despite their differences.

“I’m grateful for my childhood. It was not perfect. I shared a lot of difficulties that I struggled with throughout my childhood, but at the end of the day, I’m grateful for my parents,” Jinger, 31, said during a Wednesday, June 12, appearance on Matt and Abby Howard’s “Unplanned” podcast.

She continued, “I love them, we have differences, everything’s not perfect between us, but I think that at the end of the day, I love them and I know that they know that.”

Jinger also recalled telling her family she’d written a book about her experience growing up with the fundamentalist Christian teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP).

Jinger Duggar's Book 'Becoming Free Indeed': Biggest Revelations About Her Upbringing, Marriage and More

Related: The Biggest Revelations From Jinger Duggar's Book 'Becoming Freed'

“It was hard having those conversations with them,” she shared. “They don’t have to be happy about it, but it’s what I need to do.”

Jinger Duggar Says 'Everything's Not Perfect' With Her Parents, But She Still Loves Them
Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar. D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Jinger rose to fame on her family’s TLC reality series, 19 Kids and Counting, which premiered in 2008 and ran for seven seasons. The show came to an end in 2015 when news broke that Jinger’s brother Josh Duggar molested multiple girls, some of whom were his sisters, when he was a teenager.

Jinger’s 2023 memoir, Becoming Free Indeed: Disentangling Faith From Fear, avoided talking about the inner workings of her family. She told the podcast hosts she had a “clear conscience” because the book focused primarily on her experience with IBLP rather than family drama.

Jinger Duggar Says 'Everything's Not Perfect' With Her Parents, But She Still Loves Them
Jinger Duggar with an inset of her parents Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar. Kris Connor/Getty Images; Courtesy of Jeremy Vuolo/Instagram

“I chose to write my book from the perspective of the theology being the driving force, because I thought, ‘If my mom reads this, if my dad reads this, if my siblings read this, how are they gonna take it?’” she explained. “You can be offended that I say [IBLP founder] Bill Gothard is a false teacher, but I don’t want you to be offended over a petty thing that I might’ve said about you. So, I chose to keep it focused on the issues of the teaching that I was raised in [and] to keep it more broad where if anybody reads this coming out of a harmful teaching, they can be brought out of their teaching too.”

Duggar Family Gallery

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In Becoming Freed, Jinger admitted that she “never expressed an opinion” during her first year of marriage to husband Jeremy Vuolo due to being taught she “needed to perform” for her future spouse to “keep him faithful.” Vuolo, 36, encouraged her to stand up for herself.

Jinger Duggar Says 'Everything's Not Perfect' With Her Parents, But She Still Loves Them
Jeremy Vuolo and Jinger Duggar. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Discovery Channel

“He gently encouraged me to speak my mind and let him know if I didn’t agree with something — and to not apologize for that. He didn’t want me to perform or be fake. He wanted me to be myself,” she wrote. “He wanted me to think for myself and figure out what my convictions were and what I liked and disliked.”

Jinger and Vuolo tied the knot in 2016 and share daughters Felicity, 5, and Evangeline, 3. They appeared in the 19 Kids and Counting spinoff Counting On from 2015 to 2020. TLC officially cut ties with the Duggar family in 2021 after Josh, 36, was arrested for receiving and possessing child pornography. He is currently serving a 12.5 year prison sentence following his May 2022 sentencing.

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Jinger and Vuolo currently live in Los Angeles, a big change from the small town in Arkansas where Jinger grew up. Although Jinger said on Wednesday that it’s “bittersweet” to be away from her family, it has its advantages as well.

“It’s also been healthy for us to just be away and be our own family and grow and learn together,” she said. “We’re on a family group message with my family and so there’s always something going on. So, I can see what my family’s up to.” The reality TV personality added that she tries to call her mom “regularly” and speaks to all of her older sisters “often.”

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