May 28, 2009

Reality TV: A Place Kids Shouldn't Be!

Do you watch Jon and Kate Plus 8? I used to. There was a time when I thought it was a cute documentary-style program about people who happened to have a lot of kids. I thought it was classier than reality tv. I even thought I was doing this family a service, because in the states, what with the astronomical price of health care and university, it's hard even for a middle-class family like the Gosselins to make ends meet with 8 kids. I'm now beginning to doubt whether watching the show is a good thing to do.

First off, the Gosselins now have enough money to give all 8 kids the American dream of growing up with health care and college funds and they even have a nanny who assists Kate with the brood. They don't NEED The show for their livelihood anymore, so why keep invading your kids' privacy? Also, the two eldest are starting to be pre-teens. Going to middle school with your tantrums SIMULTANEOUSLY being aired on tv would be traumatic and unfair. The Gosselins' in-laws even also no longer want us to watch. They say the show used to be a few episodes a year, but now it's 80 and that's just too much. The kids don't want the cameras in their lives, and even if they don't have an opinion yet (as some of them may not), are they even old enough to know whether or not they want their melt-downs and embarrassing childhood moments filmed? What will happen when they get to high school or college when their peers have seen these kids wet themselves on television!

Kate's sister-in-law and her brother want there to be legislation enacted to protect kids from being in reality tv. It's not like laws regarding acting in movies - reality tv kids can pretty much be recorded all the time, the cameras just go to school, too. I think that this legislation, while not nearly as important as making sure all American kids have health care, is actually a good idea. Why should people be able to pimp their kids? There are more and more shows popping up like this. Table For 12 is like John and Kate, but they have MORE kids. !8 is like Table for !2, except they have EVEN MORE kids. Even supernanny, which just does one episode per family, is a bit unethical. I'm all for disciplining your child, but recording their melt-downs on tape in order to do so strikes me as a little bit cruel. If you really feel this is your own option, and your not just fame-whoring, maybe you shouldn't have had kids to begin with, I say, because really, don't you have friends or parents or teachers at your child's school you can ask for advice? You don't know one person with relatively well-disciplined kids to turn to? You have to let America watch your kid fight with their siblings and scream obscenities you clearly taught them yourself?

I recognize that I don't have kids, but I still feel qualified to judge people who have them and then put them on reality tv. Those people, should also not have kids. In fact, I think I am much more qualified to raise their kids. I might not know how to change a diaper, but I do know that you shouldn't change your kid's diaper while being filmed by TLC. See, I'm already a better mother than Kate Gosselin!

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