Posts Tagged ‘Reality TV’

Meet Albert Einstein: The Reality TV Star

October 29, 2012

It’s a shame that children don’t know who Albert Einstein is:

A third of primary school children believe Albert Einstein is a reality TV star, a study has found.

Some 29 per cent think they have recently seen the scientist, who died in 1955, on shows such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

Many were unable to identify great scientists or their achievements;  more than a third of pupils aged 11  to 14 did not know Isaac Newton discovered gravity, despite it featuring on the school curriculum.

Meanwhile, 6 per cent thought  X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos created penicillin while a million children believe chart-topping rapper Professor Green is a real academic.

Furthermore, a confused 35 per cent of five year olds think London Mayor Boris Johnson discovered gravity with one in five primary school children believing that England and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is a scientist.

Stephen Hawkins is a hairdresser according to 22 per cent of eight year olds.

I mean no disrespect when I say that I wouldn’t want Stephen Hawkins cutting my hair.

Click on the link to read Kid’s Cute Note to the Tooth Fairy

Click on the link to read ‘Love’ as Defined by a 5-Year Old

Click on the link to read The Innocence of Youth

Click on the link to read Letting Kids Take Risks is Healthy for Them

Click on the link to read Study Reveals Children Aren’t Selfish After All

Would Good Parents Ever Sign Up for a Reality TV Show?

July 13, 2012

A good parent, like a good teacher, makes mistakes on a regular basis. The difference is, that they reflect on their mistakes and work on strategies for continuous improvement.

I am not convinced that good parents would ever feel comfortable advertising their skills to a prime time television audience.

But there are many out there desperate for their 15 minutes:

Those who believe their parenting skills are worthy of an audience have many chances to be seen in the near future. Apparently reality show producers also think the whole world needs to weigh in on different ways to raise children, based on the sample of casting calls made recently.

The latest, from the people who bring you “Dance Moms” and “American Stuffers,” will be called “Extreme Parenting” (if one of the “multiple” cable networks bidding on the show come through, says producer Jeff Collins).

He was inspired to create the show, he says, after watching the national paroxysms of outrage over the Time magazine cover showing self-described “attachment parent” Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.

“I think it is fascinating when Americans find something to be provocative and upsetting,” Collins explains. “We are a country of extremes. The shows I do peel back the curtain on the choices people make — some of them will outrage other people.”

The Benefits of Reality TV on Kids

June 21, 2012


Television, long seen as a negative influence on children has managed to turn the tide thanks to the recent spate of reality programming:

What do reality television shows The Block, MasterChef and Australia’s Got Talent have in common?

Your child.

According to a TV Tonight report, in 2011, those three shows were the most popular with children under 15.

It seems that feel-good family oriented sitcoms, popular with tweens and teens of the past generation have given way to talent quest shows and experts say that this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Competency based programs showcase hard work and discipline, while graphically depicting the euphoria of success and and the bitter disappointment of failure. In contrast, popular family sitcoms of the 80s and 90s like The Cosby Show or Full House featured safe, insular worlds, in which a happy ending was assured.

Laura Kiln, internationally recognised parenting expert and owner of Laura’s Place, a practice where she offers counselling to families, cautiously endorses reality TV saying some shows expose children to a wide spectrum of issues and offer useful advice without sugar-coating difficult matters.

Kiln notes that a show like The Biggest Loser can help children develop empathy by observing the severe impact of weight problems on contestants’ lives, especially in cases where the children’s own families have no experience of obesity.

Adults Need Positive Rolemodels Too

May 2, 2012

Thanks to the explosion of reality television shows we have a vast selection of horrendous parenting examples to choose from. Shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and The Real Housewives of New Jersey as well as Jon and Kate Plus 8 showcase styles of parenting that are not to be emulated.

These shows sicken me because they are intended to make deeply flawed parents feel better about their half-hearted approach to parenting by presenting them with examples of worst practice.  It is not responsible for television networks to give parents the impression that as long as they resist spray tanning their toddler they are doing a satisfactory job of raising their kids.

The trials and tribulations of Octomom is a perfect example of gutter television appealing to parents who haven’t yet earned the right to judge. By focussing on the exploits of Octomom, we have denied parents what they should really be seeing on television – examples of good parenting. Adults, like kids, need to see positive rolemodels who can inspire them to make positive change, alter their priorities and help them make good, sensible and selfless life choices.

It may not rate, but it’s got to be better than this:

“Octomom” Nadya Suleman filed for bankruptcy this week, citing $1 million in debts to her landlord, her father, the water department, DirecTV and Whittier Christian School, where several of her 14 children are students.

In 2008, Suleman, 36, famously conceived octuplets through in-vitro fertilization (as she had done with her previous six children) by Dr Michael Kamrava, and became a national obsession. Since the birth, she has cut deals with media outlets and posed in tabloid photo spreads and promoted products and books that somehow never made it to market. In 2009 she turned down a $1 million offer to appear in an adult video for Vivid Entertainment and is currently relying on welfare, food stamps and Social Security disability payments to raise her 14 children, who are all under the age of 10.

Speaking of sound decision-making, in a reversal of her 2009 decision to pass on porn, Suleman told reporters on Monday night’s “Showbiz Tonight” that these days she’ll do just about anything for the benefit of her brood: “You know if the opportunity comes up, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m gonna eat my words,” she said. “Because all that matters is that I can take care of my family.”

Reality television was supposed to allow the viewer to experience the life of another. This can be a very useful device. It can help the average viewer relate to another person by allowing them to experience life in their shoes. Instead, reality television is content in providing us with the very worst society has to offer.

As a parent with a lot to learn, I am sick and tired of being bombarded with ‘polluted parenting’ on the small screen. Where are the shows that explore helpful advice by experienced parents who have overcome adversity and addressed major challenges?

Surely there is a place for a bit of balance in television scheduling?

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