Reality TV Glorifies difficult children

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by elizabrary, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    I'm going on a bit of a rant here, but don't you think reality TV, for the most part, glorifies the very issues our kids have? People on these shows drink, do drugs, don't have jobs, fight and treat others terribly and they become instant celebrities and make a ton of money. Look at those girls from Teen Mom. It's disgusting. Just after Kat turned 18 she auditioned for The Real World. She literally made it all the way to the final round of casting. I was horrified thinking of watching her self-destruct and act crazy for all the world to see. I'm sure that's why she made it so far- this cute, little nutcase was made for that show.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming our kids' problems on TV, but when you take young people who are already impressionable and then add the instability some kids have I think it's a strong influence to reinforce the poor behaviors and choices our kids make. I hate the whole "reality" trend anyway and it makes me wonder if these shows don't sometimes take advantage of kids with real problems and exploit them, all to the delight of audiences. And how can parents protect their kids, or at least reduce the influence of these shows which are so popular?
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Of course they exploit them, drama sells and gets ratings. Same reason you see more bad news than good news - the almighty dollar.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Yeah... And you're right, Eliz, some of those behaviors ARE exactly the same things our difficult children are doing.

    You know what though? 50 years ago, ADHD was just "bratty kid" and that was that. Autism had to be EXTREME to be recognized, and honestly, if the kids didn't have the snot beat out of them, they were locked away in asylums. 50 years ain't that long. That's back when you could still use the word "retarded". Fact is - it's actually an adjective and means nothing without a subject - as in, retarded growth. Now it just doesn't mean the same thing. Kinda like when someone was happy and carefree they were "gay". Now both words are insults, and they shouldn't be.

    Whoops, got on my soapbox, sorry... *Stepping down*
  4. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    You raise a really good point here. The only reality TV I can abide is: American Idol (though I'm not watching it this season) and What Not to Wear. Not even sure they qualify as "reality tv". My daughter watches Teen Mom and various other horrendous shows.

    While our difficult child's behavior in real life is considered unacceptable, it is glorified on TV. Go figure.

  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, one thing for ain't helping matters any. Alot of kids actually do get that most of what they're seeing on tv is hype and phoney. But there are many who take what they see as reality.......because it might be the only example they have to go by.....or because it somewhat mirrors behavior seen at home, or whatever. At the very least, for many it gives them a justification to do what they want to do and to twist in their own minds as being ok cuz someone on tv was seen doing the same thing.

    In society we tend to put our celebrities up so high that they themselves tend to believe they're god-like. in my opinion this also contributes to the problem.

    My kids never watched prime time tv until highschool. Mainly because most of it was garbage and I didn't want to have to constantly explain situations I didn't feel they were old enough, mature enough, experienced enough to know about, let alone in the detail that tv often gives. Lucky kids had little interest in tv even once they hit teenhood............and they still don't watch it much. They find reality tv tacky and boring. Which I do too.

    But then in my opinion it's just a symptoms of the times.......a very in your face symptom that many people chose to poke their heads in the sand and ignore.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I kinda think it does.
    Personally, I don't watch it. If What Not To Wear is reality TV....that is the exception and I only watch that once in awhile.
    My friend rarely allowed her kids to watch ANY tV when they were young. Exceptions were educational type shows once in awhile. Guess what? They are all gifted and now going to ivey league schools. I DO wonder about this.
    Yep, I think a lot of tv fare/viewing is exploitive and voyeristic these days...worse than ever!!!!
    p.s. What does behavior in real life mean???????
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    in real life = In real life
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My kids didn't to the Ivy league schools..........but honestly I believe they're doing better than many of their peers due to being shielded from tv until they were old enough to deal with it. I'm sure if Nichole were back at like 15 now and big into tv it would be very hard to deal with her.......because I could see her using what she saw to justify certain behaviors she wanted to do. The way tv is now I'm not even so sure I'd let a teen watch many of the shows.....especially some of the reality ones. It's really bad......and getting worse. Things they get away with doing now just blow my mind.

    Hoarders is good, I guess that is reality.......but pretty much the only one I watch. I used to catch What Not To Wear once in a while......but that got old as I didn't like their comments to some of the guests. I mean yeah some really obviously dressed poorly especially for their jobs, but some had their own style and preferred comfort and I thought some of their comments were mean..........I don't wear clothes because they're in "fashion" trends go in and out too darn fast. I wear them for comfort and tend to wear things that make my body shape look better if

    Katie on the other hand was raised (literally) on soap operas. Her mom had her watching them all day long from babyhood. The child cried because I refused to let her watch them when she came to visit........from age 3. omg I guess it's no wonder she thinks the world should be one long drama fest. ugh I'd forgotten about that until this came up. hmm
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you HaoZI
    I tape WNTW (but off and on). I agree sort of gets tired of it or something. I'll tape it for a month or two. Then, I take it off the taping schedule for a few months. Then, put it back on. This way, I have several shows taped to watch at my leisure...
    I have learned a lot over the years from the show.
    The hoarding shows are interesting...I'll watch one once in a blue moon. They are interesting on many levels. Sad, too.
  10. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I .lilve, vicariously, through WNTW ...even though I don't watch it regularly. Oh, for a $5,000 VISA card, a trip to New York and a hot, sexy guy lying about my "beautiful hair". Sigh.

    Never saw the hoarders show. ..I'm afraid it might make me sad. I'm not sure why I feel that way... maybe it's beacause I'm the anit-hoarder. I despise clutter.

    There's another show my daughter watches that I like ...can't rememeber the name, but it is about women police officers. It was orignally set somewhere in the south (Memphis?), but now there's one set in Cincinnati! Go Ohio Women!
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Just the commercials for some of those shows I use as "This is what not to do" teaching moment. Flashes of what the other people there think about some diva's behavior? Even better.
  12. AHF

    AHF Member

    My kids watched no TV until middle school, and then it was severely restricted. And they are both very troubled, incredible attitudes of entitlement, etc. So do I blame their acting-out on NOT having exposed them to enough TV? Of course not. I agree, it doesn't help. My younger son got a lot of his grandiosity in re poker from watching World Series of Poker. But hard wiring and all the other cultural and social influences that blow them this way and that bear at least as much responsibility.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Was thinking about the recent Charlie Sheen interview. NOT Reality TV. But so many tuned in to watch and it had some aspects to got a glimpse of his current lifestyle and he certainly wasn't holding back anything. I was intriqued that almost everyone was aghast at what they saw. Folks didn't seem to find his inappropriate behaviors/comments appealing and/or something they would want to mimmick. Not sure what teens might think....not sure how many watched. But generally, people didn't like what they saw.
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Three words: "Bad Girls Club." Talk about embracing/exploiting difficult child-ness. A houseful of female difficult children going at each other. Youngest watches it sometimes and I just shake my head in disgust. These girls get on the show because of just how out of control they are. Yup, definitely glorifying that behavior.

    My "reality" shows are Ghost Hunters and Project Runway. I sometime watch Top Chef, and some other food network shows. I do try to catch WNTW occasionally as well. And on to another class of adult difficult children: the newest Celebrity Apprentice. I watched last night and I gotta admit, it was pretty entertaining :)
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I don't watch these shows, and I am not blowing my own horn by any means - but what little bit I have seen flipping channels?

    (blinks )

    Well I'll tell ya something -

    You'd have to combine - Survivor-just life in general huh - , Housewives of Columbia-me , Jersey Shore - Dudes Teen Years, Pawn Stars-Every other payday, Hoarders- DF-s packrattedness, Bad Girls Club-Dudes girlfriend's, COPS- didn't you see the trailer when Dude drove his car?, definitely WNTW - have you seen me in the last 20 years - ask my MOm she dressed me for our Bob Evans meet and pictures - it's the ONLY way she'd go - parts of American IDOL - (house drama of a difficult child acting mostly) Diagnosis something - (I mean WHAT does this kid have OMG), Animal Planet - just walk in the door - it's obvious. Martha Stewart - Oh we try to make crafts - but there are only so many things you can make with toilet paper rolls and glue sticks. Roll them all into one:?

    And you STILL do NOT come ANYWHERE near the drama of OUR home - on ANY.GIVEN.DAY.

    Not at all....

    So when I see these people - getting paid for their teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy, little problems?

    It makes me want to have my own reality show called -

  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Star, no one would watch our lives, because it isn't vicarious, it's vicious.

    Or... "How can so-and-so put up with that, I'd ______ him/her in a second!" (Yeah they would. I'd love to, but CPS doesn't like that sort of behavior from parents.)

    Fact is, they haven't a clue. And they don't want to know. On TV, it's "cute" when a kid spits in Daddy's face/kicks him in the crotch/throws a tantrum. Not so much in real life.

    I can't even watch movies where people act like this anymore...
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    My niece said "OH I LOVE Snookie she's so cool." And I watched about () much of that womans behavior and thought. THAT? THAT is cool?

    Then I caught a blurb of some housewife show - where they were bidding $85K for a car or something and the woman was pouting because her husband bid on that for her......and she got a watch......and what she REALLY wanted was a cruise. I literally spit my store brand cheerios out of my mouth and thought........ME TOO......We are so much alike......
  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I just got what "WNTW" means. Umm... moving along before I feel more stupid.
    For "reality" TV (and lacking the channels I prefer for such things, so my selections are older), I like things like Crime 360, River Monsters, Life After People, Dog Fights (the planes, not dogs), Jurassic Fight Club. You get the idea.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am a TV addict. I admit it. There are reality shows I dont watch like Survivor but I am loyal to others. I dont miss Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Lately I have been bitten by the cooking show bugs. I love Cake Boss and Kitchen Boss. I think Buddy is so cool! I also love Chopped and Cake Challenge. I am not into WNTW or Jersey Shores. I do watch Teen Moms and Teen Moms 2. I have a seen every season of Celebrity Rehab and Sober House. Same with all the Apprentices. I was in tears when they ousted David Cassidy
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you ever truly want to see difficult child behavior, watch and episode of "My Big Friggin' Wedding" on either mtv or vh1. I cannot tell them apart except that they don't have music. Jess wanted me to watch an episode of a different wedding show and I watched that one by mistake.

    BIG mistake. I have seen bridezillas, but these couples are nuts. The most important part of a wedding is NOT when the bride does the booty pop and the most important detail in the entire wedding is NOT making sure her dress is tight enough in the tush to show when she does said booty pop.

    I swear it is the only issue for one bride. The others are just mean, stoopit (not even smart enough to be stupid) and none of them are mature enough to be married. If the "best part" of the reception is the ice luge for shots, well, the entire thing is being done for the wrong reason, in my opinion.

    Reality tv exposes some of the worst of our society and sure makes it seem "fun" to many people.

    I still remember when some of my relatives thought I was being "abusive" by not letting Wiz watch that funniest video show where it is some kid getting hit in the crotch every other clip. All I heard was how he wouldn't have anything to talk about with the other kids and how he wouldn't know how to act because he didn't watch that show.

    It was then that I knew we were on a really bad road. This was even after the people who made that show started making people sign something that said the child was not hurt in the video. Cause yeah, you can hit a guy in the crotch and not have it hurt if he is young enough or you pay his parents enough money.

    I do like Cake boss and some of the other TLC and Discovery videos. Police Women is cool - I just wish they still ahd full episodes on the internet! I never seem to catch it to record it or watch it on the DVR. Which is making me mad because I really wanted to see the Cincy one!!! I have walked some of thsoe streets!!

    Just last night I was watching clips of Animal Planet's fatal attraction show. I realized that I knew one of the guys in OH who was talking about his relative who got killed by his snakes (I think it was snakes). I lived near there and had NO idea that anyone had that many poisonous snakes in a home!! (there do seem to be a LOT of people in OH, esp the Cincy area, who have "exotic" (meaning bizarre to me) pets. My uncle had a neighbor with a gator and a bobcat and they found some other wild animals living in his home. the bobcat got shot because it kept getting loose - in reality the owner was a drunk who kept getting mad if kids in the neighborhood were outside playing and he would let it loose, or so the cops said (a relative was the safety commissioner for that area so we knew the cops, EMT's etc...).

    I don't think that the poeple who invented television had any clue that it would be used this way.