At what point did it become acceptable for our kids to watch TV depicting semi-naked, chocolate-coated adults kissing in a bath tub, and the repetitious referencing of one’s peers as ‘bitches’? Should deceit, lying and betrayal be demonstrated to kids as a necessary arsenal for success?
Richie only has 8 roses left to give. 🌹
The Bachelor and Australian Survivor are two of the most popular TV programs in the country right now, each top performers in the 25-54 age demographic; the ‘parent’ demographic. At an early 7:30 pm timeslot, and with hundreds of thousands of adults watching these programs each week, you can safely bet that a lot of kids are too.
From the outset these shows appear fairly innocuous – a frilly mansion, boat rides, team sports on a luscious island. But what messages are these programs sending to young kids at an age when they are hugely impressionable, and lacking the maturity to distinguish between reality TV and real life?
Faith and Richie dive a little deeper on their single date.
Firstly, there’s The Bachelor, a program that deviates from the moral grid, where women compete against each other in an effort to win the love of one guy who dishes out roses as tokens of hope. It’s colourful, it’s cringeworthy and it comes with a gentle PG recommendation. Because if mum’s around while her child watches grown adults denigrate one another (amid sobbing and keen use of the word ‘skank’), it’s alright, right?
For young kids, watching women tackle each other in sumo suits, and even stuff their faces with haggis in an effort to please a man, will do little to promote their ideas of self worth. The consistent emphasis placed on appearance does little for encouraging confidence and comfort in one’s own skin. And, The Bach’s unflappable ability to date multiple women at once pretty much laughs in the face of fidelity. Tsk tsk Richie.
Australian Survivor is another household favourite, and an undisputed franchise success story. While many of the challenges on the program seem harmless enough, the show involves a decent amount of scheming and manipulation by contestants in their efforts to be the last person standing, and win the half a million dollars at stake.
Australian Survivor is packaged well: a tropical adventure, which is hugely appealing to kids. But the show seems to be less about the implementation of survival skills and more about the art of deceit and self-interest. In a world already brimming with competition, children are watching adults compete with dirty tactics and a complete absence of trust. What does this behaviour demonstrate to school kids who are faced with challenges and obstacles every day of their young lives?
Two tribes, one tribal council. 🔥 📜This is going to be verrrry interesting…
Of course, it’s up to each parent to decide what constitutes suitable viewing for their kids. For me, with my young school girl, I prefer to focus on the traditional values of honesty, respect and dignity. She’ll be fine without the reality TV juggernaut for now.
Where do you draw the line with your children’s TV viewing? Do you think shows like The Bachelor and Australian Survivor are suitable for children?