Anyone who’s read any of my numerous blogs knows that I have a possibly unhealthy love for reality TV. It tickles my fancy, it reminds me that people are NUTS, and that my life? is not so bad. In fact, my life? is pretty darn good, and my kids are better than yours, and while we’re not perfect, we’re not airing our dirty laundry on the television!
(Just on the internets. SHHHH. That’s TOTALLY different!)
Anyway, I was flipping through channels last night, and while I tend to avoid the UBER trashy MTV and VH1 versions of reality TV as there are some levels even I won’t stoop too, I came across a series on CMT. (Anyone else remember when the music channels played, ya know, music? No? Just me? OK then.) It was called World’s Strictest Parents and I was instantly hooked. Thank goodness it was a 4 episode marathon!
The premise is simple – take two “bad” kids, and put them up with an uber strict family for a week, make them earn their keep, suffer the horrors of discipline and structure, and then send them home again after chatting with their parents. It’s like a cross between SuperNanny and Wife Swap and Boot Camp for Unruly Teenagers. In a word, it’s AWESOME.
These aren’t *bad* teens by any means. They’re rebellious and foul mouthed and they are pushing boundaries and getting a little out of control. What’s amazing though is seeing the turnaround when they discover that a perfect stranger cares enough about them to instill discipline and a sense of hard work and accomplishment. One family stripped the teens’ bedrooms to the bare essentials, and made them earn not only the bed, dresser, television – but also their clothing. They got one of their own outfits, and one bought for them, and had to earn the rest. While the teens understandably complained and LOUDLY over this practice, by the end of the week when they’d earned everything back again, you could SEE how much it meant to them as they realized they’d taken so many things for granted.
Now sure, I’d LOVE to see them do a “checking in with the teens 6 months later” show and see how much of it stuck. And it’s Reality TV which isn’t ALWAYS reality. But it does show something I keep preaching around here until I’m blue in the face. Ready? Say it with me!
TALK TO YOUR KIDS.
DISCIPLINE YOUR KIDS.
THEY WILL LOVE YOU MORE FOR IT.
So what’re you waiting for? Go say hi to your kid, already!
Psst: Don’t forget to CLICK HERE, and enter this week’s giveaway!