Posts Tagged ‘ reality TV ’

“I Want To Be An Extreme Parent!” Said No One Ever

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

20 months.

The creator of the TV show Dance Moms is working on a new reality show about Extreme Parenting, due to beam up (and possibly burn out) your plasma screens this fall.

Yes, it will be a train wreck. No, Thomas the Train will not be involved.

Of course, since we seem to love watching train wrecks, while downplaying them each as a “stupid guilty pleasure,” we fund and endorse these ridiculous reality TV shows that we are ashamed to admit we like.

This upcoming Extreme Parenting show will be featuring parents who endorse co-sleeping, elimination communication (no diapers or potty training), unschooling, and non-vaccinating.

Basically, I have a feeling the show will make a circus of participants of attachment parenting.

As I pointed out in How Gay-Friendly Ads Affect What You Buy Your Kids, we as a pop culture are easily engaged, offended by, and divided by extremes that affect other people’s lives, but often not our own.

“I don’t agree with your viewpoint” is often perceived as “I hate you.” So then polarizing groups form and they ridiculously boycott each other.

In my 2+ plus years so far of daddy blogging, I’ve accidently ran into a few (several dozen!) extreme parents who decorated my comments page like flair on an Applebee’s uniform in 1998.

Some extreme parents are mellow and non-preachy about their different parenting lifestyle.

Others are not.

I evidently have become a classic villain among intactivists and anti-Ferberizers (those who oppose the “cry it out” method for getting their child to sleep through the night.)

Just read the comments to these articles I’ve written and you’ll learn that if you put me in a room with a black light, the “666″ becomes visible on my forehead:

 Is It Wrong To Let Your Baby Cry It Out?

Getting My Infant To Sleep Through The Night

Dadvice #5: How Is It Natural To Circumcise Your Son?

Dadvice #6: Is Circumcision Unnecessary And/Or Immoral?

Dadvice #7: A Skeptic’s Letter To Intactivists

Dadvice #8: Too Young To Medicate ADHD And Bipolar Disorder?

I don’t think anyone ever says, “I want to be an extreme parent.” But I bet a lot of extreme parents don’t even realize they are.

As for me, I make it one of my daily goals in life to not to be an extreme person, in general. I believe in the importance of being passionate about things you stand for, but not extreme.

But cyber-bullying, boycotting, and name-calling are not part of my moral belief system. Therefore, I won’t cyber-bully, boycott, or name-call those who do those things.

(Unless this technically counts right now. Oops.)

The irony, however, is this: We are all extreme parents to somebody out there.

I am an extreme parent for having my son circumcised and for teaching him to sleep through the night at 7 months old.

You can’t not be an extreme parent… because the true extreme parents out there already see you as one.

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5 Reasons This Dad Despises MTV’s 16 and Pregnant

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

One year.

“How many train wrecks do we need to see?” -Jack Johnson

In the midst of the recent highly publicized false accusations of 17 year-old Justin Bieber being a dad, I can’t help but keep thinking of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. I’ve made several random jabs at the show, vaguely proclaiming my passionate hate for it; but I figure today I should explain why exactly I hate 16 and Pregnant more than I loathe Two and Half Men.

1. It glorifies teen pregnancy. Granted, I want no part in casting stones against a teen mom who is willing to keep her child as opposed to aborting him or her. But it’s pretty hard to deny that the producers of the show find ways to make the event girly, using a cutesy diary theme with cartoon drawings and voiceovers from the teen moms.

2. It makes stars and role models out of the teen moms. I personally know a 20 year-old girl who is pregnant with her 2nd child. She had her first child when she was 19; different fathers for both babies and I’m pretty sure she never really loved either of the baby’s fathers. About a year ago I remember her bragging to me: “Maci from 16 and Pregnant was here in Nashville a few weekends ago. Some people said she was at the mall…”.

The fact that it makes headline news when a 16 and Pregnant couple gets arrested unfortunately demonstrates this.

3. It doesn’t prevent teens from having unsafe sex. Sure, I can’t prove this; but I assume that there is some underlying message that the show somehow scares teenagers into being more careful about their actions. I’d say if anything, the show is more likely to promote abortion as 16 and Pregnant goes through great lengths to show how a baby is an inconvenience.

4. It capitalizes on the unfortunate. I personally believe that a lot of these teen moms subconsciously get pregnant on purpose because they are so deprived of love and attention in their lives. They are living a sad story which they are desperate to improve somehow. Like much of reality TV, the show draws in millions of viewers who secretly want to watch a train wreck to make themselves feel better about their own lives.

5. The teen dads are usually awful fathers. Of course they are; they’re still in high school, playing football and hanging out with their loser friends. On the show, the teen dads often admit to their (ex)girlfriend, the mother of their child, that A) they are not in love, B) are only still together because of the baby, and/or C) wish they didn’t have a baby. As if dads didn’t already have a bad rap in the TV world, these guys aren’t helping.

I’m not saying the show should be taken off of the air; the banning of anything is typically the best way to promote it. In fact, with the link below, I’m technically promoting 16 and Pregnant myself. But ultimately, I believe I have shared 5 solid reasons why even the mention of the show makes me cringe.

Is it just me?…

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