Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Ultimate Test for Parents

Are you a proud parent? Think you've done a good job with your kids? Do you know what they would say or how they would act if they were out on their own without you around? Would they chew with their mouth open? Would they have you idiosyncracies? How would they talk about religion? What would they say about having a service with children of other faiths?

I starting watching this show called Kid Nation this week.

Normally I don't like Reality TV, but my experience with Sociology made me really intersted and intrigued with the show, just from a sociological perspective. It's a show with 40 kids aged 8-15 put in a ghost town in New Mexico for 40 days without modern luxuries (like flush toilets and iPods) and no adults either. Well, at least that's how it was supposed to be. There is the adult (assumingly) camera crew, as well as a host that shows up to the town hall meeting and challenge games.

The kids were divided into four colours and each colour competed for their status in the community. One group were the upper class and have no jobs but get 'paid' $1.00, the Merchants, who runs stores, get $0.50, the Cooks get $0.25 and the Labourers (who do water runs and clean the outhouses etc...) get $0.10.

What I found most interesting was last week's episode when the topic of religion was brought up. What some of these kids had to say about religion was really interesting and shocking. Many said that religion is no good and just causes wars. Other kids ganged up and said "Jew Crew" or "Christians Rule" and then others, when asked about starting up a religious service for their town were against it because they didn't want to be with other people that didn't believe what they believed in. But in the end, when they got to choose their reward for their challenge, the kids chose a set of religious holy books over a miniture golf course. Very interesting.

Overall the show tells us a lot of us as a society. I mean the kids can go to the saloon with their 'paycheck' and buy bottles of (root) beer and shots of soda to drown out their sorrows. While some folks are very critical of the show because of showing stuff like that, it tells you a lot about their lives in their generation. Where else 8-15 year olds learn this behaviour if it wasn't from home or the media?

No matter what you're feeling is about this controversial show, it's a very telling wake up call to parents and community leaders to see what our kids believe in. I really wonder what the parents of the kids on the show are thinking when they watch the show. Are they proud of their kid? Embarrased? Are they angry with the editors in how their child was edited? Are they happy with what this one-of-a-kind experience did to their children in terms of being a better person?


Blogger Nicol DuMoulin said...

This show came up at the table over Thanksgiving dinner at my home.

I have not seen it, but a close family member (and admitted NDP Marxist) hated it and said it glorified capitalism, mocked the poor etc.

I couldn't comment because I had not watched it yet. Thanks for providing another perspective.


Sun Oct 14, 07:11:00 AM EDT  

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