Positive Parenting: The Reality TV Effect

Parents can use reality television to teach life lessons to their children.

Nowadays, families are bombarded by all sorts of programs on television. Gone are the days where children could only pick up a bad habit from a schoolmate. Now, thanks to the omnipresent reality television show, children have easy access to bad habits and poor behavior. 

Believe it or not, there are several good things a parent can draw from reality television, and they fall under the category of lessons in life. One of the main components of being a positive parent is having the wherewithal to recognize a teachable moment at any given minute in any situation.

Kids and parents alike may rush through dinner to catch the latest episode of American Idol or America’s Got Talent. With competitive reality shows, parents can take advantage of the opportunities (which are plentiful) to talk to kids about what they are seeing and what messages they are taking away from the program. 

Are your kids taking away a positive or negative message? Take time to ask them during a commercial break; you might be surprised by the answer.

Some things you might want to discuss with your kids when watching family-friendly reality shows can be summed up in three simple words: strength, courage and wisdom.

Why? Because in life the strong survive, and you have to be strong, especially when facing your fears. Additionally, the contestants have the guts to go out on a limb to attain their goals—that's a lesson in courage. Another teaching lesson: by facing obstacles, we gain wisdom.

So when your kids see a contestant lose on a show or get voted off, stress that the individual is not a failure. He's gained valuable knowledge and experience through competing; a loss is but a minor obstacle. 

Take advantage of reality television shows to teach your kid how to be a better person.


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