In recent times, media popularity has bitten the younger generation too. Whether its acting, stage shows, quiz competition, singing shows and most importantly reality shows. Every second channel airs a reality show for children. Whether it is a dance program or singing or acting or cookery show.

But the main question lingering in the minds of the common man is;”Are these reality show competition good for children at this age”?

When asked what they mean, most of them would say,

  • These shows are creating a sense of competition among children
  • Children are now throwing their attitudes all over
  • It stresses them out
  • They are put into a vigorous training to win the show
  • They are exposed to glamour life at an early age
  • What happens to their future especially career

Interesting….The questions raised are true100% true. So does that mean one should put a ban to these shows? Many would say yes. And I would nevertheless agree. But being a mental health professional, my question to people who wish to put a stop to such shows is;

  • Are your kids not facing competition in school studies???
  • Aren’t you pressurizing your child beyond their capacities to perform and putting a streak of competition within the friends when it comes to marks
  • Aren’t you putting your child to many different extracurricular activities like dance, music or painting?
  • Aren’t you exposing the child towards modern gadgets, exposing them to modern technology?
  • Aren’t you taking them to movies or shopping and dressing them as models.

When the above mentioned activities are happening, isn’t the child stressed again. Now the answer would be YES, but they are all a part and parcel of the growing stage of the child’s life. But they do equal to stress in the child’s mind.

This does not mean I am in full support to Reality shows and allowing kids to get stressed through the rigorous training and competition. The only point of reminder here is giving the child a proper breathing space and a lively environment.

When the child is exposed to hardships of school curriculum, they are relieved with extracurricular activities. So underlying point is recreation. It is a must.

Few guidelines for Reality show participants:

  • A Counselor is a must in every show with the kids
  • Kids must be made to talk to the counselor during breaks
  • Kids must be thoroughly explained the role of competition and why have they been eliminated
  • Kids must be given some timeout after the end of the show
  • Must be engaged in other activities after theshoot
  • A proper healthy and balanced food must be provided
  • A little time must be dedicated for kids to revise their school lessons
  • They must not be locked up in a room, but allowed to be out in the open, meet up with their friends and relatives
  • Must not be given much media presence
  • Avoid praises or critical evaluations
  • Before elimination, must be spoken to
  • The judges and anchor of the show and all other people involved must be friendly and cozy with the kids
  • Must not be shown dreams of glamour or popularity

Reality show must be made more real than just a game for entertainment. Media must not ply on the emotions of the child, just to popularize the show

If proper and conducive environment is provided, Reality shows can be a boon rather than a curse to the child.

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