Friday, August 12, 2011

Thoughts after watching Toddlers and Tiaras

Oh man I am glad I have a boy! 
What the hell is wrong with these parents, what are they trying to compensate for?

And then I wondered, there are so many of these girls who just don't want to be doing those pageants, one in particular wanted to be an Olympic gymnast but her mother wanted her to be in pageants. But why would the parents really want to force the children to do this.  If they're having fun that's great, but the cost of the outfits, fake tanning your child, the fake teeth, it just doesn't set a good example.  The fierce tantrums these girls have is rather disturbing. Then there was the mother who said she keeps her daughter motivated with Cheetos and sugar cubes.  Wait, really?  Didn't you just tell her she was getting too fat? It's a child not a horse. Food as motivation just generally disturbs me.

One of the girls won 1st runner up out of about 15 girls (this was the one who wanted to be an Olympic gymnast) and she was happy with how well she did.  Her mother on the other hand was not too happy with her.

In the long run how much damage are they really doing to these children? Every time I watch the show I think about "Little Miss Sunshine" (great movie) and how much pressure we put on children.
Before I do things for Garrett I remind myself that I'm doing them for him and not me. I worry that some of these parents forget that. Ben and I have discussed at length that if he is involved with something and turns around and tells us he doesn't like it anymore we aren't going to force him to stick with it (I'm talking extra curricular things and not something like not doing homework).

I guess this is why we rarely watch the show.  Garrett likes watching shows with other children. He seems more interested in the girls at the beginning than the ones who are all "glitzed" up.


Jessica said...

I see what you're saying here but I also think that it would do any child a disservice to let them just quit something that they didn't like every time they said they didn't like it. In my opinion, it doesn't teach them about commitments. Therefore, when my daughter says she doesn't like something after one or two meetings/practices/whatever, then I tell her she has to finish out the season or whatever. If she had wanted to quit softball I would have told her she can't, because her team is relying on her to do her part, and she can just not do it next season. With Girl Scouts, she loved it for a long time but then the group we were in started falling apart so when she told me she hated it & didn't want to go anymore I made her finish the year and then let her drop it.

teawithfrodo said...

I understand commitments, but there is also a time when you need to listen to your child when they don't like something. There is a big difference between teaching them to fulfill a commitment (like finishing out the year with Girl Scouts) and making them compete in pageants.

I do worry about people who can't see the distinction between those things and will push their children to do things they don't enjoy while saying it teaches them a lesson. Your method of finishing out the season is very reasonable, but I'm talking about parents who don't listen to their children and make them continue to do things (and not team sports) that they not only hate but don't really teach them anything.

Jessica said...

Oh yes, definitely! If the child did not ask to sign up or participate, then it's definitely no good to force them to continue if they hate it!

teawithfrodo said...

yeah, there is a difference between what these parents are doing and other activities.
The poor girl said "I want to be an Olympic gymnast but my mom wants me to be in pageants. Since she's the parent I have to do what she says."  It broke my heart to hear that.

Samantha S said...

I need to stop watching this show. It's like a big, glittery train wreck.

I'm all for finishing things you sign up for (ie. you want to play basketball, you sign up for the season, play three games, and think you want to quit? No way.), but the pageant mums are way, way over the top. So few of the kids seem to want to be there and the rest just seem so skewed over winning. I can't see them growing up with a healthy view of themselves.

I'm not too worried about this, personally, because we all know I'd cause some kind of a scene with one of the other parents and get tossed before I got past the lobby.