Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The world's strictest parents?

I randomly came accross the BBC reality tv show "The World's Strictest Parents" the other day on youtbe so I watched a few episodes. The story line is simple: in each episode, two British "problem" teenagers are sent to very strict families over the world for one week. The chosen teenagers a first shown back home with their family and then they meet at the airport where they leave from to get to their final destinations.

I watched a couple of episodes in which the teenagers go to American cities and one in which they go to South Africa. In all the episodes I have watched so far, the host families are of Christian faith, some are more involved in their religious communities than others but they basically all gave blessings before family meals versus the British teenagers who don't appear to be religious except for a couple who are Muslim but do not practice their faith (they drink, smoke, don't go to mosque etc.).

So this makes me wonder, is the BBC guilty of bias? Trying to imply religion makes for better values and education? I have so far only watched 4 or 5 episodes I do admit but I did choose them randomly after searching "world's strictest parents" in the search bar so I don't know, it's just something I thought about...

The show is interesting but one thing bothers me: the host families are very far from being the strictest parents in the world, some could be considered a little strict but not overly so. Truth is, they look like super nice, loving and supportive parents. These families, from what we see of them, are well balanced, give structure to their children and instil respect into their children. Sure the children are expected to help around the house, participate in family life and what not but isn't that what family is about? The children are grounded if they disrespect or answer back but that just seems right to me. Some families on the show could be compared to mine in certain aspects though my family doesn't belong to any faith, but I never viewed my parents as strict. Of course my parents and I have had our differences but I guess it's normal.

My problem with this show is that it depicts normal balanced families as the world's strictest families. I also find it very sad that these teenagers have to be sent on the other side of the planet to realise how lucky they are to have loving parents and to have an education, a roof over their heads and food on their table. I think they could have the same experience back in the UK or even in Europe, I think it's stupid of the BBC to waste money on this...
Has giving your kids boundaries and imposing rules on them become the new norm for strict? Is the new normal just letting them do whatever, whenever with whoever they want? If so I don't want to live on this planet anymore (Actually my desire to leave this planet has been there for long).

Also, why should problem teenagers who do nothing all day go out all night, drink get high and have to steal from their siblings and parents to sustain their lifestyles, why should teenagers who beat on their parents and treat them like shit, why should they get a free trip to random places in the world and be invited in nice families? Do they deserve this? I wanna go meet nice people on the other face of Earth!

Anyway, I'm off to watch some more now. Thanks for reading, have a nice night/day!

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