Sunday, September 30, 2007

How Much Do I Love Kid Nation?

When I first heard about this show, I was intrigued. The more I heard, the more I wanted to hear, and I had it on my Season Pass list as soon as Tivo let me. I watched the first episode, and let me tell you, I am HOOKED.

I’m amused by all the people in my life who denounce the show as horrific, abusive, terrible, awful, whatever – who haven’t seen it. Who are basing this opinion solely on what someone else wrote on the Internet. So I figured I’d write an opinion that people could read and mindlessly quote, or maybe actually it would inspire someone to WATCH THE SHOW, which you should do anyway, because it totally rocks.

How much do I love Kid Nation?

If you haven’t heard, Kid Nation is a reality show where 40 kids are taken to an abandoned ghost town and charged with the task of bringing it back to life. Actually, that’s not quite true. Forty kids were taken about a mile away from this abandoned ghost town, given giant wagons full of supplies for the town, and had to get themselves and the wagons there before they could even officially start trying to bring the town back to life.

I think the idea behind the opening was to drive home the point that This is Hard Work, and to kind of force them headfirst into the whole “Live Together, Die Alone” mentality.

To the critics of this show, I must start by stating the obvious: If you truly believe for one moment that these kids were really ever in any danger of being seriously injured or (God forbid) killed, you are stupid. Sorry, but you are. What the heck network, let alone parents, would agree to such a thing? No one ENJOYS watching children DIE on prime time TV.

OK, so that said, why do I love Kid Nation so much? Because it is freaking real, dude. These kids are having an INCREDIBLE experience. At the very least, by the time they finish the show, they will know how to cook, and they will have KICK ASS college application essay material.

How much do I love Kid Nation?

Unlike the typical “voted off” reality show mentality, so far, the show is different. The kids are supposed to work together – one person could never run the town alone. They have regular town meetings, and at each one, they ask, “Does anyone want to go home?” If anyone wants to go, they let them go home. No hard feelings, no humiliation – it’s OK.

I keep trying to figure out how my kids would fare there. I tend to think not so well, and I think that reflects pretty poorly on my parenting. Often, I choose to do things for my kids because it’s easier that way. But that’s not really teaching them anything useful or meaningful – and in a real sense, it’s disrespectful to them. No, I don’t think I’ll make my kids haul water anytime soon, but they could easily learn how to do the laundry. Or make their own school lunches.

Dude. If you haven’t seen the show, check it out. And think about it for a bit. Watch it WITH your kids – that’s my plan. Ask them how they’d respond to things in the show if they were there. Their answers just might surprise you.

8 comments:

TNMomof5 said...

My boys are 12 and 14 - they are really enjoying this show!!

bmxmom said...

This is a cool show :)

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I've been curious about this show but didn't start watching it -- and now I can't remember why! (Conflict with another favorite show?) Time to go check TiVo.

Andrea said...

Because of this post, I actually attempted to watch this show last night. I only caught bits and pieces while trying to cook dinner and wrangle my 9-month-old, but the concept is definitely interesting! I plan to try to catch it next week, too. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

bubandpie said...

That's definitely my weakness as a parent - I underestimate what they're capable of in terms of cleaning up after themselves, so I do it all myself. I had to fill out a questionnaire for a research study and it was embarrassing - Does he put away toys when he's done with them? No. Does he tidy up his room each day? No. Does he put away clothes after he takes them off? No. It would never even occur to either of us for him to do these things.

WriterGrrl said...

I have to say, I've been enjoying it even more as it progresses. I hope the rest of you are, too!

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