Bet On Your Baby Reality TV Show – Can It Get Any Worse? Probably…

I just came across this press release from ABC announcing a new game/reality show called “Bet On Your Baby.” Here’s the release:

…“Bet On Your Baby,” is a new primetime game show in which parents try to predict their child’s next move in an effort to win money for their child’s future education…Every parent thinks they know their baby well, but are they willing to bet on it? “Bet On Your Baby” will reveal the answer to that question each week in an hour-long program featuring  five families with toddlers between the ages of two years old and three and a half years old. Each family will play a self-contained, individual challenge against the house – meaning they’re only competing against themselves, and not against other babies. At the end of the show, the five families return to play the college round for the chance to win $50,000 towards a college education for their child.

This bothers me on so many levels.

  1. Kids now are competing for college money as a baby. Before they are even aware, the responsibility for performing well is put on them by parents predicting their next move.
  2. This is another situation where kids can disappoint their parents. Don’t we live vicariously enough without adding new ways for our children to disappoint us.
  3. It perpetuates the “child centered” society that we have produced. I already see that parents cheering on their own children, giving way too much praise for the littlest action, and showing lots of disappointment for not winning.
  4. I am already imagining parents spending hours trying to teach babies certain actions, or parents spending hours watching for particular moves and actions by their babies.  Why not just play with them?

I hope this show never makes it to TV.