We have all, at some point in our lives seen children doing talented things, or things which are beyond their tender years. We think to ourselves “How sweet, or how cute”. They must be gifted to be able to do this at such a young age.
However, there is another side to this. Although I am a firm believer that children should be taught the skills they need for later in life, it seems they are being pushed to excel, to be noticed, to stand out, at really young ages. What for? For any kind of exposure, is the simple answer.
Unfortunately, the driving force behind all of this, is not to show how talented our ‘cute children’ are, It is money. Pure and simple. Let’s not kid ourselves.
The money is for the parents, who will use it to ‘provide for their children’s future, or to propel them to stardom in the future’. So let’s analyze this for a second. The parents behind these ‘prodigies are often average working or middle class people who are ‘comfortable’ and have the time and means to provide tuition, transport, and time, for their children to participate in all manner of activities from singing, dancing, acrobatics, to ballet, and magic.
It is to bring them (the parents) fame, and with it fortune. If they were upfront about it, it would be ok, ” I want my kid to be famous and rich”, but the deceptive nature of these parents is almost always overlooked in the name of “entertainment” and enrichment for the parents. I have to be critical of programs like these and also of the thousands of ‘pageants’ which promote the ‘beauty above all’ mentality, which already plagues society.
One of the recent leaders of this drive is a show named ‘Little Big Shots’ which features children ranging in ages from 5 to 15 (I am not sure exactly, as I do not spend too long watching/gathering my info). As the pictures suggest, the host introduces the kids and their ‘doting’ parents to the audience to gasps, and cheers. The children then go through a stage managed ‘conversation’ with the host, in which they also display their comedic abilities, and make strange noises or do strange impressions.
I have always thought that programs like this suit the country where they generally originate (The USA), but to my horror recently, as I was reading the BBC (UK) website I saw a plug for the ‘British’ version hosted by Dawn French, once a fine comedienne. In some instances it is inevitable that we British follow American trends, but this was one of the moments when I put my head in my hands and thought “We have gone too far now”
The most galling aspect of this is the fact that as the generally living becomes more and more expensive and out of people’s reach, the thirst for stardom is going to accelerate. We will be seeing more and more of these types of programs, where, in my humble opinion the kids are being manipulated for the gains of their parents.
Let the kids grow up. Let them be kids before forcing this hideous (for them, not their parents) life upon them. What do you think? Is it healthy to put children through this scenario, before they have the mental attributes to fully understand the world around them?