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January 27, 2017

Essay - Children's Participation in Reality Shows

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Children's Participation in Reality Shows

Overview
  • Television, as an important medium of communication. 
  • Reality show : a ticket to name and fame.
  • Children participating in this show are constantly under pressure. 
  • Negative impacts of it on children. 
  • The parental pressure to win the show. 
  • The positive aspects of reality show. 
  • Some precautionary measures to be taken to deal with the children.
In the past few years, television has emerged as an important medium of communication. It has taken the level of visual communication to another level due to its popularity and wide reach among the masses. With the growing number of viewership, the programmes offered by different channels are
increasing. The channels are coming up with a different set of programmes for a different genre of people. There are dedicated programmes and channels for children, adults, housewives, youngsters and old people. There are cartoons, cookery shows, daily soaps, devotional shows etc which cater to the different segments of the society.


Reality TV shows are the latest to join the fad. The name, Reality TV Show tells about the type of content delivered by them. The focus of these shows is to bring together people from all backgrounds and keep the audience hooked on to it as they feel that the shows are closer to real life and experiences.

These shows have provided platforms to the people from different walks of the society to showcase their talent and pursue a lucrative career thereafter. Most of these shows offer hefty price money to the winner. In other words, we can say that the reality shows are a ticket to name and fame for the successful contestants. The phenomenal response of the audience to these shows has led the makers to come up with reality shows which cater to the interests of different age groups.

Many of the entertainment channels have come up with reality dance and singing competitions for the children. Undoubtedly, these platforms have provided phenomenal exposure to the children and acquainted them with different career options but the participation of the children in these shows is a serious concern.

Children are known for their innocence and childhood is considered as the golden period of one's life. It is these growing years which lay down the foundation stone of a glorious future. This is why the young minds need a friendly and amiable environment to nurture and blossom.

However, the atmosphere on the sets of reality shows is totally opposite. The children are constantly under the pressure to perform well and win the show. The competition levels are high. Besides, there is an unfair competition in the sense that a child of four years is judged in the same bracket with the child of eleven years of age.

Participation in the reality shows come at the cost of the education and health of the children, both of which are the pillars of the overall development. The innocent minds of the children are not mature enough to handle the criticism from the judges and the rejection from the masses. Those children who do not win the contests lose their self confidence.

All these factors take a toll on the mental health of the child and may suffer from depression. Reality shows expect the children to practice for hours leaving them mentally and physically exhausted. In certain dance shows the children are expected to perform on the adult item number songs which have a negative impact on the child as well as the viewers.

Due to long shooting hours, many times the children have to compromise with their education. They are unable to attend their school on a regular basis. This is why they are unable to make timely submissions which directly affect their grades. They don't get time for outdoor activities, watching television, reading books etc. They become so occupied with work and studies that they work day and night and a fun-filled childhood is often converted to a stressful one.

With the increasing number of children participating in the reality shows, the expectations of the parents from their children are rising. The feeling of competition is growing among the parents also. They want their child to be an all-rounder. In the worst cases, children have become a source of money for their parents and guardians. The children are made to work forcibly without realising the impact of the same on the children.

Besides the negative aspects of the limelighted path, a child actor enjoys many rewards and learns various life skills while participating in a reality show. A child gains a sense of responsibility at an early age as he/she is accountable for the performance in the business. Pursuing a career in the entertainment industry also lends independence to the child as he/she can be guided but not helped while acting or performing.

Apart from enjoying freedom and independence, a child also learns to be confident and gets better with speaking skills after participation in reality shows and programmes due to large number of viewers. Many-a-times, a child faces rejection, but the field of entertainment teaches the actors to deal with rejection in a positive manner. Fame, money, attention are few other sparkles that land in the lap of the child actor upon successful footset in a reality show.

Though the industry offers different sets of advantages and disadvantages, the people who are working in this domain need to take extra care and be extra cautious while dealing with the children. There should be fixed working hours for the children which should not exceed three to four hours a day so that they get enough time to sleep, study and play. Parents need to be supportive of their children throughout.

The child also needs to be counselled in order to accept and handle rejection. All these shows should have trained counsellors and experts who can teach the children and parents to cope with different situations. The parents and mentors need to understand the fact that each child is unique and has his own capabilities and talents. It is better not to push the child beyond the limits and let them prosper in their own space.

There is no denying fact that the world is becoming extremely competitive day by day. Despite the disadvantages, Such platforms are making children ready for the tough world ahead. The young child actors have impressionable minds and thus, utmost care needs to be taken while dealing with them to maintain a balance and moderate the impact on the child.

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Genre sort, same kind, style
  • Fad a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc especially one followed enthusiascally by a group
  • Hooked slavishly invested in, devoted to or obsessed with
  • Lucrative profitable, money making
  • Hefty heavy, impressevely large or substantial
  • Acquainted brought into social contact, made familiar
  • Amiable having or showing pleasant, good-natured personal qualities
  • Nurture to support and encourage
  • Toll the extent of damage, suffering etc resulting from an action
  • Domain a field action, thought, influence etc
  • Mentors a wise and trusted counselor or teacher
  • Prosper to be successful or fortunate, thrive; flourish.
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani

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