Jan 17 2014

Why Kids Shouldn’t Be On Reality TV

This story, if true, illustrates something I’ve said for a long time. Children shouldn’t be on reality television shows.

This Daily Mail article, taken from a report in the New York Daily News, says that Kate Gosselin told her daughters, “You embarrassed mommy,” after they didn’t “defend her” during an interview on NBC’s Today Show.

I know I’ve said it to people I know, and I think I’ve written about it and/or talked about it on podcasts. What have I said? That kids shouldn’t be on reality shows. It’s not fair to them. They aren’t able to make an informed decision about their privacy.

Now, what do I mean by “kids”? I would say “18 and under” but that’s both unrealistic and a little silly. What would be reasonable, though, is 13 years old. That’s the age used by COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

COPPA establishes rules for websites collecting information about children under the age of 13. Seems reasonable, right? Maybe we could apply the same cut-off age to whether or not a kid is allowed to be on a reality TV show.

Now, you might say, “what about child actors?” Well, there are laws about child actors — the hours they are allowed to work, what happens to the money they make so that unscrupulous parents can’t spend it all. Also, those kids are ACTING. They don’t have cameras in their homes recording their real lives.

Yes, I am aware that “reality television” isn’t reality. These shows have writers on staff, and much of what is purportedly real is staged. (I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before by hundreds of other people. If this is the first time you’ve heard it, my apologies.) Still, would you like to grow up and discover that you were a reality TV star when you were two years old?

Here’s an idea. As the Marx Brothers said, there is no sanity clause.

But maybe there should be. It doesn’t seem fair that young children should be allowed to have their lives broadcast on television, even with parental consent. Many news outlets fuzz out the faces of kids in photos. Why? Presumably because they respect the idea of a child’s right to privacy. Why not extend this same right to reality TV?

Kate Gosselin tells twins they ’embarrassed mommy’ at Today show appearance | Mail Online.

Sep 22 2013

Should I Stop Holding Back?

Believe it or not, I hold back a lot. Should I stop? Is it time to to really tell the world (whoever is listening/reading) what I actually think?

DaddyTips—Thoughts on Dadding

Some have told me that no good will come of me expressing my views. Not that I’ve never expressed an opinion. I was particularly harsh to Lance Armstrong, but I felt that he deserved it. (Plus I was ahead of the curve on that story.)

Ultimately this is a parenting blog. It is called DaddyTips. The original idea was to offer, you know, tips. That isn’t always easy because a lot of parenting advice comes from my actual experiences as a father. Why is this an issue? Because I don’t like writing about my kids too much. I don’t use their names, I don’t post their photos, and I think they have a right to privacy.

Note: I know this isn’t what everyone does, and I respect people who make different decisions on this matter. Except for Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin. Them I find irritating and always did. Here’s the proof. Notice what I wrote at the end, that perhaps Jon could get a regular job. I wrote that in 2009. This has now happened.

And yes, quoting yourself is tacky but it makes fact-checking easier. I will keep writing that until somebody tells me to stop.

Anyway, back to the original topic of whether or not I should hold back. Someone suggested to me recently that they thought I was out of control. There’s a lot more to that story that I’m not going to share because it’s too personal and involves details I prefer not to discuss in public. I have always felt strongly that one way to avoid being “out of control” is to vent. Get it out. Rant, if that helps.

I don’t know. It’s difficult to decide.

Is there a tip here? There is. The tip is to consider whether or not sharing certain things on the Interwebs is good for you or for your kids. It might be. Or not. But like Dora says, let’s stop and think for a minute.

Nov 12 2009

Jon Gosselin Is Still Out of His Mind


Jon and Kate Plus 8 may have been canceled but that hasn’t stopped the stream of interviews with Jon and Kate (the 8 have no comment for now). An interview on PopEater confirms that Jon Gosselin is still out of his mind.

The latest wackiness: Jon Gosselin Promises the Holidays Will Be the Same for the Kids. Dude. How is that possible? Unless he means that the holidays will be utterly bizarre, something they have been ever since the Gosselins decided to turn their lives into a TV show.

Amusingly, the dopey dad does not mention celebrating Chanukah, despite the fact that Jon Gosselin declared to ParentDish that he was now Jewish. Well, OK. Half Jewish. In fact, he even said he planned to celebrate the festival of lights, telling ParentDish: “This is the first year I will celebrate Chanukah. Hailey is Jewish. Everyone in my life is Jewish now, my attorney. I love it. I’m now half Jewish and half Korean. The family values are great.” (And the food. Oy! That Gefilte fish!)

Jon also told ParentDish “On Christmas, I’ll see my kids during the day for a couple of hours.” But that was a whole month ago. Now he tells PopEater the following: “Christmas Eve and Christmas day are joint-shared custody days, which means we’re both in the house. So we’ll be there.”

What does this mean? That the guy is living a stream of consciousness type of life. No reflection whatsoever. He just says whatever pops into his head at the moment he is asked a question. And he gets asked questions all day long. It’s bizarre.

Look. Divorce is hard on everyone. And going through it in the public eye is even harder. But is it really necessary to do interviews constantly? Maybe it is — apparently Gosselin wants to remain on television, telling the entertainment show “The Insider” that “he plans to make TV his career,” according to Examiner.com. So keeping himself “out there” helps.

On the other hand, maybe he could just get a regular job.

Image: Amazon.com

Jun 23 2009

Two Bunnies Discuss Jon and Kate Divorce

This is odd. But not without humor. It’s short, wait until the end.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1jRK5ijIfw] Read more »

May 07 2009

Jon Gosselin Sex Tape?

This could be interesting. If it’s true.

So. How much would you pay for a tape of Jon Gosselin and Deanna Hummel making the beast with two backs? (For those of you who didn’t waste their time getting a liberal arts degree, that means having sex.) Read more »