I rarely watch the show "Toddlers and Tiaras", but yesterday it was on the television when I walked into the room. I watched for a few minutes. I am more interested in watching the parents than the kids. The amount of money they spend on these 'pageants' is staggering. Some of them work extra jobs just to keep their 6 year old in beauty contests.
The order of business is Director, Assistant Director, Master of Ceremony, 3-5 judges, and parents. Make no mistake--these people have no control over what happens. The kids are running the show--on and off stage. Off stage, the parents are teaching dance routines, applying WAY too much make-up, styling hair in 1960's styles, bribing, conjoling, and lecturing, all to the kid. By the time the kid takes the stage, the parent is a nervous wreck. Then as the child on stage is performing, the camera will show the parent, usually the mother, dancing and mega-smiling out in the audience to remind the child of what is necessary to win. But this is all for fun, don't forget.
What I saw yesterday started me thinking. I saw a mother and father in the audience doing the dance routine along with their child on stage. The dance was WAY too provocative for an 8 year old. When she took off her jacket and swung it around and then threw it like a stripper, the camera showed the father smiling and reveling in the success. I thought, I wonder if he will be happy when she is taking off her clothes in front of a crowd at 16 years old?
What we instill in our children in the formative years will continue throughout their lives. Remember--What is cute at age 6 may not be at 16.