Can my 10-year-old watch Bigg Boss?
Created by Neetu Ralhan Updated on Oct 17, 2016
Bigg Boss*, the long-running reality show had its Season 10 rolled out last night on 16h October. This show comes with the following tagline "Viewer's discretion and parental guidance are recommended”. How would you exercise this?
I personally know many parents who love watching the show. Since it is telecast at prime time, children do tend to watch or at least catch a glimpse of the show. Interestingly I also know an equal number of parents who find the show disturbing and non-entertaining and therefore, avoid it altogether. At times, one does get confused whether they should allow their child to watch a particular movie or TV show. Here’s some help…
Recommendation - Not Appropriate for Children below 14
Why avoid it?
As the show progresses, one sees contestants turning intolerant towards one another, and the sense of competition heating up. As housemates struggle to cope with the constantly changing dynamics within the house, they begin to exhibit not-so-positive behaviours and emotions, such as insecurity, intolerance, conniving against other contestants, jealousy, bad language, emotional distress, screaming, crying, trust issues, gossiping, indecency and violence.
As the weeks pass, human nature takes over civilised restraint and audiences watch participants, most of whom are celebrities, deal with almost constant conflict. Everyone is now competing to win the game and strategising and conspiring to eliminate the others.
There have been instances when due to public demand, a popular contestant is saved from eviction or is reinstated into the show, in spite of indulging in wrongful behaviour. The message that popularity overrides inappropriate conduct may not be a great example for a young child.
Are there any positive influences?
Some housemates do manage to handle the pressure and remain calm through the series. Some have said that the experience helped them learn to survive in unfavourable situations and be more tolerant of others.
These may be positive takeaways for, perhaps, an older child (12 years and above). Unfortunately, the not-so-positive incidents that dictate most of the episodes grossly outnumber the positives.
Taking the decision
Here is a set of 5 thought-provoking pointers – ask yourself and that will help you in taking the decision.
Q 1. Can my child do without watching this show?
This is a question I ask myself often. Will my child gain anything by watching this show, or will he be better off doing something else?
Q 2. Is there any constructive takeaway he/she gets by watching the show?
Not every show is watched for educational reasons. TV viewing can also be pure entertainment for children. However, do consider the ‘kind’ of entertainment you would like to expose your child to.
Q 3. My child is only 2 years old; will she really understand what's going on?
Children pick up vibes and can sense a tension in the atmosphere. Research shows that an unpleasant environment can affect even babies. If a two-year-old can sense parent’s conflict, domestic issues or mum’s bad mood, she can understand the message coming through a powerful audio-visual medium.
Q 4. What possible influence can a mere TV show have on a pre-teen?
As fear of eviction rises, housemates are seen losing their composure, indulging in diplomacy, taking sides and often succumbing to emotional histrionics. Often, such extreme reactions are supposed to be rigged (fabricated) in order to increase the TRPs.
Additionally, celebrities are often role models for young children and teenagers. There is always a possibility that the children will emulate them without judging them. Look around and you will find that your growing pre-teen has various other alternatives for healthy entertainment.
Q. But I love this show! Do I stop watching it as well?
Recently there have been times when I have been able to convey to my 12-year-old that watching a particular show helps me unwind. So if he can give me half an hour to myself, it would be great. With an older child such as a teenager, this may work. However, with younger children, if the choice is between your child co-watching and you missing the show, one may simply have to miss the show.
You can catch the episode later on Youtube. Or if your digital TV account allows, you can record the show and watch it later when your child is away.
Audio-visual media leaves a lasting impression on a child. It is perhaps best to exercise caution when deciding what your child can watch.
*For those who haven’t tuned into Bigg Boss ever (unlikely!), here’s a gist: The show films the travails and tribulations of participants from different walks of life who come to live together under one roof, with no contact with the outside world. Each week, two housemates are nominated for eviction. The common end goal is to avoid eviction until the end of the series.
"Children are exposed today to various media, and when they are shown conflict, violence and other inappropriate devices to monopolise a child’s attention, it is worse than taking candy from a baby. It is taking precious time from the process of growing up."
| Nov 23, 2016
i would feel it is better to lie down in bed with your child and read a story book or do sone picture reading or just talking about how each one's day was. sorry but big boss somewhat has just not made place in my heart. it's all fabricated and we know it still we watch it.
| Oct 23, 2016
madam nowadays what I prefer and believe is if you don't let them see they tend to learn from school friends outside which we don't know how they see the situation as good or bad ,I think if nobody in house watches then kid doesn't watch if you watch then you too sit with him and watch and keep telling him this is not right this is right show the kid with your own thoughts and views what is right and wrong that ways you will be a good guide to him ,that ways his trust on u will be more than his friends
| Oct 17, 2016
An interesting blog and quite topical too. Personally, I have never been interested in the show and hence my children also don't watch it. But like the blogger said, she knows numerous parents who watch the show have a dilemma on their hands.