Your child could be the next reality star, hit the panic button now!

Dread of pocket-money, latest gadgets and even late-nights is lost in the jungle of reality shows. The terror unleashed by these misogynistic TRP rating-enhancers is not lost on any sane parent. Even if their kids are just about one year old. Who knows, 24/7 cameras would telecast “90 days in Kindergarten” next? Lollipop fights, flying colours, food tantrums and bullying: ‘The return of innocence’. Hmm! And what about the other world? No, not the ghostly or the underworld one. The equally dangerous one – online. The quickest way to becoming a reality star.

Google+,Twitter, Blogs and YouTube are a modern mom’s infringement on her baby’s privacy, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. There is even a word for it ‘sharenting’ – oversharing about our kids’ lives on social media. ‘When Daddy comes home’, ‘messy eating’ to ‘ first time on the poop chair’ nothing is forbidden say the numerous hits and likes. ‘Smile’ says the mother without wondering if the baby would like to ‘block’ these live telecasts 20 years from now (only too late). Yes yours truly is guilty on many accounts too.

On second thoughts, why do we not start it from their conception, ‘Big Daddy’ would be a smashing hit. Ten couples with their sperms and eggs in contract with the Big Daddy. ‘Big Daddy wants you to run into the first egg you meet’. ‘Big Daddy wants you to name your triplets, one, two and three’. ‘Big Daddy gives you the task of changing diapers with eyes closed’ and so on. Can you even imagine the retweets, the likes and the follows? The kid is a reality star before even you know it.

Hilariously dangerous and unstoppable, this ‘bare it all’ trend is fast intruding into our everyday and corroding what ever sanity is left around. Kids growing up overnight on stage wins and losses. Teenagers baring all, from their bodies to their worst vocabulary to their aspirations for a good life, at any cost. Contestants making love under the sheets…but on camera.

So what is the way forward?

Slow down. Yes, you heard me right, it starts from us.

Sit down and ask yourself if you are oversharing about your family on social media and hence making it an unsafe place for your kids.

While I am not the mother who will censor everything for the children on TV, I do believe that kids cannot watch certain shows as they don’t know reality from showbiz. And before you know they will become the new Honey Boo Boo or Doo Doo or something else, that will shock the viewers into ensuring a cult following.

An eight year old does not need to be social, online. For heaven’s sake, why do they need Facebook accounts and Twitter handles so early in life? Oh and stop reserving the e-mail id’s in their names. These platforms might not even exist when they grow up.

What about the talented youngster and golf, the IQ, the archery champ. When I see a 2-year-old hitting the bull’s eye and setting a record, I feel sad. I apologise if you think I should be celebrating and not whining. Honestly, do you remember what you were doing when you were 2 years old? Why are we in such a hurry? Why can we not let the kids be kids? Imagine the pressure these little angels are facing. If you think your munchkin is meant to be famous at 4 or 8 or 10, I suggest you read up on ‘Macaulay Culkin’. Who? Well the ‘Home Alone’ child star the entire world was in love with.

Walk the middle road and teach them the same. Right here on, we make sure we don’t share anything that can harm our kids tomorrow.

Sit and talk to your kids. I know this is repetitive but we need to spend time with them. There is no shortcut for gaining their confidence. Remember loneliness can drive them into Trouble’s drawing-room.

Your kid is getting smarter, quite dangerously. It is good to expose them to technology but you have to draw a line. Can you even believe the kind of apps these kids are picking up at their age? For every parental control app there is a cheat code. Have you heard about this app from Cydiawater? To cut a long story short, your little genius just needs to download this app (there are many more, wait for a detailed article on that) and select the right icon he or she doesn’t want you to know about. So if you don’t see it, you think it does not exist. Someone is benefitting by keeping your little one’s secret, a secret. Think hard who and why?

Which brings me to ‘what we do, they do’. Why do you think your kids feel that grandparents house is a safe place? That is what they have picked up from us, our talks, our behaviour. So they think that mama, papa like to hang out online and so can they. Are we, by being online 24/7, watching these crazy marketing and entertaining gimmicks, giving them the same impression about the reel and virtual world?

In this world everything seems fair in love and for entertainment. Except if it is your child shedding more than just his/her inhibitions for the world to watch, live.

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Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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