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This post *may be a bit of a rant… (*it definitely will be!) The other day, I watched a TV programme called ‘Britain’s Best Parent.’ And I found it infuriating, damaging, toxic and quite frankly, a load of utter balls. I’ve been stewing on it since so I thought I’d just quickly write down the issues I have with this show.
The concept of Britain’s Best Parent
The whole premise of the show, if you haven’t seen it, is that there are three sets of parents who all believe their parenting style is better than anyone else’s. All of them have very definite styles and all of them are at the extreme end of these styles.
Anyway, to demonstrate what they believe are their golden rules of parenting, they each have all the other people’s children to their house for a day. And they show them how they parent their own kids.
Then the parents come together afterwards in a studio to present their case for why their parenting style is the best (and slam each other’s!) The viewers in the studio vote on which parent/set of parents they think are the best, and they then go through to the next round.
So here are some of the reasons why I think the ‘Britain’s Best Parent’ TV programme is a load of sh*te:
We shouldn’t be judging each others’ parenting
Firstly, I fundamentally disagree with the concept of pitting parents against each other.
There is such a need for people to BE KIND in these days of social media trolling and so on. I just do not see how it’s helpful or healthy in any way, to actively encourage parents to judge each other. We should be supporting each other, even if we disagree!
As well as the parents on the actual show, it encourages parents at home to be judgemental bellends too. There are even articles in the tabloids about viewers ‘slamming’ the parents on the show. Even though I was ranting about the whole concept of the programme while watching it, I STILL found myself commenting on some of the parenting I saw!! Which only served to enrage me further as I’d fallen into the trap!
Of course we all have different parenting styles. We have different pasts, different backgrounds, different upbringings, different life experiences, different values and different opinions. The world would be a bit bloody boring if we all brought our kids up exactly the same!
But in these times of people being really f**king unkind to each other a lot of the time, how is it sensible encouraging people to judge each other’s parenting styles?! It seems at best misguided and stupid, at worst dangerous and potentially damaging.
They criticise each other’s parenting in front of their kids
Well not quite openly criticise. But the other parents ask the kids some very suggestive and leading questions.
In the episode I saw, the children were aged about 9 or 10. And one of the mums asked a boy: ‘Do you think you’re a priority in your mum’s life?’ Basically very clearly implying that the poor kid wasn’t! I mean, that kind of thing could be quite damaging to that boy’s relationship with his mother.
I know, you could argue that the people have chosen to go on the show so it’s their own fault and so on. But even still, it just all seemed a bit manipulative to me and I don’t really agree with it.
Parenting should be reflective
To me, parenting should be a reflective thing. The fact that these parents are professing to be the best implies that they think they are utterly perfect, with no room for improvement.
Now most parents, and this definitely applies to me, spend half their lives wracked with guilt and wondering if they’re doing a good enough job. I’m not saying this is right either, but I think for most of us, there can be a lot of self-doubt with parenting. After all, there’s no manual and we’re all just winging it and doing our best really, aren’t we?
Well not these parents apparently. These people must think they are doing such an absolutely amazing job that they don’t need to ever reflect on their parenting, or what they could have done better in a certain situation. I’m just not sure if it’s a great attitude to have.
By all means, be confident in your parenting but surely nobody’s perfect? Shouldn’t we be showing our kids that it’s ok and healthy to make mistakes and learn from them? Rather than just thinking we’re perfect with no scope to reflect or improve?
Britain’s Best Parent is actually a very interesting TV programme
The annoying thing is that I think the programme could have been really good. It was genuinely so interesting to see other people’s parenting styles, and it provoked some good, in-depth discussion between me and Twiglet Daddy. We could see bits of our own parenting style in each set of parents, which I guess is the point, as I mentioned before that they represent the extremes.
I just wish the programme could have been put together in a way that doesn’t encourage judgement and unkindness. Like if the premise was more just to learn about each other’s parenting styles. So still have the children spend time with the other parents and discuss it afterwards. But without the slamming of each other and the competitive element.
I guess that wouldn’t make such compelling or exciting TV viewing though, right? 🙁
I think the programme makers must want it to be controversial anyway. The couple who won the episode I saw were advocates of smacking children. It didn’t sit well with me (or a lot of people on Twitter) that they won, but hey maybe that’s me being judgemental!!
Anyway, maybe I’m being completely over the top here. It does happen sometimes 😉 But personally I just don’t think the TV programme Britain’s Best Parent is helpful or healthy. In fact it’s potentially damaging and toxic. Have you seen the show? What were your thoughts?
Thanks for reading this rant! Til next time,
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