Today is Wednesday and tonight millions of Americans will be flipping to NBC to watch The Baby Borrowers, a new reality show, where teenagers test their parenting skills by getting babies, toddlers, kids, and teenagers for three day blocks at a time.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, issued a statement last week, calling for NBC to “pull” The Baby Borrowers due to health and safety concerns it has with the reality show.
“Separating babies and toddlers from their parents for extended periods of time can lead children to feel distress and anxiety,” the organization wrote in the statement. “After prolonged separation, a child can feel distrust for his or her primary caregiver. Separation can damage a healthy attachment and a child’s sense of safety.” The AACAP added “it’s concerned The Baby Borrowers promotes “baby borrowing” as an “acceptable parenting practice” that “will prompt imitation.”
“Should this practice be emulated without the benefit of the observing camera, it is important to note that teenagers may be more likely than adult strangers to abuse or neglect infants and toddlers,” said Anne Glowinski, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and member of AACAP’s Infancy and Preschool Committee.
AACAP president Robert Hendren also claims The Baby Borrowers’ “It’s not TV, it’s birth control” message could be better communicated than via a reality show.
The AACAP is not the only organization speaking out against The Baby Borrowers, Zero to Three — a national advocacy group for young children — also released a statement claiming the show “exploits very young children in the pursuit of entertainment.”
Despite the criticism, NBC is apparently sticking by its show and the safety its youngest participants received during filming.
“The producers of The Baby Borrowers took all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and welfare of the children participating in the series,” NBC said in a statement obtained by The Los Angeles Times. “The environment was carefully controlled, and the children were properly care for at all times.”
Personally, I have a problem with parents exploiting children for the almighty buck or TV exposure. I feel that The Baby Borrowers, as entertaining as it may be, is just as bad as parents bringing their child on The Maury Show or Jerry Springer, to discuss how morbidly obese their child is, or how promiscuous he/she is.
Young children don’t have a voice, and it is up to the parent, to speak for them,to protect them, and to act in their best interest.
Baby Bodyguards would like to hear your feedback on this issue. Feel free to email me personally at Courtney@babybodyguards.com, I will post your feedback in a later post.