Submitted for post by “A Mom-ynous.”
There is much criticism on the internet about the Gosselin Family. Specifically, it is geared towards Jon and Kate Gosselin. The criticism involves their choice to broadcast the lives of their children from the most intimate moments to everyday events. It seems as though the cameras are there all the time.
But I don’t want to talk about whether or not what they are doing is appropriate. It certainly isn’t something I would do, but then again I don’t take too well from being criticized by total strangers. It would bother me too much. So much so that I wouldn’t even consider it for my kids in that manner. Reality TV is just not for me. I know I have flaws and know that they can and would be edited to favor or disfavor me. But I digress.
This article is sparked by some hostile articles towards the Gosselin’s parenting style. That is the best way that I can word that. The gist is—the Gosselins have 8 kids, life is hard, Kate is too mean, they don’t love their kids, they need to get a clue. The article was written by a single mother who obviously understands what it is like to deal with parenting in a difficult circumstance. She is of the opinion that despite twins and sextuplets, that the Gosselin’s should just deal like everyone else does even though they are speculated to have help that some of us can only dream of. In fact they should be able to deal with it better.
I think the G's are fine in general and let me tell you why.
We are all different people.
I don't wake up and wonder how I will split my attention among my children. They share me. They all love me. I love and enjoy them all differently. I don't concentrate on the quantity but rather the quality. For me to criticize the G’s for not being able to spread the love around to my satisfaction is just unfair to them. Some parents are touchy feely, some are not. Some families hug, hug, and hug some more all day every day. Some do not. There are introverts and extroverts, those with issues and those without issues, those who are OCD and those who pretend they are. We are just all different. To use my paradigm to judge the Gosselins just isn’t fair to my family or to their family.
Complaining and griping with this hostility is not about child advocacy in my opinion. This level of criticism has nothing to do with child exploitation in film and television. I cannot find one current law that deals with children employed in film and television that instructs the parents on how they should parent.
Everyone parents differently and while this family is certainly up to criticism since they do opt to share their lives (no matter how scripted the show is becoming)--bashing them for the sake of bashing because they “don’t have a clue of what it really means to love and care and parent their children” or that Kate’s hair looks like an ungroomed rooster. What in the world does that have to do with Child Labor Law?
It is just hostility. And from a Dr. Phil standpoint, how does this affect you? Does bashing them make you feel good about your parenting? Does hiding under the guise of child welfare really validate your need to be hostile?
All I know is--Casey Anthony, Susan Smith, Scott Peterson...and countless other supposed parents have done much more vile things at the expense of their kids. I mean—Jon and Kate may travel to all of their gigs and leave the kids with babysitters unknown to us. But is that the same as partying with friends and lying about employment while your child is supposedly kidnapped? Are you for real? I ask because I have seen someone actually post that Kate is the second worse mother only after Casey Anthony. Wow, we must really worry for the kids then because even Susan Smith was a better mother and she drove her children into a lake and then lied about it. Shocking, but so is making Kate out to be a worse mother than convicted murderers of their children.
Jon and Kate aren't like these parents and don't even come close.
Perhaps they do not parent as I would or you would--but does that truly give you the right to judge their parenting? Does that really help the case of protecting the Gosselin children from “exploitation”?
Let’s evaluate if your response can stand up to logic.
Since you opt to watch, aren't you just as guilty as they are? Okay, so maybe you gave up the show. But do you read the recaps? And even if you don't watch, don't you read the humorous episode recaps? Do you post on blogs. Do you comment on the show. Do you comment about any part of the Gosselins show? Then you are guilty of contributing to the so called exploitation of these kids.
Are the children suffering? I seriously doubt it. They aren't suffering any more than Dakota Fanning or the cast of high school musical except that maybe they deserve more of a paycheck. But per child split, they would make less than their parents because the parents do more work on the show. By the time you divvy up the presumed $40,000 per week pay: $8,000 per each parent, $3,000 per each child as just a ballpark estimate. They’d still make less than Dakota or Ashley. But they’d still be doing the same show.
I believe they are entitled to portions of the proceeds. They should not do the show for “free”. But we don’t know how the parents have divided the money. I am in favor that the children be individually drafted their own checks to their own accounts. I firmly believe they are entitled to that. And in the past, laws went in place to make sure that parents did not waste all that money that their children earned. That is fair for the kids.
They probably would most definitely be better off in the absence of cameras I suppose. They are entitled to privacy after all. But is their inherent harm in frequent filming of the child? Does your child watch the Disney channel or any children’s program on TV. Those kids work. Sure it is scripted and not their own private moments. But you watch it and enjoy it. So if the kids are filmed at a barbecue, a theme park or wherever. It is not inherently different. Privacy matters—but I don’t think it is possible to legislate where in the home the parents are permitted and not permitted to film.
But are they really "suffering". That is hard to say. Unless someone has a crystal ball, you just do not know. Would Mady and Cara be any more happy that they have laws that guarantee breaks and school time and limited filming time. Probably not. They'd still have to be on TV and subject to any ridicule by their friends at school. Bullying rules and regulations are supposed to protect them from that.
Much like the little boy from Jerry Maguire. Did you know he was subject to ridicule in school even though he was protected from labor exploitation.
Would labor laws really save them from this show? Not really.
All the child labor laws do is to protect the child to make sure they are not overworked (i.e. reasonable work day—for children under age 12 in British Columbia, that would be an 8 hour work day), they do not miss school (either tutored, or via homeschooling pertaining to state law--they can take breaks to accommodate filming, I know of a famous actress whose mom did this with her. School is not part of the work day), and that they are compensated accordingly (parents can take a percentage of pay that is reasonable and commensurate with their tasks--i.e. 10% for acting as their manager.)
Child labors do not and never will protect them from parents who might parent differently than you. It just doesn't. Never never never ever!
Kate can still yell and lose her temper, she can still have her kids on TV, she can still accept freebies--she can still do most of the same things she does every day and always. You cannot legislate personality.
She can have a film crew in her home, she can have lighting in her home--b/c it is HER home (well her and Jon's).
No law for child labor will ever PREVENT this show from ever concluding. It will never ever prevent J&K from placing their kids on TV. Think about it.
This to me speaks volumes as to who is truly advocating for these kids if they truly understand HOW these kids can be advocated for.
There are limitations even in the law as far as what it can do.
The parents are entitled to make choices for their family even if it is a choice you or I would not make
Do I find faults with Kate? Absolutely.
Will a child labor law protect these kids from these faults? Absolutely not.
So then you have to ask yourself, what purpose does a rant on their parenting skills serve other than to attack. Parenting cannot be legislated regardless of how much we would like it to.
No child labor law will ever force this family to apologize to Aunt Jody and Beth and permit them back into their lives. No exploitation law will ever force the family to interact with the grandparents.
Criticizing the family lifestyle, parenting, hairstyles, and choices has nothing to do with child advocacy and it never will. You cannot force me to parent in the way that you would like me to and the Gosselins are owed that same courtesy.