A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bet on Your Baby features parents bidding on whether or not their infant or toddler will complete a set of playful challenges in hopes of winning college scholarship money for them. It has its share of cute, funny moments, but parents are often shown begging or bribing their kids to get them to do things, which doesn't send the best message. Luvs diapers and Walmart are major sponsors of the show. Other ABC shows, like Baby Daddy, also receive plugs.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
BET ON YOUR BABY is a game show that has parents betting on how well they can can predict their babies' unpredictable behavior in hopes of adding to their college funds. Each episode features five babies playing backstage while host Melissa Peterman introduces a challenge. One parent must go backstage and take their baby into playroom called the Baby Dome and encourage him/her to follow instructions for things like twirling in circles, stacking cookies, and/or holding on to a beach ball for one minute without letting go. The other parent must bet on whether or not the child will actually complete the task in a specified amount of time. If s/he bets correctly, $5,000 in college tuition money is awarded to the child. At the end of the show, all the parents return to play the College Round for a chance to win up to a $50,000 college scholarship for their baby.
Is it any good?
Bet on Your Baby combines cute baby antics and game show suspense to create some entertaining moments. Most of the fun comes from watching the kids doing their own thing as the parents encourage and/or even beg them to do the things that will help them win. Adding to the fray is Peterman's humor, which is showcased in-between rounds as she spends a little one-on-one time with each of that episode's featured babies.
Much is made about the fact that the children think they are on a spectacular playdate, and that they aren't exposed to anything that is harmful and/or intimidating during the show. However, there is something a little odd about having parents trying to manipulate their children to do something for money, even if it is for a good cause. But if you can get past this, the show offers some funny moments that are mild enough for audiences of all ages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about game shows. Why do people appear on them? Is it just for the chance to win money and prizes? To have fun? To have some moments in the spotlight? Can a game show ever go too far?
What is the difference between showing off a child and exploiting them for entertainment or money? Even though the parents featured on this game show are trying to win money for their children's future education, is it appropriate to manipulate their children's behavior in front of a camera in order to get the cash? Or is this just something done in good fun?