Kidnapped by the Kids

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Kidnapped by the Kids TV Poster Image
Emotional series is relevant for modern families.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series takes an honest look at the struggles families face to stay connected amid the pressures of modern life, and it celebrates the participants’ willingness to work through their problems. Kids get a forum to air their true feelings to their parents, and the exchanges often are emotional.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The show emphasizes the faults of parents who aren’t doing their job well (at least in the eyes of their kids and spouse), so they’re not great models in the early stages of each episode. As they come to realize how their actions have impacted the people they love, though, they often make sincere commitments to change.


Very occasional use of “butt.”

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series features honest exchanges between workaholic parents and their lonely, frustrated kids, so tears are plentiful and tensions run high among all the family members. Kids and parents talk about feeling sad, abandoned, and angry, and their emotions will be lost on young kids who can’t understand the reasons behind the kids’ feelings. Families with older kids will find the show touching and as a result, parents might be inspired to better monitor their own work/family balance. If nothing else, it certainly raises some real-life issues that are worth talking about with kids.

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old October 14, 2011

i like it

i think it is cool

What's the story?

In KIDNAPPED BY THE KIDS, workaholic parents get a dose of reality when their kids drag them away from their busy schedules to reconnect during some quality family time. In addition to hanging out with the kids, the adults are forced to face up to the damage their absence has done to their family structure, and they talk about how they can improve the balance between work responsibilities and their personal lives.

Is it any good?

This touching series shines a spotlight on a timely and relevant issue for families: How to stay connected amid busy schedules and pressures of work? It’s a concern with which many parents struggle on a daily basis, and the show raises plenty of questions that families will benefit from discussing after it’s over.

That said, the emotional journey taken by the participants -- parents and kids alike -- is difficult to watch at times, and very young kids simply won’t grasp the process that led to the breaking point they’re witnessing. Older kids and tweens are fine, but as for the show’s message, when it comes right down to it, families would benefit from implementing some of the strategies they see on the show in their own families more than they would sitting around and watching other families make the commitment for better relationships.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about staying connected. What challenges does your family face in staying in touch with each other? How do your school and work schedules stand in the way of family time? What steps do you take to ensure you still spend time together? What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?

  • How has technology change the way we communicate? In what ways has it made it easier to stay in touch with people? How has it complicated our lives? Does it ever dominate your life? The lives of other family members? How does that impact family time? 

  • What purpose does this series serve? Is it intended to entertain or to educate viewers in some way? Did you find it inspirational? Did it encourage you to change how you look at your family’s relationships? If so, in what way?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 1, 2011
  • Network: OWN
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: NR
  • Last updated: October 1, 2020

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