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Life of Ryan
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 this reality series about teen celebrity skateboarder Ryan Sheckler is among the tamer of MTV's offerings. The show does highlight the teen relationships and upper-class materialism typical of MTV, but it also features positive parent-child relationships and a strong work ethic. Skateboarding, family, friendship, and dating are central themes of the show, and divorce is also prominently discussed (Ryan's parents have split).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MTV's coming-of-age reality show LIFE OF RYAN follows skateboarding phenom Ryan Sheckler as he tries to balance his successful skateboarding career with a normal teenage life. At 13, Ryan became the youngest person in the skateboarding world to go pro. Now 17, he continues to successfully promote his athletic skills, as well as the many products that bear his name. But while he enjoys his successful and lucrative career, Ryan also wants to enjoy the life of a normal teenager. Ryan also has to cope with his parents' recent divorce and their subsequent ability (or inability) to move on with their lives. It doesn't help when his mom, Gretchen, sometimes blends motherhood with managing Ryan's career.
Is it any good?
As far as role modeling goes, Ryan is a hardworking, grounded guy whose family plays a visible and positive role in his life. But while Life of Ryan features some of the typical teen drama and upper-class materialism that other MTV teen reality shows revolve around, the show actually features some positive messages as well. In the end, it's really about a talented, sensitive celebrity teen who works for the luxuries he enjoys and who finds his strength in the people -- not the things -- that surround him.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it would be like to be a child or teen celebrity. What kinds of things make it difficult for young celebs to live a "normal" life? Is it realistic to think that they can? Do some young stars seem more approachable or relatable than others? Why? Families can also talk about divorce's impact on a family. How can kids cope with changing family dynamics when their parents begin to live separate lives? How can things like holidays and special events be dealt with positively? How does the media generally portray divorce? Is it accurate?