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 the families who participate in this high-energy game show must use teamwork, strategy, and fitness to win. Throughout the contest, the focus is on doing your best and displaying good sportsmanship rather than winning at all costs, so there's lots of support from teammates and audience members -- and there's never any trash talk between competitors. The show could even inspire viewers to make health and fitness a team effort in their own home.
What's the story?
In MY FAMILY'S GOT GUTS, families face off in a series of extreme sports challenges like football on bungee cords, high-flying dodgeball, and the mountainous obstacle course known as the Aggro Crag. Based on Nickelodeon's previous series GUTS, which originally aired in the early 1990s, this tournament-style competition begins with 12 four-person teams. The teams battle it out in preliminary rounds that feature three events -- the highest-scoring team from each head-to-head match moves on through semi-final rounds en route to a final showdown, with the winning family claiming a sports-inspired vacation.
Is it any good?
This action-packed series is lots of fun for families looking for good, clean, physical competition. It's clear that the show was designed with young viewers in mind, as the competitive nature of the contest takes a backseat to good sportsmanship between the families and a celebration of teamwork and fitness at every age. Even the expensive grand prize is downplayed by the fact that the winning family in each preliminary round walks away with a trophy for their efforts.
But the show's best feature may be that it puts kids and adults on equal footing in the competition. The family participants are the ones who decide which team members will compete in each event, which encourages them to play to each parent or child's physical strengths -- and makes for some fun viewing when kids and adults battle it out head-to-head. And don't be surprised if your own kids are inspired to do some climbing, leaping, or running after seeing how much fun these families have -- so take the chance to lace up your own sneakers and join them for some physical activity and family bonding.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the messages that the media sends about health and fitness. Are you influenced by commercials for junk food or images of ultra-skinny celebrities? How can you gauge your own health? Kids: What kinds of healthy activities do you enjoy? Why is physical fitness important? How does our health affect other aspects of our lives -- like school, relationships, and self-image? What are some simple changes we can make in our daily routines that will translate to better health?
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