Party Mamas

 
Competitive moms send troubling messages.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The featured moms love their kids but exhibit controlling, self-centered, and disrespectful behavior toward vendors, party planners, and even spouses while organizing parties. Some moms compete with their kids for attention at the parties or seem to be living vicariously through their children. Lots of emphasis on money and material goods. The moms and their families are mainly Caucasian and of upper-middle-class and upper-class socioeconomic backgrounds.

Violence

Moms are seen arguing with spouses, children, vendors, etc. At one Halloween party, a young man carries a BB gun as part of his costume against his parents' wishes.

Sex

Some episodes include references to moms looking "sexy" at these parties. One mother is described as sometimes looking "slutty."

Language

Words like "crap," "hell," and "bitch" are audible; stronger words like "s--t" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Many of the featured moms are proudly materialistic, spending lavish amounts of money on over-the-top entertainment, food, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adult consumption of hard liquor, beer, wine, and champagne visible.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series about aggressive party-planning moms sends confusing messages: Loving mothers abruptly become demanding, controlling, and self-centered while organizing events for their children. Some moms compete with their children for attention, while others seem to lose sight of why they're throwing the party in the first place. You can also expect some strong language; words like "bitch" and "crap" are audible, while the likes of "s--t" are bleeped.

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What's the story?

Imported from Canada, PARTY MAMAS is a reality series that follows moms who go overboard to throw their kids the "ultimate party." These controlling matriarchs plan every detail of their children's bar mitzvah, birthday party, or neighborhood Halloween bash. Viewers watch as they obsess over things like polka-dot tablecloths and the exact square footage of a massive Saturday Night Fever-style dance floor. No expense is spared as they spend thousands of dollars to ensure that their party has the best music, dancers, costumes, laser shows, and fireworks.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

These mamas proudly admit that they're materialistic, difficult to please, and inflexible when it comes to their kid's big bash. Many seem to take pride in the fact that they act like spoiled children when vendors can't meet their long list of demands. And some have a hard time letting their kids have the spotlight on their special day, somehow managing to make themselves the center of attention.

Although the show is tamer than MTV's popular, similarly themed My Super Sweet 16, it still sends some very disturbing messages about the extremes that some parents will go to in order to make their kids -- and themselves -- happy. For many of these moms, planning these parties is more about satisfying their need to be in control and/or in the limelight than really doing something nice for their kids. Their antics might be fun for older viewers to watch, but it doesn't make them very good role models for the younger set.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of the messages that shows like this one and My Super Sweet 16 send to kids. Why do some parents who clearly love their kids behave inappropriately while showing it? Is throwing extravagant parties the best way to show their love? Do you think the kids end up having fun at these parties? Families can also discuss the different ways that people celebrate special occasions. Do parties have to be big and lavish to be fun and memorable?

TV details

Network:WE
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

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Quality

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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bydragonsblood April 9, 2008

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