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 show offers important lessons for kids of all ages -- even though it's clearly targeting teens and their parents. Although the concept of having babies is inherently sexual, the content steers away from reproduction and focuses on the reality of what happens when a living, breathing baby (or toddler, or tween, etc.) comes into the picture. That said, the teen couples, none of whom are married, live together during filming, and some are shown sharing a bed (no sexual activity is shown). Some of the teens act out in ways that are nearly as immature as the kids they're caring for, but it all serves to drive home the show's messages about reality and responsibility. Expect some audible curse words (like "bitch" and "dumb-ass") and bleeped-out stronger language (like "f--k" and "s--t").
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE BABY BORROWERS, five teenage couples who think they're ready for adulthood -- and everything it entails -- are given the chance to prove themselves in an accelerated social experiment. They begin by moving into a home, receiving infants, and getting jobs; three days later, they're given toddlers. By the end of the series, they'll have cared for pre-teens, teens, and even elderly "parents" who need hands-on, in-home care. Every second of the experience is captured on camera and supervised by the borrowed children's actual parents, who can step in and instruct the struggling teens whenever they feel it's necessary.
Is it any good?
In a buzzing primetime market that's flooded with insipid reality fare, it's nice to find a show that actually delivers something different -- with a side order of surprisingly poignant messages. Because it's based on a British show by the same name, The Baby Borrowers isn't exactly an original concept. Even so, there's nothing else like it on American television, and it's refreshing to see reality TV used for eye-opening educational purposes rather than mindless entertainment.
Part of what makes this show a worthwhile pick for families is the fact that it involves several generations: babies, teens, senior citizens, and every age in between. But since the focus is on the experiences of the overwhelmed teens who are trying to cope with the pressures of parenthood -- and who often resort to profanity in times of distress -- it's not completely age-appropriate for tweens and younger kids. Teen viewers and their parents will get the most out of it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which of the teen couples they think could actually make it as parents and which couldn't hack it. Teens: Does watching this program change any of your assumptions about what it's like to be an adult? Which teen couple do you respect the most? The least? Parents: Does watching the teen parents in action remind you of your own experiences as first-time parents? Was there anything you wish you'd known before having kids that you had to learn after the fact?
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