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The House of Tiny Terrors
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 aimed at adults focuses on parents who are having difficulty with their kids' behavior. Viewers see children hit, kick, bite, and generally misbehave. Kids also throw tantrums and refuse to eat. Parents' behavior is generally positive, but sometimes couples argue or criticize each other in front of their kids. Parents also cry when overwhelmed by their kids' actions or their own feelings of guilt, inadequacy, or frustration.
What's the story?
In HOUSE OF TINY TERRORS, three families live together for six days while cameras watch their every move and clinical psychologist Dr. Tanya Byron helps them address their parenting challenges. Karen Duffy (former MTV VJ, model, and mother of a toddler) hosts the show, interviewing Byron and recapping the families' problems and successes. The house the families occupy is modern and child-friendly, with room for each family to interact and focus on their individual issues. In addition to giving hands-on help, Byron also counsels parents apart from their children, helping them identify areas for improvement. For single parent Renee Innis, for example, this means staying more tuned in to her 3-year-old when she disciplines him, rather than approaching the task with a worn-out attitude.
Is it any good?
Tiny Terrors is very similar to other reality shows focused on parenting issues, though without the sensational production elements -- like constant replays of misbehavior or eye-rolling experts -- seen in Supernanny and Nanny 911. But perhaps because of this, the show is a little underwhelming. Certainly parents with similar problems will empathize with the featured families' emotional predicaments, but the analysis of family issues stays pretty near the surface. The main difference between this show and others like it, aside from the general tone, is that these families move into a special house for the duration of the show. This format, while unique, seems less likely to prove helpful, since kids and parents are sure to act differently in a strange environment, with other kids and adults around to distract and possibly inhibit their behavior.
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