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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Secret Life of Kids is a documentary-style series about how kids interact when they think no one is watching. It follows a group of 5-year-olds in a preschool setting as they're observed by child behavior experts, who explain what the kids are learning during the process. The kids talk innocently about things like romance and marriage, and they sometimes emulate behaviors like smoking, drinking, punching, and shooting during play. There's some expected arguing over toys, concerns about rejection, and humorous references to genitalia. One child's backstory features her (and her parents) shooting at targets with rifles.
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What's the story?
Based on the British series The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds, THE SECRET LIFE OF KIDS is a reality series that follows a group of 5-year-olds as they interact with each each other. The children, who come from across the United States, attend a preschool-like setting rigged with cameras and microphones. Under the guidance of two teachers, they participate in a series of creative activities designed to explore and enhance child development. Clinical child psychologists Elizabeth Kilbey and Christian Conte offer commentary, share what kid behaviors might mean, and what they're learning.
Is it any good?
This often funny social experiment features a group of precocious children playing, exploring, and learning in the classroom and on the playground. Because they wear microphones, it's possible to listen to their every word as they communicate with each other. This leads to lots of laugh-worthy moments, of course. Meanwhile, Dr. Kilbey and Dr. Conte consistently offer insights about their conduct, explaining the reasons why children talk about relationships, and how sophisticated children's lies really are.
It's sometimes obvious when the kids, all of whom were specifically cast for the project, are playing up to the cameras and the producers. Nonetheless, The Secret Life of Kids might teach parents a thing or two about what their offspring's behaviors mean. They may also pick up on some of the experts' notes about what children should be taught at home, rather than at school. But even if you don't have kids, it's still hard not to smile at some of the antics featured here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about child behavior in The Secret Life of Kids. Why do kids sometimes lie? Why is it sometimes difficult for them to share? What kinds of behaviors should parents be teaching them before they go to school?
Is it OK to let children pretend to smoke or drink when imitating adult behaviors? Do children only learn these behaviors from their parents? How much impact does the media have on their understanding of these activities?
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