So, as it turns out, the show "Kids on Ice" will not really be called "Kids on Ice." Guess what they're really calling it? "Ice Moms." Are you shocked? I'm not shocked.
Read about it here. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/dance-moms-lifetime-ice-moms-285090
I've been reading various mom and culture blogs about the notions of the shows "Toddlers and Tiaras" and "Dance Moms" as Exploitative Child Abuse, and I have to say that, after some thought, I agree with this notion.
But, Skate Mom, aren't Child Abuse and Exploitation strong words to be using?
Nope. Here's why, and here's why you should not watch the upcoming Lifetime travesty "Ice Moms":
You know your figure skating child. You know how many hours they spend in lessons, in practice, doing the same move, over and over. You know how frustrated they get when they get stuck on something. You know how much heart they put into competing, how much they want to win. Agreed, emotions and tensions can run high. The Good Moments are really Good, and sharing them with the world can be a great High.
But, consider this: Imagine your child suffering a devastating loss. When Stitch was in that dressing room, berating himself for an all-too-human lapse in memory, nearly in tears, how horrible would it have been to stick a TV Camera in his face and show this agonizing process for all the world? And do you really believe my positive encouragement would have made it past the editors? Or, looking to make me a monster in search of ratings, they showed only my strong words of "get over it, focus on next time," and left my words of love and encouragement on the cutting room floor?
Imagine your daughter throwing her heart into passing that Freestyle test, giving it her all, and coming up short. You've seen the tears. You've held the little sobbing body. Now, invite a TV Camera to join in. And then you can read about how everyone in the process is a total failure in the gossip rags the next day. How does that sound?
How would you feel if, during a time when you were at your worst, felt your most low, someone, without your permission, authorized a TV camera to show up and broadcast your agony? And there was nothing you could do to stop it?
That's what these kids are being subjected to, and I consider it abusive.
Part of my Parenting Philosophy is to remember how hard it is sometimes to be a child. When I remember some of my "Hard Moments" as a child, I am sickened at the notion of someone putting that on TV.
But that's not my only opinion:
I think this show is going to do nothing but solidify the Mythology surrounding this sport that keeps many from being involved: That you Figure Skate Competitively or you're wasting your time. The Recreational Figure Skater, as I predicted, will have no place in this show, and that's a crying shame. It's leaving out the Adults as the Friendliest Folks at the Rink, the Older Teens who knock you dead during Ice Shows, the Synchro Girls with their snappy swishes of skates moving in unison. Nope. No place here.
We want Singles, and we want them with an "Explosive Dynamic!"
I think this show will give what the general public expects of Figure Skating: The Miniature Dynamo with Unlimited Funds, with the Pushy Coach and a Starry Eyed Mom who misses the entire point of Parenting.
It will not, in any way, present the wonderful positives that can come from learning and excelling in a challenging sport for the Average Kid and their Average Family.
Folks, I'm asking you to Boycott TV Shows that get their ratings from Child Exploitation. This means "Toddlers and Tiaras," "Dance Moms," and yes, "Ice Moms." If someone wants to stuff their house full of crap and eat couch cushions ("Hoarders", "My Weird Addiction") that's their business. They aren't hurting anyone but themselves.
But to put a child's delicate and developing psyche on public display is an egregious offense. I'm calling on USFSA and ISI to come out against crap like this. I have no issue with people raising their children to be Competitive Figure Skaters if that's a shared objective. What I have a problem with is exposing them to the harsh judge and jury that is Reality TV.
Do not watch. Boycott.