This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Kid Nation

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kid Nation

So did anyone happen to watch Kid Nation last night? I know this show has received a lot of attention. Many people believe this show was exploiting children by putting them in a harmful situation--one article even pointed out that is was filmed in New Mexico because of their lax child labor laws. For those of you who don't know, the basis of the show is 40 kids for 40 days living on their own, with no parents, teachers, adults of any kind. They live in this "town" and sorta see if they can organize themselves in such a way as to make their own community of sorts. . . more or less. I myself wasn't too worried about their safety (they say there were no adults, but in fact there were counselors, medics, doctors, producers, etc) and the kids could opt to leave at any time. The ages range from 8 to 15 and come from all walks of life. It was also more structured than you might think . . . they have 4 kids who serve as the leaders or council, and the rest of the kids are divided into 4 teams that led by one of the council members. Each team is in charge of running one aspect of the town-- as cooks, laborers, merchants ect. I have to say I thought it was an interesting show and more intriguing that I thought it would be. Also, there were some really impressive kids. These kids were more than just smart. Some of these kids demonstrated quality leadership skills that most adults haven't mastered, and many of them were mature beyond their years. For example, Taylor, the youngest leader age 10, recognized that she would feel awkward being in charge of kids too much older than herself, so she chose mostly younger kids in her group. Smart thinking Taylor. Or this really adorable kid (I forget his name) who was 8 years old actually chose to go home last night because as he put it, "I'm way to young for this." Anyway, I liked it. I wonder if I would have let my kid do this? Any thoughts?


  1. I'm not watching it. I'm still mad that they bumped the first part of the Amazing Race season for that show!
    Glad you like it though.

  2. I think the little guy's name was Jessie, I could be wrong though.

    We watched it and loved it. We have been looking forward to it. What a cool experience for those kids. I was glad they chose the outhouses and not the TVs. I loved watching them cheer for each other and work through problems. Loved that Sophia raked in the dough to buy the bike by dancing and showing the little ones the best moves...

    Have you read Lord of the Flies? Similar concept. I am excited to see how things go. I would love to be a part of something like that. I don't think it is exploiting, I think it is a pretty cool opportunity and as long as I knew the standards that were being upheld there I think I would send my kid to something like that, but more if they were the 10-14 range. I think 8-9 is too young.

  3. Justrandi--I'm sorry your show got bumped. I understand the self imposed boycott.

    Tiff--I'm glad you liked it too. . . I read some review the shredded it and I thought, "oh wait. Was I supposed to think it was lame?" Anyway, I also liked that they chose the outhouses and I think I might send my kid too if they were older. I'm with you (and Jesse) 8 is too young.

  4. woops, it was jimmy, not jesse

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  6. I read an article about how they had to film it in New Mexico because they had the laxest rules regarding children and filming.
    I think forty days is a LOT to ask of kids that young who have been pampered in the US fashion their whole lives. Children in third world countries are often in charge of the cooking, cleaning, wood gathering, child care, etc, but they usually learn gradually, not just left to fend for themseles. I would hope the parents did this for their child's education and to show them how good they have it, but it probably is a desire to have their little darling picked up by a talent agency.
    Anonymity is a far more precious gift than fame, in my opinion, and it's a gift I'm happy to give my kids!