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Jersey Shore: Letting Your Kids Watch “Reality” Shows

New survey shows the MTV show might actually improve the Garden state’s reputation

According to the Huffington Post, a new nationwide poll shows that MTV’s The Jersey Shore isn’t hurting New Jersey’s image. In fact, it might actually be helping, according to the Farleigh Dickinson University Poll.

The results got Patch wondering: How do Mahwah parents feel about this and other Jersey “reality” shows? Do you let your kids watch them? Do you feel they are giving kids a warped perception of what it is like to live here (or go on vacation down the shore), or, as the poll suggests, is it not that big of a deal?

Patricia Patella July 20, 2011 at 05:16 PM
I'm gad to read in that poll that these shows are having some positive effect for New Jersey. Our beach towns have suffered over the last few years due to poor weather and economy. If "Jersey Shore" is bringing positive attention to the boardwalk, then I'm happy for those business owners. That's where my praise stops. My children are absolutely not allowed to watch "Jersey Shore" and many of the other NJ based reality TV shows. The behavior on these shows is atrocious. I completely understand these kids are doing this for the fame and fortune - and many of them are making a fortune! That said, they are portraying themselves as uneducated buffoons with no self respect. Screaming, cursing and tearing each other's hair out is not my idea of entertainment and not any kind of behavior I want my kids witnessing. What does this tell kids? It's fine to act this way because you'll get attention??? Being a TV producer for 20 years, I get the whole idea of "any publicity is good publicity" but there has to be a line drawn somewhere...and it's at the remote control in my house! Tricia Patella Moms Council
Jessica Mazzola July 20, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Mom's Council member Lauren Rosen emailed me the following posts, with permission to reprint: "First, but easiest to respond to, is the notion that this show and other Jersey shows give kids a warped perception of what it is like to live here. I don't believe that it does. I don't necessarily feel that kids embrace the setting as their own unless they are part of that scene. The situations (pardon the pun) that take place on these shows could take place, and do take place, in many other vacation spots and communities around the country and the world for that matter. Mahwah, as a community, does not have that same culture (I don't think) and kids don't see that type of scene around them. Second, as I have stated in the past, my kids are older. My 17 year old son, until recently, did not have an interest in watching any of these shows, Jersey Shore included, until his older sisters came home to visit and introduced him to the Jersey Shore. He now does what they do; turns the TV and let's the reruns play over and over again. It's addicting and really disturbing as a parent. I understand the initial interest as the “plot”, if you can call it that, is so outlandish that it's hard to believe it's on public television but after the initial shock effect, I would have hoped that my children would have gotten “over it”. Well, they haven't, I don't like it, and I certainly don't promote it..."
Jessica Mazzola July 20, 2011 at 06:20 PM
Continued... "Lastly, I feel that there is very little reality in these “reality” shows. I feel that they give kids a warped perception of life and encourage destructive behaviors. They show kids things that they may never have thought of or been exposed to otherwise. Kids become desensitized after a while and these outlandish acts begin to appear “normal”. I am not saying that kids will follow in the character's footsteps but even the exposure can spark an interest and create a desire to take greater risks. In a nutshell, I don't like them and don't even find them a little bit funny. In opposition, my son and his friend just walked into the house and I asked them their opinion. They feel that the Jersey Shore and Real Housewives of Where Ever are funny and entertaining. They have no intentions of giving up these favorite pastimes and I don't plan to force them to. They are great kids and I am certain that they can keep these shows in perspective. These shows are certainly not the battles I chose to fight." - Lauren Rosen
Lauren Rosen July 20, 2011 at 10:36 PM
I'm on the same page as you, Trish!
Andy Schmidt July 21, 2011 at 01:39 PM
If you were AT the shore and would witness these low-lives go at it, you'd whisk your kids away - if for no other reason just to gain some physical distance from that scene, sending an implied message to your kids that this is untolerable conduct. So - why would you silently endorse it by including this in their TV diet? You have no board-games in your house?

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