Would you let your kids be on reality TV?

I’ve never like the idea of kids on reality TV. But after The Voice Kids, I’m hunting around for an application form.

Last night I watched The Voice Kids and it was how I wish all reality TV shows would be.

It was positive, lovely and joyful.

My son loved it, too. He’s a budding performer so I’m always wondering how far I’ll let him go when it comes to his childhood dream to be the next Justin Bieber. I’ve already let him audition for Nickelodeon’s Camp Orange series, but when it does come time to watch him compete on a national stage, I’m going to be a lot more hesitant.

The Voice Kids is a very safe reality TV show because it’s dealing with kids and their fragile feelings. Despite the first episode being quite a positive experience for them so far, I know rejection is imminent. To find a winner, others will eventually have to fail. As a parent, this is going to be hard to watch. I can’t imagine how the parents of the contestants are feeling. They were so elated when the judges turned around for their children. They were so proud and so thrilled.

When Philip was nine he asked to audition for Camp Orange and I said, “Sure!” When he asks to compete on a national talent show I’ll worry not only about the audition process and how he’s treated by the public, but what if he does do well? What then? How do I manage his new-found fame and ensure he stays healthy, happy and carefree, like all children deserve to be?

Channel 9 is taking great care with these kids, as have the producers of previous kids series like Masterchef. For The Voice Kids there is no official Twitter stream on which strangers can hurt contestant’s feelings. Also, the kids who make it on the show have been asked not to use Twitter, as have their families. The children are supported before, during and after the show by staff and their families. They’re doing all they can to keep these kids happy. But they’re just so young.

Take nine-year-old Molly, for example. She's so young and so adorable. When she made her way out onto the stage the crowd went, "Awwww" because her little legs had to really stretch to make it up those stairs to get to the stage.

Her nervous parents watched from backstage. Her mum said, "She looks fine, I'm the emotional wreck".


Straight away the judges knew they were in for something special. Molly belted out Am I Not Pretty Enough. She nailed it and chose Mel B's team. But how will she cope when she is eventually kicked out of the competitions? It would be so great if she did win but to their parents, all the kids who made it through deserve to win. Thankfully Molly is no stranger to competition. She has competed in talent competitions all her life.

They only difference is that if she doesn't win The Voice Kids she will be rejected on national TV. That's going to be hard.

The only contestants to be rejected last night were twin girls, Katie and Emilie, 11, from Perth. Their mum Sarah is a single mum and says they are a very close family. "I'm a single mum, but we get by," she said. Backstage she told her girls to have fun and to 'just enjoy it'. They didn't make it through, with the Madden brothers advising them to find their own place in the duo.

At the end of the day, if kids want a career in the entertainment industry, they have to learn how to be rejected. Parenting is about sharing all the highs but it's also about teaching our children about life. We need to teach our children how to fail. It's hard, but it's necessary. And that's exactly what these parents are doing.

For those young contestants who don't win the series, they will have to stand back up, brush themselves off and try over and over and over again. And as the parents of kids with a big dream, they need to learn how to hold their hands through that process.

The Voice Kids Blind Auditions continue on Channel 9 at 7.30 on Sunday night.

CLICK THROUGH to see some of the stand-out The Voice Kids contestants from last night here.

Would you let your child be on a reality TV show?

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