Are “Toddlers & Tiaras” Parents Compromising Good Parenting for Fame?

    The show Toddlers & Tiaras isn’t one to shy away from controversy–or should I say, the parents of the children on the show aren’t?

    In a past post, Why Christian Moms Would Never Enter Their Little Girls in Pageants, I listed why Christian mothers would never enter their children in these types of pageants. The primary reason is that they sexualize young girls, and a true Christian mom would never place her child in such a dangerous position.

    But another sad aspect of these pageants is becoming clear. Take a look at the following clip.

    So now, these young girls are not only being encouraged to dress provocatively, but they’re also being pushed to enact bad behavior. I think the most revealing aspect was the mother’s justification–that adding the cigarette would make her daughter look cool. Cool? Seriously? Cigarettes are cool now? I thought we as parents were supposed to send the message that cigarettes are not cool.

    It’s pretty obvious there’s virtually no line between child and adult in these events, even if the child is only 4 years old. And the saddest part is that, though the media promotes the sexualization of young girls, in this case, it’s the moms who are encouraging it.

    Where does it end? These moms are so focused on winning and notoriety that they’re willingly and gladly damaging their kids.

    The doctor in the clip is correct when he says the parents are getting high on the sound of applause. They’re living vicariously through their children in order to feel a sense of achievement. But in order to get that applause, they compromise their parenting responsibilities.

    Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

    The truth in this verse should be a guiding force. A parent’s responsibility is to guide their children well so the kids take those lessons through life. But in contrast, these parents are teaching bad behaviors and values, and in the same way, their children will take these teachings with them.

    The parents don’t demonstrate restraint and therefore don’t offer it to the children to emulate. Because of this, I fear these young girls are being led by the hand–by their parents–toward their own demise.

    Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death (Proverbs 19:18).

    Discipline is lacking when a child is taught to behave without restraint or the knowledge of what’s right or wrong. And when parents lose sight of what’s right and wrong, then how can a child know what’s good? A child looks up to her parents and believes that what’s being taught is always right. And since a child has no real control of her life, and the parents in these situations have lost sight of good values, it becomes a vicious circle. And so I turn this concern over to Christ, and I ask that you pray with me.

    Lord God, I ask You to open the eyes and hearts of these mothers and fathers, so that they see the destruction in their actions. Let them understand, Lord, that these children are Yours and You have gifted them only temporarily. Let them understand that you have entrusted them in their hands with the expectation that they will guide them, teach them and discipline them, and all in a manner that is according to Your teachings. And Lord, I pray that when these young girls grow to an age of understanding, You open their eyes also, so that they recognize that true beauty is in the heart and that a successful life is not achieved by sexualizing themselves or enacting bad behavior.

    Girls, do you think that Toddlers & Tiaras parents are compromising good parenting for the sake of fame?

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    T.M. Gaouette
    T.M. Gaouette is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London and is now living in New England with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for teens and young adults. T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and "Freeing Tanner Rose," Christian novels for teens and young adults. She's currently working on completing her upcoming novel -visit for more on her Christian fiction work. Connect with her on and .


    1. Umm heck yes. This TV show needs to be taken off the air. I cannot believe this….I mean I agree with my old English teacher when she said a you should have a license to be a parent…this is immoral and mean and degrading…

    2. In my opinion,these girls are learning bad habits by dressing in clothes that are very immodest,caking on makeup so that they think they won’t look good without it and getting everything they want,resulting in becoming spoiled brats.I watch this show and am so glad my mom didn’t do this to me!!

    3. Most definitely! These poor girls are being treated by their own mothers in a way they NEVER should. Dr. Keith made a lot of good points and I just hope that more people will listen to their facts as well as this article. I am actually doing an essay on this very topic and this article and news report just reinforce my argument – from a Godly perspective! Thank you PI for putting this out there – it is only a God sign that I saw this right now!

    4. Gosh, i agree, this should be taken off. Yes, it can be entertaining, but these girls are being shown a horrible path that they can’t help but follow. All parents who do this have a sick idea if parenting.

    5. I honestly think this show is entertaining. I don’t want to be hypocritical and say I don’t watch this show on occasion. BUT, I completely disagree with everything these moms are teaching their daughters. One instance was a little girl saying, “I’m pretty when I have my makeup and hair done and a pretty dress on.” these moms are teaching their daughters that they’re not naturally beautiful. Another girl said “my mommy loves me when I win.” hmm…

    6. I honestly thought that she show was just for entertainment but soon as I saw this and the other thing I was like I need to stop watching this show! Horrible example from her mother and she is gonna remember this because its on tape!!! Def needs to be off the air!

    7. In my opinion some people should never be allowed to be parents. At first I didn’t understand why my parents didn’t want me to be a model, especially when almost everyone told me I should and could be one. Now I thank God my parents didn’t allow me to go into that world. And it unfortunately doesn’t get any better when you get older.

    8. I really don’t think so… the show is very entertaining, but having the show doesn’t MAKE the parents have such bad parenting. It’s the parent’s choice on what they teach their children. Even if it is taken off the air, this will still happen. It happened before the show started, so why would it not continue after it’s taken off?

      • The main problem is that they are publicizing it; even though they have a right (political, if not moral) to be stupid, reckless parents, they have no right to encourage others to be. Plus, it’s illegal to distribute cigarettes to a minor.

        • I never said I agreed with the whole cigarette thing. Honestly, people doing that sickens me. And it really sickens me that some parents would stoop so low for fame. That said, you can’t blame the tv show for what’s happening to these little kids.

        • Maybe publicizing this problem actually could help other parents see that putting kids up to things like that IS a problem and not as innocent as they think. You can’t blame the makers of the tv show for the things the parents do. I can’t imagine why a parent would care more about the fame and money than their own child. That being said, I don’t have a problem with the show itself but with the people on the show. People can learn from the mistakes of others.

    9. Honestly, most – if not all – of those kids act out. I watched it once a friend’s house and I was just amazed at their attitudes, costumes, and parents. I recall one parent spending thousands of dollars on dresses for a pageant when she was supposed to buy a new fence. What is that teaching her daughter and husband? Her daughter: use money whenever you want to without thought. Her husband: he can’t ever trust her again with large amounts of money.
      This show just really makes me upset. How could their parents get so caught up in fame and pushing their kids to grow up so fast?

    10. Honestly I Love all the sparkles and glitter, but there is nothing good about the show. The way the mothers dress their daughters, the way the girl act, or the fact that so many fathers are okay with their girls dressing like that. Not to mention the amount of money they spend on all this stuff. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel pretty, but there is a much better way then to glitz them up and make them look like teenagers when they are only 4!!!!!!

    11. I don’t agree with what the parents promote or the idea of four-year-olds competing in full-glitz pageants, but I don’t think the show needs to be taken off the air. I watch Toddlers & Tiaras a lot, not because I think what they’re doing is right, but because it shows me what’s wrong with pageants. I think pageants are interesting, but this show shows me that they’re not a good idea.

    12. I totally agree with the doctor when he says this show needs to be taken off the air! This show is ridiculous! What ever happened to good parenting? Seriously a 4 year old with a cigarette! That’s taking it incredibly too far! There are sick men out there who love watching these shows with sick perverted thoughts and the mothers are subjecting them to this. Part of a parents responsibility is to protect these children not subject them to some sick pervert! These mothers are not caring about their children instead they are caring more about the level of fame they get and how big the trophy is!

    13. and thats not the only stuff it teaches. I think it could give the child problems in their teens when they cant go anywhere without makeup and things like that because they are so insecure about themselves because they grow up being taught that to be beautiful you have to wear makeup

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