A confrontational TV experiment has seen brave parents put their children to a scary test to see if they would walk away with a total stranger.
Parental guidance, with mother of two, Allison Langdon and parenting expert Dr. Justin Coulson – a father of six, debuted this week with meaningful and very different parents competing in challenges.
In Tuesday’s episode, children were sent to a playground with a distracted nanny as a charismatic hired actor tried to lure the youngsters away with the promise of puppies.
The result of the shocking experiment left Langdon in tears as parents gradually realized how easily their children could be snatched away while one of the traumatized mothers left after being “sick”.
The shocking experiment left Alison Langdon (pictured) in tears as parents gradually realized how easily their children could be torn away
Parents Andrew and Miriam, who are raising their children, 12-year-old Luke, 10-year-old Grace and five-year-old Tim, with strict rules and boundaries – including slaps – were appalled by the result.
It only took seconds for the kids to walk away with a stranger man who charmed them with a dog and the promise of seeing some puppies.
Andrew broke down in tears after watching the footage.
“I know it’s an actor, but it makes me so angry to think anyone would ever do that to a child,” he said.
Langdon also found the clip extremely difficult to watch.
“We knew this was going to be a confrontational challenge, but that’s why we’re here to talk about it,” she told the group.
‘Every family that looks around the country at home is going to reconsider the conversation they have with their children about alien danger because we all question what our children would do in such a situation.’
Parents Andrew and Miriam (pictured) raising their 12-year-old son Luke, 10-year-old Grace and five-year-old Tim with strict rules and boundaries – including slaps – were appalled by the result.
It only took seconds for Andrew and Miriam’s children to walk away with a stranger who charmed them with a dog (pictured)
Brett, who is raising four children Ajay, Gyan, Taz and Jagan – all aged nine – with partner Tony in a ‘routine’ parenting style, said: ‘I think having this overly authoritarian parenting style, they can believe that all adults are responsible. ‘
But when same-sex couples’ children were approached, it was an almost identical scenario.
Social worker Tony and elementary school teacher Brett fought back the tears, saying it was especially difficult to watch the footage as they regularly hear about this type of story in their work.
But one child passed the test with flying colors.
Harper, seven years old, who was brought up in the ‘French’ parenting style and is largely treated like an adult, refused to leave with a stranger who approached her with a cute dog.
Loud drama: Parent sets participate in challenges with the results shown in front of all the other parents, who then criticize their parenting style
The same-sex couple Brett and Tony are seen with their children (pictured together), who are two sets of twins born on the exact same day from two surrogate mothers from India. They also walked away with the man in the controversial experiment
When asked if she would leave the playground, she told the man that she should ask her nanny first, and when she was pushed by him, she repeatedly said no.
Her parents Yann and Donna said they have raised her to be independent and self-aware of her surroundings.
“Part of our parenting is definitely making sure Harper has the ability to read situations, have a level of independence and decision-making ability, and to trust that ability,” Donna said.
‘We are really lucky that we could get into a situation where we could test it.
‘I have said [to Harper], there are people who are really sick, they could take you away, they could blackmail us. We’ve had those conversations, but you do not think it’s going to happen to you. ‘
Yann explained that the couple had previously spoken to her about ‘foreign danger’.
Parental Guidance sees Allison Langdon (right, with co-host Dr. Justin Coulson) moderate as parents confront each other over their different parenting styles
The eye-opening series explores all aspects of parenting, from letting children learn to read at their own pace to whether it’s ever acceptable to slap children.
The first challenge – which involved getting the children a card and asking them to guide their parents through the Adelaide CBD – went smoothly with the confident son Luke, who informed the strict Christian minister Andrew that ‘he has this’.
But another challenge, in which the children and parents swapped roles for an ‘opposite day’, quickly revealed some cracks that emerged in the NSW parents’ tightly regimental style.
The children were given carte blanche for green light activities for their parents, where Luke and Grace very quickly returned to a disciplinary approach that included threatening punishments and waving a wooden spoon.
Their parents admitted that they occasionally used slaps as a “correction” tool to teach their children discipline.
The drama is loud as parents then confront each other about why their parenting technique is superior (pictured: ‘natural’ parents Liadhan and Richard)
‘Strict’ parent Andrew is beaten by his eldest son during a challenge where they swapped roles for the day (pictured)
‘Okay, boys, just to make sure you understand that there are some forms of discipline. Okay?’ Luke says with the spoon in his hand before happily ordering his father to enter his room.
Grace also takes the spoon to her mother in a semi-serious way, and lets Miriam tell her: ‘Please stop slapping me. I do not like it.’
While the exchanges were playful, the other sets of parents who were brought in to sit on a survivor-like tribal council raised concerns about how the children were taught to deal with problems and forced Andrew and Miriam to defend themselves.
‘With corporal punishment. We see a slap as one tool in a parent toolbox, and it is by no means the first, ‘Andrew explains.
“Just be careful what you internalize there,” beeps one of the group.
Donna and Yann, the proponents of the French upbringing style that involves treating children as equals, went a step further.
French-style parent Donna (pictured) has an intense reaction to corporal punishment of children
‘We would never smash our child. We feel very strongly about that. It’s a form of abuse. ”
“My parents beat me and I do not harbor any anger towards them,” Andrew said.
“Stockholm syndrome,” Donna replied.
Andrew finally admits – in perhaps the program’s perhaps most emotional moment in Monday’s episode – the exercise made him reconsider some of his principles.
‘After that challenge, yes, we were a little confronted, you know, is that really how they see us?’ he reveals.
The group agrees to reject corporal punishment, but in a revealing moment, Langdon then asks the group how many have beaten their children.
Half of the hands in the room go up.
The other problems that seemed to divide the parents were the unconventional couple Liadhan, 45, and Richard, 67, from South Australia, who live in a tent with their five children.
“The kids can’t jump off the walls if we take the walls away,” Laidhan jokes.
Liadhan and Richard homeschool their children (pictured together) from their tent and let them learn to read ‘when they are ready’
Alternative: A couple is specially singled out for criticism after revealing that they are raising their children in a tent
They have chosen to homeschool their children and revealed that their three youngest Esther at 9, Eva at 7 and Danny at 5 have not been taught to read.
“The two eldest (Mariam, 12, and Hannah, 11) are good readers,” Richard explains.
»The three younger ones, they can recognize words.
‘Some people may panic and say,’ why don’t they read? ‘ They will read when they are ready. ‘
‘By accident?’ Yann shoots back.
‘Now that it’s the opportunity to learn as much as possible when their brain is a fungus.’
The last two families are Lara, 42, and Andrew, 39, who follow the “attachment” style as parents with their children Raphael, 7, and Chaya, 5.
This involves raising their children using a ‘safety circle’. They constantly play with their children and pamper their creativity where possible – love performing with them.