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Every mother’s dream is to see their little girl shine, whatever they do – whether it be sports, playing an instrument, dancing, or more recently, participating in pageants.

Whether they are stage moms or sports moms, mothers play an integral role in how their children succeed in an extracurricular activity. Being that they are the initial push in why their children begin certain activities, moms are highly scrutinized in most cases.

VIDEO: Ashley Tisdale Goes Back To Do “Toddlers and Tiaras: Where Are They Now?” 

Toddlers & Tiaras, which airs on TLC on Wednesday nights at 10/9c, showcases the competitive world of child pageants. Each episode tracks families on their road to get the crown, title and cash prize. At any given moment during their journey of pageantry, these toddlers, like any other 3-5 year old, is bound to pull a tantrum.

The extreme preparation that these toddlers go through to win is equivalent to a supermodel preparing for New York Fashion Week. Between hair and makeup and the “pageant juice” intake, these toddlers seem to be wearing thin before they turn five years old. The children on the show experience mature habits way before their time. 

Every time that I have watched this show, I have always asked myself, “What would my family do?”

Coming from a performing arts family, almost every child in my family danced. My mother, who made sure my brother and I were in class religiously, was our greatest teacher. She taught us the basics in performing and she pushed us in ways that only strengthened our character. Our competitive edge came from watching our father coach track. His lessons showed us that whether it was a loss or a win, we were still victorious.

Reminiscing about my past and comparing it to the families I saw on Toddlers & Tiaras, I sympathized for them. So many thoughts crossed my mind and I realized that not everyone raises their children the same, but I also thought about the children.

I considered that maybe after awhile, they would become weary of being filled “pageant juice” and that maybe some of them were becoming 23 year olds before living life as a regular 3-year-old. Maybe they are experiencing things at a faster pace. Gone are the days of child innocence.

Prince said it best: it’s a “Sign o’ the Times.”

–Sapphira M.

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