Thursday, May 30, 2013

What We Found Will Shock You

We're back now at 7:38 and I'm joined by national investigative correspondent Chris Rossen- or is it Jeff Hansen?-- who is taking a look at kids' behavior in Day Care and other public places compared to what they do at home.

Thanks Matt. That's right, we followed two kids to school and Day Care, places where their caretakers say they have exhibited exemplary, even award-winning, behavior. And then we followed them home, where things take a drastic turn. What we found will shock and frustrate you, especially if you happen to be these kids' parents.

This is six-year-old Sophia - not her real name, but the top girls baby name in 2007, so more likely than any other name to be her real name. Sophia is in kindergarten, and we hired a staffer to dress as a parent volunteer to follow Sophia throughout a day in school. We also followed her to Day Care during a teacher In-Service day. We noticed Sophia playing beautifully with other kids, picking up after herself, politely talking to the adults in the room, even earning an orange water bottle from her Day Care teachers for helping to clean up the class garden when all the other kids ran to the bathroom or the toy shelf. Her kindergarten teacher goes so far as to call her "a joy to have in class" and one young lady calls Sophia "my BFF."

At home? Well, we hired another staffer, a really hot, young, tan, well-built staffer, to pose as Sophia's dad. We saw a vastly different Sophia. Aloof, lazy, argumentative. With our hidden cameras rolling, we see her room, a complete mess. Dress-up clothes all over the floor, regular clothes all over the floor, doll baby clothes all over the floor, stuffed animal clothes all over the floor. Basically there is no floor.

And watch this exchange between Sophia and her mother that we also caught:

Mom: Sophia, I need you to clean up your room.
Mom: Sophia, now.
Mom: Sophia, did you hear me?
Mom: Sophia, I said I need you to clean up your room.
Mom: Now.
Mom: NOW.
Mom: Sophia, you also have to clean your easel.
Mom: Sophia, it's time for dinner.
Sophia (staring at iPad): OK, in a minute.
<10 minutes later>
Sophia: I said I'd be there in a minute!

We also followed Aiden, who is three. Again, our cameras caught Aiden playing reasonably well with his friends and acting shy most of the day. We have Day Care staff members admitting on camera that they wish he'd "come out of his shell" a little more often. Like his sister Sophia, he was commended for his work in the "picking up after everyone else" category, which earned him a trip to Chik Fil-A. (Note: He did not earn the trip to Chik Fil-A just because it was Wednesday. Promise.)

Once again, we saw a different side to Aiden at home. That shy, kind helpful little boy at Day Care? He had transformed into a back-talking, lazy, belligerent fellow at home. We saw Aiden push his little brother to the floor over the TV remote, which 3 minutes later was lost for days. He also had some heated discussions with his mother over his role in helping the family clean the living room, which you'll see here:

Mom: It's time to pick up your toys, Aiden.
Aiden: No, it's time to pick up YOUR TOYS, Mommy.
Mom: Aiden, I don't have any toys. These are your toys, and you need to help pick them up.
Aiden: <unintelligible>
Mom: Don't you talk to me that way, Aiden! Go to your room.
Aiden: No, you go to YOUR ROOM, Mommy.
Mom: That's it. You're going to bed now.
Aiden: No, YOU'RE going to bed, Mommy.

We confronted both Sophia and Aiden after taping and showed them some of the footage for their reactions.

Hi, I'm Jeff Hansen with NBC Dateline.
Wait, That other guy wasn't my daddy?

When shown the video of their shenanigans and rude behavior at home, both Sophia and Aiden giggled. Then they giggled some more. Then they asked to see it again. Then they giggled. Then they giggled some more. Then they asked to see it again. Then they giggled. Then they giggled some more. As we tried to move on in the interview, they asked to see the video "just one more time," and we agreed to show them the video just one more time. Then they asked to see some of our video equipment and proceeded to make pig faces into it and recite in unison the "Someone help me, I have a flat tiiiiirrrrre!" line from the GEICO commercial. Then they asked to see that and they giggled. Then they asked to see it again...

Matt, this type of behavior seems to be taking over youngsters in many parts of the world. Gone are the days when teachers challenged our kids with, "Are you allowed to do that at home?" These days  it's the parents who are asking, "Are you allowed to do that in Day Care?" It's quite a transition.

Jeff, we look forward to your full report tonight on Dateline, where I also understand we'll hear from the Grandparents Coalition?

That's right, Matt, we did speak to the Grandparents Coalition, who released a statement on behalf of all grandkids yesterday saying, "They're fine." We'll hear their side as well tonight.

All right, Jeff, we'll be watching, and we'll be watching this weekend for your in-depth expose on Kids And Boogers. What makes them so interesting to our kids?

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