Reality Show Of Columbus Sextuplets Highlights Chaotic Life
The first sextuplets’ family in Columbus will celebrate the holidays watching themselves on TV. Their new show recently debuted on the Oprah Winfrey Network. They’re not the first family to display their lives on camera, but there may be drawbacks to instant fame.
At the start of the afternoon it’s nap time for the 2 ½ year old McGhee sextuplets. While the girls Madison and Olivia sleep in their bedroom, the four boys are not ready to be quiet.
“Alright boys what’s going on? Ya’ll are supposed to be laying down,” says Rozonno McGhee.
Rozonno McGhee Senior attempts to persuade his sons Rozonno Junior, Issac, Elijah, and Josiah to stay in their beds and close their eyes.
“They’re extremely active, they’re into everything; as you can hear them right now they’re like jumping upstairs. It’s like non-stop right now. They’ve got a lot of energy. They’re in that terrible 2 stage,” says Rozonno McGhee.
And all of it along with other problems that are part of daily life in the McGhee family are the focus of a new reality show on the OWN network. It’s called the Six Little McGhee’s. For two months, the McGhee family surrendered their home to television cameras. The episodes are like home movies says mom Mia McGhee.
“The way I see is you know what, this is like memories or footage I would never be able to capture just me and my husband or even the helpers. So this is something that I really value,” says Mia McGhee.
The sextuplets were born three months premature in June 2010. Mia says while her children have grown and continue to progress; their development is still somewhat delayed. That’s why they attend a special school designed to help premature children.
“They are doing a phenomenal job according to what their teachers’ are saying, but they’re not yet caught up,” says Mia McGhee.
During the first episode of ‘Six Little McGhee’s, the couple shows how at mealtime they each feed the children out of one bowl with one spoon. That prompts their pediatrician to give a warning.
“Are they still at that same feeding table for their meals? Yes. They’re too big for that now. I think that table is actually making your kids sick. Decrease the spread of germs as much as you can,” says Doctor Irene Koesters.
The couple however decides for now they will continue to use only one to 2 spoons.
The McGhee’s have been married for 13 years. They say the show is positive for the family, although Mia admits to feeling some stress.
“Yes, you will see our ups and downs you will see it on T.V. We do have disagreements. But, does that outweigh our marriage? No, we choose to be together,” says Mia McGhee.
The McGhee’s earned money for each episode of their reality show. They wouldn’t say how much, though. Figures run as little as $2,000 to $4,000 per episode for shows like TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo all the way up to $10 million a season for the Kardashian family. The Gosselins of Jon and Kate plus 8; also a family with sextuplets earned over $22,000 per episode when they were most popular.
Otterbein Psychologist Noam Shpancer studies and writes about childcare development. He says reality shows fill both financial and emotional needs.
“We all need money and we all have this part of us that wants others to look at us and notice us and appreciate us. That’s something that’s very human,” says Shpancer.
Shpancer warns though that subjects of reality shows often face a significant downside to the fame and fortune.
“Suddenly the cameras are all around and suddenly you’re no longer in charge of your story. Some editor manages the footage and creates a narrative of your own life. And suddenly the boundaries between private and public are demolished in a way and this is a big change for people so it can create stress,” explains Shpancer.
Shpancer adds that families on reality T.V. need to look closely for any negative behavior in their children.
“You will usually know when something is wrong and you will usually be able to tell when there’s an issue,” says Shpancer.
Shpancer says because so few families have been in a reality show, it’s too soon to draw conclusions as to what long-term effects these programs have on family lives.