Viewers of Channel Nine’s new show Parental Guidance were left shaken last night, after a ‘Stranger Danger’ experiment played out on screen.
The show, which tests out different parents’ parenting styles to see which one is the best, sent each set of kids to the park with a nanny, who was busy on her phone while they were approached by a stranger with a dog.
In the confronting scenes, the stranger tried to lure the kids away from the park with the promise of seeing his dog’s cute puppies in his car.
According to parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson, the challenge was all about "teaching kids to think critically and make the best decisions when you're not around".
‘Strict’ parents Miriam and Andrew were visibly upset when two of their children agreed to follow the man to his car.
"It makes me angry that someone could ever do that to a child," Andrew said as he teared up.
‘Routine’ parents Brett and Tony were also heartbroken when their children agreed straight away to go with the stranger to see his dog’s puppies.
"We've had many conversations about stranger danger but I think we've had the false sense of security because there's four," Brett said.
Backrow mum Rachel was so horrified by what she saw that she had to leave the room at that stage, and it seems she might not have been alone, as viewers at home were also left aghast by the scenes.
“Please talk to your kids... We all know what the end result would have been & that's why I'm f*****g crying my bloody eyes out again,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“This is intense watching tonight @Channel9 really makes you think about being serious about stranger danger,” another person said.
“Oh wow. Stranger danger is absolutely every parent's nightmare. This is so hard to watch,” another viewer wrote.
Others agreed, with one person calling the scenes ‘confronting’ and another calling it “intriguing”.
By the end of this week, viewers will start to see which parenting styles are deemed the best, as they start voting each other off the show. Two sets of families will go through to the super challenges.
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