Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to how to raise a child and everyone will handle it in their own different way. A TV show, called Worlds Strictest Parents, produced by Twenty Twenty Television in the UK for the BBC looks into this rather sensitive matter and asks what unruly British teenagers can learn from being part of a family in a different country. Having never filmed before in the Middle East, the producers are now looking to film in Oman. Producers are currently working on its fourth series and as part of this, the team is looking for new locations to film in and Oman has made the list. In the past, the series has visited Jamaica, Israel and India, among other countries.
In the show, a host family houses two teenagers for a week with the aim of instilling in the youngsters its morals and discipline. The Twenty Twenty team is very excited about the idea of shooting in Oman and Gemma Yardley, casting producer of the show, said, We also feel that so many people have preconceived ideas about what a country in the Gulf region should be like. Does everyone wear black from head to toe? Are they very religious? Who is the ruler? These are all interesting questions, which Im sure not many Western viewers would know the answer to, and Im also sure that filming would dispel all these myths.
The criteria for the host family are that they must be based either in Muscat or within two hours drive of the capital, plus have teenage children aged between 13 and 18 of their own. At least one of the parents must be able to speak English well. They must also have enough room in their home to accommodate two extra children and have the ability to send the two visiting children to school with their own. The family would receive a set amount of money to help in costs such as school uniforms and daily meals. The two teenagers - usually a boy and a girl - are not related and Gemma said, The children cast are primarily chosen because they are having difficulties at home. Difficulties may vary from smoking to laziness to drinking to a lack of respect. Those behind the show hope that it will help the children in moving away from the path they were on before joining the host family. Gemma also noted that for many of the children, it is a life changing experience. In order that they can get as much as possible out of the experience, the visiting youngsters are not treated as guests, but as one of the family and therefore expected to follow the same rules that the family does.
We always aim to find a family who we feel will be able to showcase the ideal family in that country. By that I mean parents who are role models, who are conservative, educated, disciplined and most importantly loving. By featuring parents who believe in instilling discipline, boundaries and respect while embracing progress and development in the country creates the perfect opportunity to showcase Oman in a positive light.
Those interested in taking part in the show and hosting two British teenagers can contact Gemma by email at GemmaYardley@twentytwenty.tv  for an application form.
By Emma Williams