'Dateline NBC' series puts parental maxims to test

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 12 at 5:03 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Correspondent Natalie Morales ended up in tears when she put herself and her 8-year-old son through the same parenting test that "Dateline NBC" is subjecting others to for a series that starts Sunday.

Using hidden cameras and actors, the network set up scenarios to see if children really follow their parents' instructions to avoid strangers, don't get into a car with a drunk driver or don't cheat.

The results will probably depress you.

Time and again, children gave their names and addresses to a "stranger" who had taken their picture and talked about putting them on TV. Promised free ice cream, they climbed into a van driven by an actor who could easily close the door on them and speed away. Parents watched it all on monitors nearby.

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