I don't think children should be allowed to watch it although I know they all love it. Not surprising given how childish it is. My beef with the X-Factor and it's legion of imitators is twofold.
Controlling teenagers watching X-Factor is like herding cats, nailing jelly to the wall and all that.
Watching it at times feels like masturbating with a cheesegrater, but there we go.
First, it teaches that winning is more important than anything else.
Whilst I agree with the big FAIL that X-Factor makes of this issue, I do not fall in the competition is B_A_A_A_A_D camp. It is the unrealistic expectations that are the problem here. There is competition for work in the fast (or is that fat) food industry these days: a failure to recognise that is unrealistic at best. Sorry JJ, not being rude and here is a big hug from me to prove it (((((( )))))).
Second, it confuses sentimentality with genuine emotion.
Oh (insert swearword, cussword or blasphemy here) - you are so right!!!!
It will breed a generation of emotional illiterates who obsess over winning and exaggerate the significance of failure.
That is probably already a reality and not necessarily all the X-Factor's fault.