Supernanny Success

By: Amy Bingham
By: Amy Bingham

Parents, especially women, are watching ABC's Monday night hit "Supernanny" in record numbers. The show about a British nanny teaching American families how to get control of their children has struck a chord. So what techniques does the Supernanny use and why do they work so well?

Every Monday night the Supernanny wheels into a home somewhere in America, and in a short amount of time, completely changes the dynamic of the family.

The Supernanny is actually 34-year-old Jo Frost who’s single and has no children. Her expertise comes from 15 years of being a nanny for other people's kids in London. Last year, Frost answered an ad in England for a reality show based on nannying. This year, the American version came to ABC.

In the show, Jo first observes a family doing their daily routine. "Sometimes I think how has it gotten this bad; let's go in and change it as soon as possible.”

That's when the Supernanny swoops in and the teaching begins. Families like the Westons are given a household routine. The Supernanny says a consistent schedule is crucial to getting the chaos under control. Parents are also taught how to discipline using the "naughty" spot, a corner, a stool, a mat, or perhaps just an area of the room.

The discipline routine has four steps. After giving a warning to the child about bad behavior, the Supernanny teaches parents to come down to the child's level. Use an authoritative voice, place the child on the naughty spot for one minute per year of age, and when the time is up get the child to apologize.

"Every parent is trying to do the best they can bringing up children at the same time you feel really sorry for the children because they have not had discipline and they've gone wild.”

After teaching parents bedtime, meal time and other techniques, the family is left to 'go it alone.' but the Supernanny returns to critique their progress and reinforce the small details that make her methods successful.

When the Supernanny leaves, the family is often overcome with emotion about the transformation she's brought about.

The Supernanny will air Monday night at 9 p.m. on WBKO.

Additional information:

Shared Play Technique
1. Teach child to take turns.
2. Teach child to ask nicely.
3. Supervise from afar.

Good Eater Technique
1. Always set a goal.
2. Count bites with child.
3. Give praise for each bite.


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