Supernanny not so super says childcare expert

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Childcare, That's Entertainment

Jo Frost, star of the reality TV series SupernannyNot everyone loves Nanny Jo, the british star of the series Supernanny. On the show, Jo Frost shows up to help some hapless family with discipline, scheduling, and whatever other issues they might have. Not everyone thinks so highly of the Supernanny nor of other such shows, however.

Childcare experts in the UK have spoken out about such shows, criticizing both the invasion of the children's privacy and the quick-fix answers the shows' stars offer. Gina Ford, maternity nurse and parenting author, is one of the critics. "Through no choice of their own," Ford writes, "[the children] have ended up 'starring' in unedifying family dramas, and are pilloried for faults which, all too often, lie with their parents." She says "I dread to think of the long-term damage to some of these children."

It's not just the children on the show, either, that suffer. Parents who watch the shows have taken to implementing the suggestions used on the show, with potentially disastrous results. "I am also extremely concerned about some of the methods being advocated," Ford says. "As if humiliating children in front of TV cameras isn't bad enough, these programmes also seem to delight in other shame-and-blame methods."

I have seen some of these shows and it seems miraculous how parents can suddenly change their ways and children become perfectly behaved almost overnight. It strikes me as being a little too Hollywood -- like getting a parking place right in front of the store you're going to. It just doesn't work that way in real life.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.