Monday, January 3, 2011

Why We Need Super Nanny

I love the TV show Super Nanny. Why? Because what she does really does work.  It won’t work with teenagers, but it will definitely work on small children who don’t know boundaries and have never been taught rules.  I do think that when those kids are taught rules, that they won’t be as unruly as teenagers. 
If you don’t know her method it goes something like this; you don’t yell or hit. EVER. There is no need, as you use a warning, timeout system with constant follow through for discipline issues in almost all cases.  You also incorporate trust activities to teach parents and siblings work together.  As far as chores and the such, you use privileges and rewards.  If a child won’t sleep in their bed and gets up constantly, you sit silently looking the other direction in their room constantly putting them back in their bed until they go to sleep.  Kids get it.  They learn so quickly, and it makes real lasting effects in their lives.
The real question is why? Why do we need some British lady who doesn’t have any children of her own to come here and teach us how to raise our own? Because we are confused.  In this country women have only recently, in the past 60 years (since WWII) joined the work force in large numbers.  These numbers have grown even more since divorce and the ‘single mom’ phenomena became more prevalent since the 1970’s.  An era of one family households, or both parents working to support the household began, and parenting philosophies started splitting.  Some people were all for coddling your child, some ignored their children. Basically, we are confused.
Our society is suffering from a generation of people that don’t want to raise their kids the same way that they were raised. The following list of parenting ‘techniques’ is in no way all inclusive!  Some parents believe the fundamentalist Christian teachings about ‘spare the rod spoil the child’ and hit their kids, thinking that it will teach them self control and discipline.  Others, ironically (most of them raised the way I just discussed), go the polar opposite and don’t parent their kids at all.  Another section of working parents simply leave the majority of their parenting up to daycares and schools feels guilty for spending so little time with their kids that they make up for it by spoiling them with material goods.
I have babysat for a couple in that last category. Their daughter slowly took over with her unhealthy desires until they realized that it was a problem.  It snuck up on them.  See, they thought that they were doing their daughter a favor, allowing her to eat favorite sweets and watch her favorite TV show when they were home, but they weren’t.  Soon she wouldn’t eat anything but chocolate, and only wanted to watch TV.  I saw an episode of Super Nanny on Hulu and sent it to her parents, apparently just in time. Her mother, rather than being offended that I mentioned that there was a problem, was incredibly thankful and said that using her advice they had made real positive steps in helping to change bad habits.  Kids can change, they are adaptable.  Habits can be moderately easily unlearned. It is when we become adults and have 30 years of these bad habits that things become hard to unlearn. 
Who were your parents? Ha…mine were the recovering alcoholics that frankly had no clue what they were doing for a long time. I have to give my mum props though, she knew she didn’t want to raise us like she was raised and she did everything in her power to make that happen.  My brother’s having ADHD I think was a big reason my mom was forced to have so many rules and boundaries, otherwise life would have been completely out of control. 
            We can’t leave our parenting to the school systems.  Your child’s teacher is just that, a teacher not a parent.  Learning self control, boundaries, self esteem and other virtues have to begin at home.  Well laid boundaries and rules are what teach us self control, not hitting your child. A timeout is just as effective and less traumatic to both of you.  Teaching your kids boundaries instead of stifling their independence allows them to learn self reliance, patience and trust.
 I really really hope I can be the parent that I want to be. I have heard people say that, “you know everything about parenting before you become a parent,” but I think that my unique experiences will help me. I was a nanny for three years—I know what it is like to spend long periods of time with infants.  I am okay with it, and really enjoy it. I’m not prepared so much for the sleep depravation, but no one is.   I have taught. My best friend’s had a baby and I spent huge amounts of time walking around with him when he had colic, getting puked on, loved on and generally being his best friend.  All of those experiences should help me with being a parent.
What kind of parent do you want to be? Do you have a philosophy?  What type of parents did you have? Did you know anything about babies before having one? 


  1. Unfortunately, I know many parents who don't know how to be parents. They feel the need to always be a best friend to their children and find it difficult to assume a disciplinary role. I'm not perfect, however, and I have raised my voice to my children, especially when they have done something that would cause harm to themselves or others. I have also asked my children to forgive me for yelling and explain that I'm not perfect, but they can always depend on me to provide for their safety and well-being. As I explain to my children, nobody's perfect and it's okay to make mistakes, but one should acknowledge those mistakes and avoid making them in the future. Other than when they are overtired, my children are rather well-behaved. I teach at home so that they don't pick up on the disciplinary issues of their peers. Children, by nature, want to please their parents and it is the paren'ts responsibility to clearly define what the expectations are and give them options so that they may work together meet those expectations while also encouaging individuality. I like the idea of Supernanny, but I think many people would benefit from mandatory parenting classes with certification renewals. :)

  2. Love--omg I love the parenting classes idea!

  3. My friend wanted to post this but for some reason it wouldn't work--
    Brandi has a 4 year old....and her idea is

    I have fallen in love with the "Whining Chair". She can whine all she wants but she has to sit in the chair while she is doing it. she is in complete control of the chair. She can get up at any time, there is no time limit. She just has to stop whining. At first it was hard to get her to stay in it but I would just pick her up and put her back in it without saying a word. Now that she knows how it works, gets her frustrations out, learns to calm herself down and announces that she lost her attitude and she is free to go about her day. Also, once the concept of the chair is learned, any place can instantly have one for her to use. A LIFESAVER!!

  4. I don't think I subscribe to any one form of parenting. As many people say, I was a great parent before I had children.

    I have done things I'm not proud of as a parent, but what parent hasn't?

    Avery knows (at 2 years old) that as soon as she starts getting attitude with me or throwing a fit I just say "go to your room" and in she goes until she's over it. She comes to the door and says "mommy all done" and she can come out. She says sorry and we give hugs and she goes about her business.

    I have also given her a quick swat on her diapered, clothed butt. I don't see really anything wrong with that either. It's not nearly as effective as a time out so it is rarely used. (Except the time she ran into the road and I think it was a knee jerk reaction to scoop her up and swat her once on the tush.)

    For the most part, she is a very well behaved child. Spirited and sassy, but well behaved. And when she's out of line I just have to tell her to go to her room.

    And sometimes I just get SO FREAKING FRUSTRATED with her and there is no one else here to field some of that attitude that she HAS to go to her room or go to bed a little early or I will flip out.

  5. Wow - good ideas!

    You can't legally require parenting classes - but maybe the government could offer an incentive for those who do attend.

    Whinning chair is great. I think I'll devise one for myself!!

    My best experience is with my younger sister Bridget who is 14. My parents yell at her all the time, and wonder why she yells back at them (duh). When I moved back from college, I worked with Bridget on giving her calm but direct and firm instructions, and repeated them over and over in the same tone until she complied. She would throw fits and I would just stand there, keep her from hurting herself and hold her until she stopped. maybe a whole 1/2 an hour.

    I would also plan to introduce my kids to EVERYTHING I could. I'd have that kid that was raising money with a lemonade stand to donate to charity, or starting a kid-business at 12.

    My biggest issue is that I can't give 100% to my career and 100% to a family. And my career is super important to me right now, and all I have. So I may never have my own kids, because I don't want to short change them. I will also be working with kids for a career and may want to come home and relax without my own kids at home....but that's just an idea :)

  6. My mom worked while I was growing up, so my grandma had a big hand in raising me, and my younger sister (who is 9 years younger than me). She had a very practical approach to child raising. I like to think that I do as well.

    Child rearing isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. Some times I think the husband is the most difficult child of all!

    I don't know. Maybe I'm just lucky. We've had a few issues along the way, but nothing that we couldn't handle.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm no "mother of the year". But I think I do a pretty good job at raising 4 kids. Super Nanny can suck it, lol.

    And this may be offensive to some, but watching other people's kids, and having kids of your own are two completely different things.


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