Supernanny Jo Frost's Top Three Tips for Parents
As her show kicks off its sixth season, television's favorite nanny shares her favorite tips for raising happy, healthy children.
What are the top
three things every parent should know when it comes to raising
First, stop and think
about what kind of parent you want to be and what your family values are. And
by the way, it's rather bizarre to me coming from England that Americans
associate strong family values with religion. Values don't have to be
associated with any religion -- unless it's the family religion. These values
are about the things we do as a family, about being responsible and
Second, lead by
example. Don't be hypocritical. We should be positive role models in our
children's lives. Our children look up to us and are inspired by the qualities
we have. They're a mirror reflection. They make us laugh at ourselves when they
mimic us, and at the same time they make us check ourselves. As parents we're
learning along the way as well, but respect is twofold. Show respect and it's
Finally, time is
irreplaceable. You can't have growth without time. You can't show your love
unless you make the time to show it, and you can't build memories unless you
have plenty of it.
What are some of the
biggest mistakes American parents make with their kids?
Not having realistic
expectations is one! For example, a very common situation is when parents have
a second child and there may be a very small gap between the two. The first
child has been the apple of their eye and then the second one comes along --
and overnight they expect the older child to put their shoes and clothes on
themselves, eat with a knife and fork, and put a backpack on and go off to
school. You have to understand what your child is capable of.
I also find that
parents are not consistent in their word, whether it's in discipline or
following up on something that you promise. I know it's important for children
to understand that things happen out of the blue that we didn't expect, but
parents are not consistent to their word and it's a real letdown. Like when
Mommy promises, "Just let me tidy this up and I'll come and play with you," and
it doesn't happen.