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 first led you
to become a nanny?
It wasn't a conscious
decision. I loved being around young children; as a teenager I used to babysit
to earn money for the things I wanted -- which would be clothes. But I started
to nanny more and got into temping and full time. Then I started
troubleshooting. I'd been on the nanny circuit for so long and people would
just hear of me, I'd go into parents' houses and stay for a week and resolve
some issues. The show has sculpted this idea of me as a strong disciplinarian,
and for the purpose of sensationalism we see families with behavioral issues.
But I was the nanny who'd look after newborn babies, come home from day one and
change the sheets, what we call maternity nursing. I would answer questions on
anything to do with parenting at different stages, from "I'm breastfeeding and
want to transition to the bottle," to "Three of us are going on vacation, how
do we deal with night flights and time zones?" I love my job!
Has there ever been
a child disciplinary challenge or family situation that you just couldn't
No! And I don't say
that conceited, either. Of course, you just never know and I'm not one to be
complacent when I walk into a house. I've been doing the show for five years
here and in the UK, and I've been in child care for two decades. There is
always a solution. The family may need other help to continue the process of
healing and fixing what the problems are. I've met parents who say there's no
hope. There's always hope and there's always a solution. Even if the problem is
not "curable," there are solutions in how you work alongside each other. The
work always goes on -- you don't clock in and clock out with parenthood. It's
not "mommy's just going around the deli and get a nap, and I'll see you in an
hour!" We're being raised in a DIY quick-fix society, but anything you do
that's successful takes time.