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Health & Parenting

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.
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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 handle?

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.

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