This week we get a new nanny. By “we” I mean the lot of us. Lifetime will on Tuesday premiere “America’s Supernanny” a spin-off of the beloved (to some) ABC show that followed the British child-whisperer Jo Frost into one chaotic home after another.
This time, the nanny is American, from Northern Virginia in fact, where she founded Happy Home Child Learning Centers.
These nanny shows are more of a guilty pleasure for me than pretty much any other program. I harbor no fantasies of dancing in skintight sequins or crooning like a diva or cooking deliciously in a half-hour (or in any time frame). I do, though, wish I could parent like a reality star. It’s addictive to imagine that household harmony is just a Naughty Step away.
Which is why I found myself asking Tillman for a sneak peek of her techniques. Her response (below), bullet-pointed for easy pasting to the fridge, looks simple enough. Surely some readers will find it blindingly obvious. I embrace it as a plan to turn her reality into my own.
From Deborah Tillman, the star of “America’s Supernanny”:
• Praise and encourage positive behavior
• Set clear guidelines and expectations
• Implement consistent consequences for choosing negative behavior
• Ask yourself “What lesson am I trying to teach my child?”
My Discipline Techniques
Calm Down Corner: This is my fundamental discipline technique that works for children between 2 and 8 years [old]. It’s a way to train and teach your child that there are consequences when a house rule is broken.
Lose What You Like: This is my fundamental discipline technique that works for children over 8 years old. It teaches children that you will lose something that YOU value when a house rule is broken.
My Parenting Rules
• Provide routine and structure for children
• Model the behavior you want
• Cling to consistency
• Follow through
• Be responsible and accountable
What do you think? Good advice? Obvious advice? Would you be a better Supernanny?