This television superhero can tame the wildest toddler, soothe the savage 6-year-old and get the most difficult child to overcome problems with behavior, sleep, mealtime, potty training and other challenges that have vexed parents around the world for centuries. This miracle worker is Jo Frost, a.k.a. Supernanny, the TV star and godsend to desperate parents across the U.K. who were dazzled by her amazing results as she showed families the tools for transforming their children’s wild ways.
Her practical, no-nonsense style was honed over 15 years of nannying in the U.K. and the U.S. Now, American families can tap into the secrets of this modern-day Mary Poppins in Supernanny. In each episode of Supernanny, Jo observes how the parents handle their day-to-day obstacles with their children. Once she’s assessed the pitfalls, she works with the parents, instilling her tried-and-true methods for transforming unwanted behavior. Then, after demonstrating just how well the new style will work and getting unbelievable results from the children, the parents must fly solo with the Supernanny techniques.
For several days they try to implement Jo’s suggestions, and she revisits them at the end of the program to help keep them on track for the future. Her simple methods stress consistency, communication and reasonable consequences for poor behavior, all delivered with loving firmness. She emphasizes the importance of spelling out the new rules of the household to children in advance, as well as explaining the consequences for infractions. One standard punishment in Jo’s program is a short timeout period on the “Naughty Step” or, for older children, in the “Naughty Room” — a room devoid of toys, TV or other distractions. Children soon tire of the timeouts and conform to better behavior. She also candidly points out to parents where they need to be more decisive, more flexible or even how they may need to adjust their expectations of a child’s readiness for certain behaviors. For example, graduating a child to a seat at the dinner table instead of a high chair may be long overdue and provide an easy fix to mealtime misbehavior.
When parents witness Jo’s results and — even better — achieve them on their own, they are truly believers in The Jo Frost Method. Best of all, children and adults alike can enjoy the lasting benefits of a more harmonious family life.
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