supper nanny

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by needabreak, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I read the Alfie Kohn article. i thought he was a bit harsh, especially about "what it says about the parents who would allow Supernanny into their lives" (my quote marks - not a direct quote). I think it says that these parents are desperate for help and have run out of ideas. However, there were some truths buried in the sarcasm of the article.

    We do watch Supernanny. I actually quite like it, although I know it wouldn't work for us. Some aspects of what she does - I agree with Kohn. I especially hate "the naughty corner/mat/stool" because it doesn't have any room for dealing with the cause. But it IS training of sorts, often in an environment which has been too loose and unstructured. I've done the time out thing - I still recommend it when done properly, but it should never be used on its own. You need rewards too, and the best rewards are time with loving parents. OK, this should be happening anyway, but we have to be reminded to make such time for our kids. Regimenting it is a good way of enforcing discipline on EVERY member of the family, parents included.

    MWM, we agree on most things but I don't feel that most of the kids on SN have neurological/medical problems. A significant proportion, maybe, but not even most. A lot of the issues have developed as the result of problems with parenting. Of course, this sends a message to friends/family out there that OUR problems could also be easily fixed with a lesson in parenting - I think not. Sometimes we can benefit to a certain extent on our own "Superparent" course, like teen drivers can benefit from an Advanced Driver course. But all in all, they would choose the families who can be most obviously helped due to parents not being in touch with what their kids need. They will be avoiding the obvious difficult children in the many, many tapes that would be submitted.

    Jo Frost must see a lot of kids and be able to help a great number. There are probably many kids with the easy diagnosis of ADHD who really don't have it, they just have other issues that haven't been properly managed, but medications have been shoved at them instead (plus the expectation/permission to be hyperactive). As a result, she is cynical about the diagnosis until she can make up her own mind. I must admit, I tend to share that view. ADHD is too easy a label, it gets dished out and then they stop looking for other possibilities - a garbage bin diagnosis. That doesn't mean that I don't believe in ADHD - I certainly do. But it's overdiagnosed to billy-oh.

    I was chatting this arvo to difficult child 3's friend's mother. At her son's b'day party a guest, "Tony", began organising other boys to hassle difficult child 3, so badly I had to take him home. Tony is a problem kid but I'd never had a problem with him before. However, he has a reputation for lying, stealing, bullying and generally being rude and cheeky. I actually quite like the kid, even if I wouldn't trust him alone in my house. But I've spent enough time with him to recognise at least part of the problem - Tony is a bright kid who is both bored and angry. His brain is not being worked hard enough so he's coming up with mischief instead. Friend's mum was telling me, his home life is bad - very bad. His mother ignores him but praises his older brother. There are drugs and alcohol in the place, plus various men friends coming and going. Tony will tell other parents that he hates his mother. He's about to be sent to a group home for juvenile criminals, although he's not yet committed crimes worthy of this. Personally, I think he needs a good foster home, preferably with no other kids his age or younger. He needs the Supernanny touch, desperately.
    But he has a diagnosis of ADHD. I don't believe it. Yes, he's full of energy and he's hard to keep in one place, but I see that in this case as a high intellect looking for stimulation, constantly. He CAN focus well, even in a group situation - I've seen it. But it's easier for his family to say, "It's ADHD and we can't control him," rather than admit, "He's not getting what he needs to grow mentally and physically, because we neglect his every need and we just don't want him - we've told him so."

    So many of the cases I've seen on Supernanny I've watched with easy child 2/difficult child 2 (another reason she wants to become a teacher). Long before Jo Frost gets to work, my daughter & I have identified the problem and can guess what SN is going to do about it. Hmm, Mum's working from home, trying to answer business phones AND look after kids AND run the house? Sorry, mum, you're just not there for your kids and THEY should be the priority. Mum's trying to keep order but can't be heard over the noise the kids make when they jump all over the furniture? Get a bullhorn, mum. Or a whistle. Then be strict, organise them and keep them busy. You're giving your kids too much unstructured, unsupervised activity. They need some, but not all.

    And so on.

    It's also fun to watch and count how many times she says, "unasseptable." And to watch through the repeats to see which episode she finally has been taught how it SHOULD be pronounced. I mean, she is supposed to be an intelligent, educated woman and she speaks like an illiterate while claiming to be able to teach US the right way to do things? Puh-leease! (It does damage her credibility for me, but I'm a pedant. can't help it. Sorry.)

  2. Hexemaus

    Hexemaus Active Member

    Okay, I'll chime in only because the difficult children and I have watched a few episode of Super Nanny. We watch it more for comic relief than anything else - we tell all sorts of twisted difficult child-type jokes about "What if Super Nanny were to come here," etc. (I'm sure "normal" folks would think we're really warped and twisted to hear us make jokes about people with "normal" problems, but you guys know the kind of sense of humor required to raise difficult children without losing your mind. lol.)

    My kids are fully aware of their challenges. They're also fully aware that Super Nanny tactics are for kids with "normal" issues, not necessarily difficult children. My youngest difficult child has asked more than once if we should send her a tape of our family so she can see what "truly" difficult kids are like. (He usually points at his brother during these comments...never would he admit that HE is "difficult." lol)

    The sad part is when difficult child 2 points out, in his ever-so-matter-of-fact, Mom-is-my-equal-not-my-parent tone, that things around here might settle down some if I did like the Super Nanny suggests and be more consistent. That always makes me giggle, but the sad thing is he's probably right. I could do with a bit more consistency in this house, but to have that pointed out by a 13 year old difficult child? That's just so wrong. lol. :smile: