The Superninny

Supernanny or … Superninny?!

For Emparenting’s inaugural Superninny column, we pay a few (backhanded) compliments to our modern day Mary Poppins, before getting down to brass tacks. In the coming weeks, this column will examine episodes from reality-parenting TV shows, demonstrating what the “experts” are doing wrong, and telling you how to do it better — from the perspective of the Emparenting! philosophy of course.

Invasion of the Supernniny!

OK, we admit it. The title of this weekly column is an unabashedly provocative attempt to boost our ratings. Hey, if the producers of Nanny 911 and Brat Camp can rope in hapless viewers with a snappy title, so can we.  

But before any of you Jo Frost fans start flaming us for taking aim at Britain’s latest invader into Americana, we have reserved some complimentary words for Jo-Jo, the star and lone authority figure on the original reality-parenting show Supernanny. Jo Frost is beyond all doubt a celebrity, and for anyone to have elevated the often thankless job of child-rearing to Hollywood status is something that should neither be overlooked nor under-appreciated. (Eat your heart out Dr. Spock… you never had a television series!) 

Moreover, it is no simple task jumping headlong into the whirlwind of pre-psychotic rage exhibited by all those Meghans, Dylans and Codys; pulling their families back from the edge of the abyss; wrestling with the dysfunctionality of each; and, within the confines of the forty-two minute format, tying it up in a ribbon and putting it in a box for syndication. Let’s face it — there just are not too many people in the world who can pull off what Jo Frost does on a weekly basis. Dr. Phil couldn’t do it in a two-hour special. Not even once. 

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