Wednesday, 11 July 2012
You're Not So Super Nanny!
I have a confession..I don't like Super Nanny.
I don't like her bossy manner, I don't like her power suits, I don't like the way she barks orders and fills in charts. In fact she reminds me a little bit of the dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse. I don't like the way she tries to sympathise with the parents when really the producers might as well super impose a big thought bubble over her head with the words "loosers" on it.
Maybe some of this is sour grapes as the naughty step has been an abject failure in our house. My four year old is pretty nonplussed by having to sit on a step for four minutes and basically seems to weigh up whether the joy of committing the "crime" is greater than the “punishment” of having to sit on a rather comfortable step. Usually the crime wins.
We also have a two year old who absolutely has to do what his big sister does. This includes sitting on the naughty step. However being a bright spark he has cottoned onto the fact that you only get sent to this mythical step if you do something naughty, so now if his sister is told off he comes up, bops me and then runs off unbidden to sit next to his sibling where they both giggle together and have a great time laughing at Mummy. So great seems to be the lure of this step that we may as well give up calling it the naughty step and perhaps just go the whole hog, call it the step of paradise, strew it with rose petals and festoon it with balloons.
I have to say that a tiny bit of me objects to being given help with parenting from someone with no kids themselves. I also feel this way about the notorious / much loved (please delete as applicable) Gina Ford. I can see that it’s pretty easy to discipline kids when you have no emotional involvement. You probably don't worry if they like you or if they feel miserable and you have not been worn down by sleepless nights and temper tantrums. I also feel that these so called super nannies have no investment in the child's future growth. Their job is to deal with issues in the here and now - to get the baby sleeping through the night or tame the two year olds tantrums. It is doubtful that they will ever meet the child again and so they don't particularly care if they are affected in later life by being forced into time out or denied a night time breast-feed.
I know everyone has different parenting styles but for me I find that instead of Super Nanny I prefer to subscribe to the ever popular "Haribo School of Discipline". This school of thought recommends bribing your child with a small jelly sweet when you want them to behave. My children would crawl over hot coals for just a whiff of a cola bottle and so far this method has never failed us!