“Your role is not to make your child happy every moment of the day regardless of the personal cost, but to raise her to be a thoughtful, kind, productive citizen of the world. Some people would beg to differ, but it’s not a choice to discipline or not. Your child needs discipline, just like she needs food and water.”
An Unconventional Parental Expert
Recognized parental expert Jo Frost was skyrocketed to fame by the popular television show “Supernanny”. Supernanny, debuted on the UK’s channel 4 in July of 2004 and ran for a full seven seasons until it’s final episode in March of 2011. The show was viewed in 48 countries, including the U.S., with an estimated viewership of over 5 million. Her books have also sold in the millions.
One of the things that differentiates her from any other parental expert is the life experience she gained during her years as a professional nanny. While another “parental expert” may offer the results of research studies based on theoretical analysis, she offers solutions to many of the difficult real-life situations that modern parents actually face. Further, viewers can literally see the implementation, as well as the results, of these solutions for themselves.
Top Three Parenting Tips from a Parental Expert
In one interview, when asked what her top three parenting advice tips were, she offered the following advice.
- First, she recommended that parents ask themselves what their values are and what kind of parents they want to be. Considerations such as religious beliefs are a component of family value systems, as well as other values such as cooperation and responsibility. Results are easier to achieve when the goals are clear.
- Secondly, the importance of leading by example cannot be overestimated. A policy of “Do as I say and not as I do” results in hypocrisy which children are quick to identify and often rebel against. Even as a parental expert, Ms. Frost believes that no amount of expert advice can take the place of role modeling the behaviors that parents want to encourage and develop in their children. Further, rather than just being blank slates to be taught, children, by mirroring their parent’s behavior often teach their parents as well. One of the most important emotional characteristics that parents model for their children is that of respect.
- Her third top parenting tip is for parents to make time for their children. Learning requires both time and patience, both of which are important elements of the ability to demonstrate love. In an increasingly materialistic world in which many adults driven by economic concerns have forgotten its true value, children still recognize that time is much more than just money.
Parental Expert Advice on Parenting Effectiveness versus Parental Ego
In an interview with the Telegraph, she even offered parenting tips to the interviewer, including the opinion that use of a “dummy” or pacifier can delay speech. Known for her straightforward style and willingness to sacrifice parental ego in pursuit of positive results, she stressed the importance of discipline in parenting. However, she insists that parents must discipline themselves as well as their children. Using a sports analogy, she made the point that
“We do not question an athlete who is disciplined in order to achieve their goals, and yet as parents the same premise is not applied.”
In addition to her other work in television and the publishing industry, Jo Frost works with the United Nations Foundation‘s Shot@Life movement as an advocate. The program’s goal is to decrease preventable childhood diseases through vaccination. She was also recently named the newest celebrity patron by the anaphylaxis campaign in her continued quest to raise consciousness of children’s health concerns.
While her work has kept her too busy to start a family of her own so far, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, she revealed that she and her fiancé, Darrin Jackson, with whom she lives in California, are considering doing just that. One of the most valuable legacies of her work is demonstrating that with consistent practice, anybody can become a parental expert.