What Is Nanny 911?
I understand that the show was first screened in 2004. It takes 6 years to reach our shores. The program is now screened on NTV7 at 8.30pm every Monday since yesterday.
Though it is an old TV program by today’s standard, the lessons in this parenting show are timeless. We can still learn to be better parents from watching this show despite its age.
Also Nanny 911 is a reality show. Before you shun away and say, “Not another reality show!” please listen to me first.
The show is about a team of nannies who work in a chosen family to help them turn a chaotic family to a blissful one in each episode.
Before a nanny is assigned a task, a particular case is studied and the best nanny for the task is selected. The nanny has to go to the family and she has only seven days to complete her mission.
Episode One: The Rock Family
Gee, when I saw the scenes from the Rock family, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The family is totally out of control and always in a mess. This family has two children, Dylan and Natalie. They are 5 and 3 respectively.
I am not sure how true it is that this family is in such a chaotic situation but it is interesting to find out how Nanny 911 rescues this family that is full of fighting, screaming, disrespectful behaviors, and even hitting. It is totally out of control and this puts a strain on the marriage too.
First Things First
After evaluating the Rock family’s conditions, Nanny Deb is chosen for the task. She has 22 years of experience being a nanny.
On the first day, Nanny Deb observes how the family carries its day-to-day activities.
She takes notes especially how many times Dylan and Natalie throwing tantrums and for what reason. She also observes how the parents react in such situations.
Later Nanny Deb advises the parents on the corrective measures that they should take to bring back peace and order to the family.
Misconception of Most Parents
After watching for some time the first episode of Nanny 911, I came to realize that the source of the problems is Karen, the mother.
One misconception that is revealed by Karen is, being a mother, she is not willing to see her children be sad. Or go through negative feelings. Because of this, she has become inconsistent, soft, and gives in when the kids burst out. She also cuddles and hugs at the wrong time.
I find that this is a very common problem as many parents that I know will give in and listen to the “instructions” of the child even though they know the kid is wrong.
We must remember that parents must take charge in the family – not children – no matter how sad or angry your child is. Don’t let them run you over. Besides becoming parents, as Nanny Deb says, parents are also teachers to the children.
It is okay to let your child sad or unhappy if he is at the wrong or refuses to listen to you. If they don’t go through this, how will the children ever learn how to handle sorrow and anger? And isn’t it part of our lives to go through different stages of feelings? Children are no exception too.
Though her parenting style has caused stress in the family, Karen is willing to listen and accept the advice from the nanny. It is not easy for her but she is willing to change for the betterment of the family.
Parenting Tips from Episode One
Just by watching one episode, my wife and I have learned so much about parenting. Here are some tips I pick up from Nanny Deb for the Rock family.
Set limits and rules. A family without rules is like a war zone. The first things the nanny does is to create family rules: the do’s and don’ts so to speak. And this has to be communicated to the kids. Help them understand and follow the rules.
Both parents must be consistent. This is one of the major factors contributing to the Rock family’s problems. The mother is taking the lead role in parenting the children while the husband (I can’t recall his name) is taking a passive role. When the husband is trying to help, his effort is stopped by the wife. Both of them are having a different approach in parenting. Husband is strict and firm. Wife is soft. These two styles create confusion in children (and also friction in marriage). This is the reason why the children refuse to listen to both parents and they tend to take refuge in mother when something gets in their way.
It turns out that the husband is a better parent when Nanny Deb suggested to the mother to let the husband play a more substantial role in parenting. He is strict and consistent. He does not give in easily. Before Nanny 911 is brought in, all these positive traits fail to see the daylight because Karen thinks her husband’s way is wrong. Both parents must sit down and discuss about the common parenting approach both would take. Once an approach is decided, one must support the other to bring out the effectiveness in parenting.
Be firm. When you need your child to do something, be firm and consistent. Take one example from this episode. There is one scene in which Natalie puts her foot on the table while they are having dinner. The husband asks Natalie politely to put down her leg. She refuses even after several stern warnings. The next step is to bring Natalie to her room. She has to face the consequences of her action even though she cries. This is also to show her that the parents are serious and there is no two way about it.
A Show Worth Checking Out
Here are a few Nanny 911 video clips I found on YouTube for your viewing. Take a look:
- Nanny 911-The Finck family part 1
- Nanny 911-The Finck family part 2
- Nanny 911-The George family part 1
No Chance To Watch This Program?
If you are not able to catch this show on your local TV stations, I strongly advise you to get a copy of its DVD program from Amazon. Or if you prefer to read, Nanny 911 has even published its awesome parenting tips in a book called Nanny 911: Expert Advice for All Your Parenting Emergencies.
I find the show very educational. In fact, this is the first TV reality show chock-full of tips rather than entertaining.