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'Supernanny' Fights Spanking With 'Time-out'

Supernanny Jo Frost is pleased that she is the reason 67 percent of Britons choose to put their misbehaving children in “time-out” instead of spanking them since her reality show debuted in 2004.

“Certainly what is more effective is using consequences that allow a child to reflect about their behavior, to think for themselves, to make sound judgments, to be able to know the difference between right and wrong and to be able to be consistent in that fashion so that they’re able to think for themselves,” she tells me. “What is more effective is for parents to understand the importance of clarity with the house rules and the expectations that they both want when raising children; for parents to have more patience and understanding with the way they will communicate with their children; for parents to have anger management under control, and longevity in regards to enduring the process in parenting, because what I clearly see in my teaching is that when a parent is at their wit’s end and frustrated and not educated to know the difference, they lose their temper and then they spank.”

She believes there is never an excuse to spank – no matter what.

“When families come to me and say ‘we spank, and we want to change that because we recognize that our kids are spanking us back,’ they’re clearly showing that when a family is frustrated or angry about a situation, they react out by hitting, and they’re teaching the children to do the same, because monkey see, monkey do.”

For parents who want to raise a healthy, happy kid, she stresses the importance of consistency.

“Consistency leads to success, but there has to be a support system in place that allows you to be consistent. For example, if I want to be healthier, I get up at 5 a.m. and workout. In order for me to be able to do that, I have to be consistent with the time I go to bed. Otherwise, I’m not going to get enough sleep, and I’m going to weigh it up here (points to head) ‘sleep/gym, sleep/gym.’ You have to look at the surrounding support system that enables you to do what you do. Once that’s in place, you’ve got a higher chance of being able to be more consistent. It’s not just looking at the words. Everybody can look at the words and say ‘need to be consistent.’ What does that mean and how do I obtain that? How do I get that word that you’re talking about so it leads to success? That’s very key in being able to have that support so you can be consistent. But consistency leaves parents in a pickle.”

And she urges parents to police their child’s Facebook accounts and update their privacy settings so they are able to keep their families safe.

“It’s important to have the proper privacy controls,” she says. “If teenagers are going to update their status, it’s important for parents to be able to talk about that. Technology has given us the wonderful advantage to share with people across the world; at the same time, we have to be very diligent about the way we protect our privacy in a world where everybody wants to know everything, and they’re always excited to find out. I think there are boundaries in place for everything that we do, and to make sure we’re safe doing that.”

Here’s my pic with Jo Frost:

Jo Frost, Valerie Nome

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