JO FROST CONFRONTS THE ISSUE OF SPANKING,
ON ABC'S "SUPERNANNY"
"Bowersock Family" � In possibly the most explosive episode ever, Supernanny Jo Frost comes to the rescue of a family caught up in a pattern of hitting, aggression and unhappiness. Jo takes Jenniffer, the mom, on an emotional journey to break the cycle of violence that was inflicted on Jenniffer as a child, with astounding results, on "Supernanny," MONDAY, JUNE 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Rebroadcast. OAD 12/4/06)
Jenniffer and Thad Bowersock are the beleaguered parents of three out-of-control children -- Maddie (7), Hayden (6) and Lily (4). Mom is a firm believer in old-fashioned methods of discipline: spanking, smacking, yelling, washing out their mouths with soap and even raising her belt to them, since that is how she was raised. And sadly, since Jenniffer's parents also weren't very affectionate, there are not many hugs and kisses given out to her own kids.
Dad is a juvenile corrections officer who spends more time with his charges in lockdown than he does with his family. When he gets home from his 12-hour workdays, he quickly leaves for the gym to relieve stress, which only adds to Jenniffer's struggles to manage the children.
The Bowersock kids talk back to both parents and refuse to do anything when they're asked. They consider discipline to be a joke and literally laugh in Mom's face, which only fuels Jenniffer's frustration. Hitting, spitting, punching, kicking and biting seem to entertain the kids as their preferred method of interaction with one another. There's plenty of aggression, anger and unhappiness in this home.
Jo is determined to help the Bowersocks break the cycle and teach them that effective discipline does not need to include hitting. Jenniffer has a tearful catharsis about how her childhood experiences have informed her own parenting style, and both parents are amazed to see how much happier their family can be doing things the Supernanny way.
Hailed by the New York Times as "fascinating" and "required viewing;" praised by Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman and Kelly Ripa; acclaimed by such publications as Newsweek, Hollywood Reporter and The New Yorker; and lauded by parents and nannies across America, "Supernanny" is a hit. Jo Frost, as Supernanny, can tame the wildest toddler, soothe the savage six-year-old and get the most difficult child to overcome problems with behavior, sleep, mealtime, potty training and other challenges that have vexed parents around the world for centuries. After just three episodes of the show aired in the U.K. in summer 2004, Jo Frost became Britain's hottest new TV star and godsend to desperate parents who were dazzled by her amazing results with misbehaving children. She debuted in America in early 2005 and captivated Americans as well with her practical, no-nonsense style, honed over 16 years of nannying. "Supernanny" is now an international phenomenon; it airs in 47 countries, almost all of them with Frost as Supernanny. Her books, Ask Supernanny and Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children were both New York Times bestsellers.
In each episode of the television series, this modern-day Mary Poppins observes how the parents handle their day-to-day obstacles with their children. Once she's assessed the pitfalls, she works with the parents, instilling her tried-and-true methods for transforming unwanted behavior. Then, after demonstrating just how well the new style will work and getting unbelievable results from the children, the parents must fly solo with the Supernanny techniques. For several days they try to implement Jo's suggestions, and she revisits them at the end of the program to help keep them on track for the future.
Her simple methods stress consistency, communication and reasonable consequences for poor behavior, all delivered with loving firmness. She emphasizes the importance of spelling out the new rules of the household to children in advance, as well as explaining the consequences for infractions. She also candidly points out to parents where they need to be more decisive, more flexible or even how they may need to adjust their expectations of a child's readiness for certain behaviors. For example, graduating a child to a seat at the dinner table instead of a high chair may be long overdue and provide an easy fix to mealtime misbehavior. When parents witness Jo's results and -- even better -- achieve them on their own, they are truly believers in the Supernanny way. Best of all, children and adults alike can enjoy the lasting benefits of a more harmonious family life.
Nick Powell is the creator and executive producer of both the American and British versions of the show. Craig Armstrong and Nick Emmerson are executive producers of the American version. "Supernanny" is produced by Ricochet, Ltd.
"Supernanny" is broadcast with Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. This program carries a TV-PG,L parental guideline.