Nanny Jo Frost returns to TV in a new original reality series "Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour," premiering Thursday, January 28 at 8 p.m. EST on UP. You might know her best from "Supernanny," but in her new show, Frost tackles 21st century parental concerns like technology overload, sleep deprivation, single-parent stress, and blended family feuds. In addition, she's reaching out to families in the communities she visits to offer parenting tips and advice.
Frost sat down with Parents to talk overflowing schedules, practicing patience, and letting your hair down.
What is the biggest challenges you see facing parents today?
Jo Frost: In this country, we salute people who juggle 20 different plates, but I don't think that's the right direction we should take. We should feel confident being able to say 'no' and recognize what we can do to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. We have to eliminate, make a decision, and not pack on more than we can handle.
What is the most misunderstood parenting rule?
JF: I would like parents to understand that some applications and techniques cannot teach children certain principles and virtues. I hear parents say, 'My children were not listening, so I put them in time out.' But you also have to teach children how to listen. They have to be taught by example.
What tips can you give parents to stay motivated and not get frustrated?
JF: I understand that parents get frustrated when their children aren't listening to them, but when they continue to practice the same disciplining techniques over and over again the behavior will only repeat. You have to acknowledge when a method isn't working and move on to something different. Look at the other options you can take and practice patience. I find a lot of parents don't have the patience to allow something to work. You have to be able to breathe and not jump around to a different method each day.
How can parents practice patience?
JF: Impatience comes from being stressed and tired, so I like to take things right back to the beginning. Ask yourself why you are getting frustrated. Have you tried this method with your child over and over without any success? Have you looked to other solutions?
Not every family experiences the extreme issues featured on your show. What are some tactics parents can practice every day to relieve their family's stress?
JF: Prioritize the time you do have with your kids, make it meaningful, and be present. I'd like to see the world be more disciplined with the rest and sleep that they get and give themselves permission to sit down for a moment. Laugh, have fun, and let your hair down. You have to feel good and show the kooky side of you. I speak to so many parents who are just trying to hold it together, but there's a feeling of freeness when you let it all go.
What's the biggest takeaway you've gotten from meeting hundreds of families throughout your career?
JF: People say children are the future, but really, family is. Make it count, because you're raising children who will become adults who will raise their own children. Everything you do now has an impact on the well-adjusted person you're raising. Ultimately, it's about world peace and people being kinder to one another.
Emily Elveru is an editorial assistant at Parents, who recently arrived in the big city from Minnesota to pursue her dream of writing for a parenting magazine. When she isn't commuting between Brooklyn and Manhattan, she enjoys browsing bookstores for her next read, sipping chai tea lattes at a local coffee shop, and playing tourist in the city she always imagined living in. Follow her adventures (both big and small) on Instagram.