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Alfie Kohn on "Supernanny"

post #1 of 227
Thread Starter 
I thought this would be of interest here: Atrocious Advice from "Supernanny"
post #2 of 227
I have never seen either of those shows ( no tv) but they sound atrocious. this is a good article, even having not seen the shows.
post #3 of 227
Great article- he really hit on quite a few things that have been discussed here!
post #4 of 227
I don't watch the shows either but I've heard what they're about I love Alfie Kohn's response, especially this...
"These programs elevate viewer manipulation to an art form...We’re encouraged to pretend that living with a camera crew doesn’t influence how parents and children interact, and to disregard what it says about these people that they allowed their humiliation to be televised. We’re asked to believe that families can be utterly transformed in a few days and to assume that the final redemptive images reveal the exceptional skills of the nanny -- rather than of the program’s editing staff."

This part is sad but true though...
"We might just laugh off the implausibility of these programs except that they’re teaching millions of real parents how to raise their real kids. To that extent, it matters that they’re selling snake-oil."
post #5 of 227
Thread Starter 
That last quote that you pointed out, Pigpen, really resonated with me. I've been to a few functions at my local mothers of multiples group & these shows get brought up a lot (as a good thing). So many people seem to be taking these shows' advice as gospel.
post #6 of 227
I heard Alfie Kohn's interview on Diane Rehm (on NPR) and he also said he thought Supernanny et al were horrid, and very concerned that millions of people were taking parenting advice from these "reality shows".
post #7 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadawg
I thought this would be of interest here: Atrocious Advice from "Supernanny"



Very well said. Raises some interesting points about our Reality TV Society
post #8 of 227
Funny, I stumbled on this too today, and I thought RIGHT ON!!

(admittedly I never watche dthe shows but... )
post #9 of 227
I like Supernanny.... : I honestly don't think she is bad. Those families are out of control.
post #10 of 227
Oh AngelBee, honey, please go read the article!!
post #11 of 227
(It's not even that long!)
post #12 of 227
I did read the article. Twice.

I still like her. The parents that they show are spineless. Children spitting, hitting, swearing, etc. need the consistency and attention show by Spuernanny.

They are crying out for attention, but they need to also learn that bad behavior is not the healthy way to get the attentio that they are longing for. The parents also have to learn to be parents.....not victems (sp?) They are the reason their kids are out of control. They have to regain balance in there homes.
post #13 of 227
Alright, but I'm with Alfie Kohn on this one! I dont think the quick fix is really going to address what's truly off balance in those families!

Quote:
Supernanny’s superficiality isn’t accidental; it’s ideological. What these shows are peddling is behaviorism. The point isn’t to raise a child; it’s to reinforce or extinguish discrete behaviors – which is sufficient if you believe, along with the late B.F. Skinner and his surviving minions, that there’s nothing to us other than those behaviors.
If she squashes the "bad behaviors" has she really solved what's amiss in those families? Raising kids is much more complex than that, to me!
post #14 of 227
I agree. But I do think that it is a start in the right direction.

What now needs to happen is figuring out why the behaviors were happening in the first place and fixing the triggers to those behaviors.

I honestly find Supernanny to be AP. She does not believe in spanking, yelling, or being disrespectful to kids. She wants families to play together and love one another. Isn't that what we are all striving for?

Yes. There is consquences/rewards. Many AP/GD families also use consequenses and rewards also.
post #15 of 227
thanks for posting this article, it's great! he succintly summarizes all of my feelings that i've had about these shows.

i especially love the ending:
Quote:
If you can bear to sit through them, the nanny programs provide a fairly reliable guide for how not to raise children. They also offer an invitation to think about the pervasiveness of pop-behaviorism and our hunger for the quick fix. ?I guarantee you,? Supernanny earnestly, if tautologically, exhorts one pair of parents, ?every time you?re consistent, [your child] gets the same message.? Granted, but what message?
These shows rely on the dramatic, quick fix, instead of really getting down to the true issues. Am I being snarky to say that for the most part, America can't handle the truth? There is so much dysfunction going on in these families, and coming up with the same formulaic 'solutions' (rules, schedules, assumption that children's behavior is manipulative) is not really getting down to the true issues.

And so, the dumbing down of the US continues.
post #16 of 227
Like I admitted, I haven't watched the show. But the examples quoted by Kohn in the article don't seem respectful to me at all. (little girl crying it out, boy playing with the hose) Maybe she does a better job of helping the families connect, and that's not portrayed in his article?

I'm in the middle of a big Alfie Kohn study right now, so I'm flipping over a lot of his ideas. Just really thought provoking!
post #17 of 227
I have watched the show and do not agree with how the examples are being presented.
post #18 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee
I have watched the show and do not agree with how the examples are being presented.
I'm still not going to watch it!! Thanks for sharing your perspective. Maybe you want to hop over to the Alfie Kohn Unconditional Parenting thread... I'm reading through it now, and it's really fascinating. : )
post #19 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelamama
I'm still not going to watch it!! Thanks for sharing your perspective. Maybe you want to hop over to the Alfie Kohn Unconditional Parenting thread... I'm reading through it now, and it's really fascinating. : )
Thank you pamelamama.....I will check it out!
post #20 of 227
Wonderful article! What I've been trying to articulate about the show for so long!

I have watched the show (both Supernanny and Nanny 911) and I believe Alfie Kohn hit the nail right on the head. You can't get away from Supernanny these days. We talk about it at work and most of us don't have children. Not surprisingly, I'm the only one that doesn't like the show. Everyone praises the nanny for getting those horrible, no-good parents back in line and say "Wow, if only I had supernanny when I was raising my kids" or "that family need supernanny" . Gimme a break. It's TV, not reality. She's not turning those families around, editing is. And when she leaves, what then? Like Alfie Kohn said, if they aren't getting to the heart of the matter, then it's all surface.

Kylix
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