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Alfie Kohn blasts "Supernanny" - Page 3

post #41 of 529
The roboticness (is that a word??) of her methods is hard to swallow. It would be great to see her ask the parents what they perceive as the problems and what they want to work on rather than her observing for a day and determining the problems herself. I think folks are much more empowered if they make those decisions...even if they're asking for help in following it all through.

I agree with many here that a lot of what you see is checked out parents who are completely overwhelmed and kids who are shouting out for help for their family.

I dunno, I have been working hard not to pass too much judgement on these things because there's just no one way to do this. I think that's what grates for me about both Alfie Kohn and Jo Frost.
post #42 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen_A View Post
Personally - and I have talked to my children about this - I would rather a parent ranted, raved and had a yell; than a parent withdrew from their child.
My mom has mentioned more than once that she often wished her mother would hit her, instead of ignoring her. My grandmother didn't do time outs, as such, and I don't think she had a "naughty spot"...but she was really big on punishing her kids by withdrawing all her affection and attention, sometimes for days at a time. What little I've seen of Supernanny seems like more of the same, albeit on a smaller scale. It gives me the creeps.
post #43 of 529
I only watch her a few times a year, so this is my take--

While what Jo is doing isn't ideal to most of us, in many situations shown it is better than what was happening. The parents are at least getting some tools and ideas to think about. Perhaps it will be a stepping stone to other ideas.

I'm surprised that some of these households haven't been visited by CPS, some of them were very upsetting/abusive/neglectful.
post #44 of 529
I think SuperNanny's techniques make for "good television" not good parenting.

Team Alfie!
post #45 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
Obviously, he disagrees with her. I'm assuming that you do not write parenting (and other) books for a living? If he is so against/above competition, why the need to blast someone else for their opinion?

I just don't get why he cares? It's a T.V. show. And, his writing style is very abrasive... sarcastic, really.
I think he cares because parents are often influenced by these things.

Also, since it's obviously a show of interest-for-many, people might be more drawn to read his column if it's about a popular TV show? I don't know that he's totally opposed to self-motivated competition, I think he's just opposed to people pushing other people (i.e. parents pushing children) to be competitive.

I honestly don't think Kohn's comments will hurt the success of Supernanny ... I mean, he obviously follows the show -- so others who disagree with Frost are probably just as likely to keep following it.
post #46 of 529
I enjoy Alfie Kohn and Supernanny; they both have some ideas that I identify with and some that I don't. Must be because I was raised by a mother who yelled, ranted, raved and ignored me.
post #47 of 529
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
Hmmm...well, as far as I can tell, most people on Mothering don't believe in the parent being in control of the home. .
That's an extreme assumption.

And, what is "control" anyway? Do you consider a baby who needs to co-sleep being "in control" of the sleeping situation? Is a parent who refuses to CIO "out of control"? Or is the parent just recognizing the very human need for socialization? Parents need to know when to "pull rank" and when not to. Seems like S.N. is trying to "pull rank" all of the time.
post #48 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleven View Post
I enjoy Alfie Kohn and Supernanny; they both have some ideas that I identify with and some that I don't. Must be because I was raised by a mother who yelled, ranted, raved and ignored me.
I like them both too.

post #49 of 529
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post

I just don't get why he cares? It's a T.V. show. And, his writing style is very abrasive... sarcastic, really.
Because so many people buy into it. That's why he cares.
post #50 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I think he cares because parents are often influenced by these things.

Also, since it's obviously a show of interest-for-many, people might be more drawn to read his column if it's about a popular TV show? I don't know that he's totally opposed to self-motivated competition, I think he's just opposed to people pushing other people (i.e. parents pushing children) to be competitive.

I honestly don't think Kohn's comments will hurt the success of Supernanny ... I mean, he obviously follows the show -- so others who disagree with Frost are probably just as likely to keep following it.
Sure, parents (people) are influenced by many things. You're right --parents would be more apt to read his work if he references a popular TV show.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "self-motivated competition?". I'm serious, because, you have admitted that Kohn likely wrote his piece on 'Supernanny' beause he 'knows' that it will garner publicity. How is that not competitive (in the traditional sense)?
post #51 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Because so many people buy into it. That's why he cares.
So? And, how do you know that "so many" people buy into it?

And again, let's not forget that Kohn makes a living selling his opinions.
post #52 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
:

And I think that supernanny can do a lot of good. She stops parents from yelling at kids, she stops parents from washing their kids' mouths out with soap, she tries to get parents actively involved with their kids (mostly dads who are extremely disconnected from parenting), and helps provide structure for families sorely in need of it.

I don't like how she doesn't have parents explain things to kids and I've seen other things I simply don't agree with. However, in the grand scheme of "bad parenting advice" Supernanny is the least of my concerns. Lets save most of our ire for the Pearls, et al!
Seriously! I totally agree with you. She *prevents* parents from hitting their kids. Disagree with the naughty spot all you like, at least it is not physical abuse. It gives the parents *some* tool to use to maintain some kind of order in their home.

As for the scheduling thing; Kohn's comment about that really, really irritated me. Kids *do* do better when they know what is coming next. It's not so much about forcing them to do something WHEN YOU WANT as it is establishing a routine that is predictable, something which is secure and comforting for most children. Most children will do better through the day if they know what is next. That's why bedtime routines are so important and helpful.

I do see a smidge of jealousy there IMO. I wonder how Kohn would handle his own show? Bet he would jump on it if offered!

Also, I do not think that Jo thinks kids are "the enemy." She clearly *loves* children and works on having the kids show more affection to each other and their parents and vice versa. You always see her hugging and kissing them when she leaves.

ETA: One of the first things I noticed about her show was that she walks in and immediately introduces herself to the children in a friendly, happy way, gets down to their level... I think that is *very* respectful.

I don't agree with everything she does but clearly her goal is to enable the family to live together happily, not so much to destroy the children!
post #53 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Control over my child is not my goal.

And I'm quite confident my ds would act as apparently unreasonable as the kids on tv in those circumstances.

(Personally I think those kids are behaving perfectly reasonable considering how they are being ordered about by a stranger, having their parents listening to that stranger instead of them, having sudden radical changes made with no warning or explanation.)
But that is not even what happens... do you WATCH the show? Do you see the part where she sits down first with the parents and then with the children and discusses the new "rules" and schedules and things?
post #54 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I don't mind (in theory) the help Jo Frost gives to certain families who seek it. After all it's their choice to invite her into their homes. I'd invite Alfie Kohn instead.

BUT what I don't like is how televising it does make it "the standard" for childrearing. That's the part I don't like really. I don't mind the parts about routines and even a lot of the behavioural stuff, although it doesn't sit well with me, is ok.

The huge battles where you continually place the child back on the naughty spot or let him or her scream in his or her bed really bother and upset me. I think they are desensitizing to children's distress. I really don't know how people watch the show while the child is screaming on the screen. I find it disturbing.

Reminds me why we don't have cable TV.
I actually agree with you on this, except that I think the Supernanny style of parenting is way better as a standard than the "get me my belt" style of parenting. So it's sure not perfect, but IMO a step in the right direction.
post #55 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
I'm serious, because, you have admitted that Kohn likely wrote his piece on 'Supernanny' beause he 'knows' that it will garner publicity. How is that not competitive (in the traditional sense)?
Good point. I think there is often a lot of hypocricy with these philosophies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
And again, let's not forget that Kohn makes a living selling his opinions.
Again, another great point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
As for the scheduling thing; Kohn's comment about that really, really irritated me. Kids *do* do better when they know what is coming next. It's not so much about forcing them to do something WHEN YOU WANT as it is establishing a routine that is predictable, something which is secure and comforting for most children. Most children will do better through the day if they know what is next. That's why bedtime routines are so important and helpful.
Absolutely. I'm not a big scheduler but I know many families who schedule things throughout the day and it works best for them. Again, it's all about what works for a particular family.
post #56 of 529
From what I've noticed, Jo got kids out of the parent-bed when the parents wanted it. And, she stopped moms from lying with their kids when it was disrupting a possibility for a peaceful transition into sleep.

I'll never forget this one mom who spent hours lying with her child every night, hating it, but not wanting to stop b/c her kid would become violent and ruin the evening further for the family. I had no qualms about Jo putting an end to the behavior. And, the mom felt a little guilty, but obviously, she was gonna feel guilty no matter what. She had a difficult time enforcing and meeting her own personal need for space. *shrug*

I don't agree with everything Jo does and says, but I don't harbor contempt for her, either. Those families are in need of change and she offers it. You have to get to a point where everyone in a family feels safe before you can go the Alfie way, IMO. That's not where those families are when Jo gets to them.
post #57 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
Can you elaborate on what you mean by "self-motivated competition?". I'm serious, because, you have admitted that Kohn likely wrote his piece on 'Supernanny' beause he 'knows' that it will garner publicity. How is that not competitive (in the traditional sense)?
I honestly don't know what Kohn's views are on what I called "self-motivated competition." I just know there are fields (such as the one Kohn's in) where I think you have to be somewhat competitive, in the sense of finding ways to make your particular "product" stand out from all the others and get chosen.

I've heard some people object to Kohn's writing-style ... and yet I imagine that that is partly what draws many of us to read him. A parenting-writer who says, "This just happens to be what works for my family -- but there are many other ways that are probably just as good" doesn't tend to sell.

And frankly, I'm more interested in parenting-writers who really believe in what they're saying.

I see what you mean, though, about the competitiveness seeming to go against the philosophy he's advocating. I definitely think it's wrong to step on others as a means of seeking success.

But I honestly didn't see Kohn's article as stepping on "Supernanny," or as hurting her success in any way. And I don't think Kohn did it with an intent to hurt the show ... he surely knows (like everyone else does), that the more a book/show/idea gets blasted, the more of an urge people have to find out for themselves if it's really that bad.

As an analogy, many religious-leaders blasted The Davinci Code when the book came out, and also have been warning people not to watch the movie now that it's out. I think all the talk (even from the pulpit) just makes people even more eager to see what all the fuss is about. One religious-leader even wrote a book about it for people who didn't want to read the book, but wanted to know enough about it to discuss it intelligently with others who had seen it.

How much do you want to bet that lots and lots of fundamentalist Christians are going to end up breaking down and watching that movie, just to satiate their curiosity? With this in mind, Kohn may actually be "helping" Supernanny more than "hurting" her.
post #58 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
And again, let's not forget that Kohn makes a living selling his opinions.
I think Jo Frost probably gets paid well, too.
post #59 of 529
I have tried a supernanny technique, the bedtime thing, it sucks. Here let me act like I will just ignore you until you sleep, sweet dreams honey. It's a little too detached for me.

But other stuff she does, does make sense. She tends to get these parents more active in the children's world, then the kids feel important and act better. I have watched a ton of shows and like Caesar Milan with the dog walking skills show after show, her key element is getting the family involved -togevah (together-my husband will rewind and play and rewind and play just to hear her say it)

I dunno, I think it is conventional, most of the show focuses on a conventional family, struggling with conventional issues. The parents aren't usually very involved with their children. I'm sure they'd flame me. I've only seen a couple of shows that deviate from the norm American society. We watched a season and grew tired of it. After a while I looked up her credentials because things seemed a bit ...well I don't have a good word for it. But I am glad she tells these parents to spend time with their children.

Oh and in the end, when the kids are told to say "thank you, supernanny" for the camera really creeps me out, almost as much as children in TV commercials.

In our house I think Alfie's logical, albeit a little snarky, ways of seeing things help us discipline. And I understand his remarks about the nanny. The way I see it, he wants to impress upon the nation that we need to CHANGE our parenting styles instead of doing what hasn't worked in the past.
post #60 of 529
I like some of SN's ideas, certainly not all. Alfie on the other hand....ummm...crackpot!
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