She’s become one of the world’s experts on telling people how to raise their children, but “Supernanny” Jo Frost is unsure if she will ever have children of her own.
Frost, who turned 36 in June, has shot to international fame since she first appeared in 2004 in a new British reality show called “Supernanny” in which she swept into people’s homes to teach them how to control their children.
Since then she has starred in a popular U.S. version of the show on the ABC network, written a best-selling book, and this week is releasing a second volume: “Ask Supernanny: What Every Parent Wants to Know” that answers frequently asked questions.
But the no-nonsense British nanny, with her trademark catch-phrase “Go and sit on the naughty step” and wagging finger, says she is in no rush to have her own children.
“I can’t hear the biological clock going tick, tick, tick, right now,” Frost told Reuters in an interview this week.
“I’m 36 and when I meet somebody and when we decide that we will have children then maybe we will. But maybe we won’t have children. I don’t feel that urgency that many women have.”
The London native, who has worked as a nanny for 17 years, says she is surprised by the success that she has had but believes her show came at the right time, with parents struggling with how to discipline their children.
Her warmth in dealing with people, sense of humor, and candid style won over audiences worldwide with her show screened in almost 50 countries.
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Frost said children have always misbehaved and pushed their boundaries but the difference now was the lack of respect that children had for their parents.
“Parents are almost fearful of disciplining their children. They are scared they are going to lose the connection with them when they are teenagers or adults. They are held to ransom by words like ‘I hate you’ and take it personally,” she said.
“Parents lack the confidence to stand up and say ‘No.”’
She laughs off criticisms that her disciplining techniques are too harsh, such as confining children to a naughty step. Sydney University anthropologist Stephen Juan last year described her as a “devil version of Mary Poppins”.
Her response: “I certainly don’t have horns growing out of head ... I work with the families and I am very dedicated and passionate and what I do makes a difference to families.”