Oh yeah, I’m a big fan of SuperNanny. But honestly I didn’t even know her show was still on the air until last week, when there was a commercial for it during Winter Wipeout (Older Son’s favorite show). As soon as he saw it his eyes lit up. “Mommy!?” He seemed dumbfounded and thrilled at the same time. “Can we watch that!?”
I love it. Of course we caught it the next time it was on. I couldn’t wait to see his response. He got a big kick out of watching the kids acting like animals and then being punished by her (should I be worried?). I’m sure it’s vicariously satisfying his need to take charge in the day care.
After all, he’s having to grow up surrounded by a bunch of children and he can’t do anything about it. When the noise is driving him crazy and he starts bellowing for everyone to shut up, or if he tries to take a situation in hand, I’m constantly shutting him down. That’s my job, not his, and I’m better at it.
I used to watch SuperNanny when I started the day care because I needed a lot of help and she seemed like a godsend. I’m not as harsh as she is when it comes to discipline and timeouts but we work on the same principles: address bad behavior immediately, give a consequence, and be clear and consistent about what you’re doing. And have high expectations for good behavior – children always, always rise to expectations. And fall to them, I might add, but that’s another post.
And BY THE WAY, in case you’re wondering, my house was never as bad as some of these families, even in my darkest days of care. We never had kids beating the crap out of each other. So I pointed that out to Older. “Isn’t it nice that our house isn’t like that?” He nodded.
“Aren’t you glad she doesn’t have to come here?”
“Yeah,” he chuckled. I think he grudgingly admitted that we have it pretty good here. And I’m sure part of him still wishes she would visit and put some kids in their place. Because I’m far too nice about, it in his opinion.
Here’s a funny side note while I’m on the subject of my kids growing up in day care. Younger Son brought his writing workbook home from school the other day. They have to write the Daily News, and one recent entry was about how I yelled at him. I immediately started to feel guilty (awful mother, mean, bad bad bad).
Younger doesn’t respond as much as Older does to yelling. You always know Older’s right there ready to battle, he’s looking for a challenge. Younger just takes it and does what you’re asking, so I assume it doesn’t bother him as much. Guess I assumed wrong.
Anyway the story was that I told him to turn off his DS because it was time to go to school, and he didn’t, so I yelled at him. At least he was very honest and gave me credit for the warning! And I stopped feeling guilty when I took a closer look at the picture he drew.
There he was on the couch holding his DS, and there I was, with a big bellowing cartoon balloon over my head, surrounded by five little green people. Yep, they were the day care kids. I just busted a gut over that one. So I asked the teacher (before she called social services on me), could you tell that I had a good reason to be impatient?! Wouldn’t you be impatient, or slightly terrified, if the little green people had you surrounded?
But re-visiting SuperNanny has me patting us all on the back. I’m so, so, thankful for the happy family that I have – one in which we have fun and make a mess and respect each other and get mad but work it out in healthy ways. And I’m so proud of me and my husband for working hard at this, and taking it seriously, and doing a pretty good job. And proud of my boys for growing into really decent, enjoyable people (who don’t beat the crap out of anybody).