Nanny 911 is a popular television show that gives us a peek into the lives of other families, most notably ones with out of control kids. Every time I see the show, I learn something new. Sometimes, it’s learning what I’m doing “wrong”, and sometimes it’s just breathing a huge sigh of relief that my kids aren’t those kids. With that being said, I think there are many things we can learn from Nanny 911 so let’s talk about the 11 Commandments of Nanny 911.
The Nanny 911 book is much more in depth than I could be in this parenting post series, so be sure to check it out from your local library (or buy it on Amazon), and follow along on this journey!
- Be consistent. When we say “no” it needs to mean “no”. The same goes for “yes”, obviously. When you’re at the park and you give a five minute warning, set a timer because “five minutes” should mean five minutes. After the five minutes is up, don’t let little Johnny talk you into “just one more time down the slide” over and over again. It’s a trap! 🙂
- Actions have consequences. Be clear on the expected behavior in your home. Whether you use a behavior chart, a consequences jar, or some other type of tracking system, make sure it’s clear and consistent. Reward and praise good behavior, focusing on the positive as much as possible. Follow through with consequences for bad behavior, without feeling guilty. Our children need us to follow through, be consistent, and teach them that bad behaviors do have consequences. Better for them to learn from us than from the judicial system 15 or 20 years down the road.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say. This goes along with being consistent, and teaching kids that actions have consequences. Think of your words carefully before speaking them – especially with kids that like to jump to the worst conclusions right away. Keep your tone light and positive, unless you’re disciplining… then speak in a lower tone and be firm. We want our kids to understand that they can trust what we say. If we say something, we follow through. Period.
- Parents work together as a team. Be a united front. We’ve all heard it before, but putting it into action can be tough – especially if your parenting style is completely different than your partner’s! It is vital to show that united front to the kids, though, so don’t discuss (or argue about!) their behavior and consequences in their presence. This can lead to many issues, such as the kids trying to pit Mom against Dad or going behind the other parent’s back to get a lesser punishment.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep. This repeats the third commandment, but it’s important. Don’t promise the world when you can’t deliver it. If you say you’re going to take them to the park, take them to the park. I realize that emergencies happen and things do come up, but make it a priority to keep your promises. This will build trust and respect, and help improve your relationship with your children.
- Listen to your children. In this day and age, everyone is glued to electronics. It’s sad, really. Look around at any restaurant, park, or public place, and you’ll see kids that can barely talk just plugging away on an iPad. You’ll see parents completely ignoring their children, and teens tuned out more than ever before. Kids are being ignored in a huge way by this generation of parents, and the behavior of the children is reflecting it. When your child needs something, when they ask a question, when they want to talk to you… look them in the eye, and listen. Don’t just nod and smile and glance at them out of the corner of your eye from Facebook. Really, really look at them and listen. Acknowledge their presence, and acknowledge their feelings.
- Establish a routine. Children (and many adults!) thrive on routine, rules, and order. It makes us feel secure and lets us know what’s coming next in our day.
- Respect is a two-way street. So many parents are quick to spout off, “respect is earned, not given!” … but they forget that respect is a two-way street. We have to show our children respect, to teach them by example. Set an example so your children know what’s expected of them and how to act.
- Give positive reinforcement. While it’s easier in the short-term to focus on the negative and just send them to their room or whatever else, the truth is, positive reinforcement works much better. Children thrive on praise. Praise the process rather than the result.
- Manners are universal. The easiest way to impress someone is to show them how well-mannered your children are! This one takes a lot of work, laying a great foundation, but if you lead by example, it’ll stick!
- Define your roles as parents. As a parent, it’s not your job to be your child’s friend. It’s also not your job to define who your child becomes. They will grow into themselves and learn how to define themselves as individuals. We are meant to prepare them for the world, not hold their hand until they’re 30. 🙂
What do you think of Nanny 911’s commandments? Would they work in your house?
Check out the rest of my Nanny 911’s series (coming soon!):
**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**