It’s been 15 years since Jo Frost introduced us to the naughty step. As supernanny, with her hair pulled back tightly and her high heels on, she used her stern Mary Poppins voice on bratty kids, who always went and sat exactly where she said and stayed there. It was like magic.
In 2019, it seems like no one uses the naughty step anymore. In fact, we’re not supposed to call our kids “naughty”. We’re supposed to say they “made bad choices”.
Here, Supernanny reveals how to deal with children throwing tantrums at the supermarket. Post continues after.
So what about Frost? What’s she up to now? Is she still dishing out parenting advice, and what does she have to say about kids these days?
Frost was 32 when she shot to fame through Supernanny. Back then, she didn’t even have her own house. She’d been a nanny for more than a decade, for high-profile TV producer John Lloyd and other wealthy families. When she wasn’t living with a family, she stayed with her dad in London, having lost her mother to cancer in 1994.
When Frost saw a TV production company’s ad in a parenting magazine, she replied. Supernanny was born. The show was an instant hit. It spawned an American version, also starring Frost. Before long, she was a regular on Oprah and other chat shows and had released the first in a series of best-selling parenting books – despite having no formal qualifications. But travelling around and fixing up other people’s families took its toll on her.
“It’s taxing,” she told The Telegraph in 2010.
“It’s relentless. There were times with families when I got back in that car at the end of a day and cried. I got really affected.”
Frost didn’t have time for dating, although there were plenty of men who would have gladly sat on her naughty step. When she told an American chat show she was single and looking, she was “inundated” with letters from men.