Did anyone watch “Supernanny” last night. I tell you, that nanny Jo is amazing. She can do things with families that I never thought possible.
Last night’s episode featured a young boy who only wanted his mother, and it was at a point where the kid would SCREAM if she even just walked into another room or handed him off to his father. Because of his EXTREME clinginess she never spent time with her other two kids. I’m not even kidding when I say that the youngest son actually pulled his mother’s hair and pinched his father when they tried to have him be away from her. Oh, and did I mention that at 3-yrs-old the kid had NEVER slept his own bed?
Well, Jo put her foot down. Her first task: the off-the-hip technique. It involved the mother refusing to pick up the son despite his screams and tantrums. He wasn’t happy and showed it by flinging himself to the ground or chasing after her and deliberately falling in order to get her to pick him up. Jo was there to encourage the mom who desperately wanted to pick up her son.
For an hour this kid threw a tantrum. Finally, exhausted, the mother kneeled on the floor and followed Jo’s advice, saying, “Can you tell me calmly what you want?”
“More peanut butter,” he croaked. He went in for a hug and it was only when he remained calm that Jo let the mom take her son in her arms and comfort him.
That night when it was time to put the kid to bed, Jo recommended the mom put him in bed and stay in the room to monitor him. I think about 50 times over the course of an hour the kid would crawl out of bed and throw himself at his mother – and I’m not kidding when I say, “throw himself”. He had a fit whenever she put him back in the bed, but finally after more than an hour he finally passed out in his own bed.
Later in the episode the dad had a go and sure enough the kid went right to bed without crying out for his mother.
By episode’s end Jo had completely turned this family around. No more clingy son, no more layabout dad who was uninvolved with his son’s life. The other kids were able to spend time with both their parents, and all was well.
So, having said all that, I would never let my kid get to that point. I can thankfully say that the only times my kids sleep in our bed are when they are sick and in need of comfort. It’s not a habit. And I would never tolerate those kinds of tantrums. CootieGirl’s tantrums last about 30 seconds and then I bring them to an end.
God bless Jo – she’s an amazing nanny.