Get Better Sleep
Bedtime can often be a stressful time for parents to navigate, but Nanny Jo has a method to combat rough nights. Thanks to the routines that she establishes to ease anxiety, parents under Nanny Jo's guidance are able to slip into sleep more easily. It's a practice that can also benefit adults without children. Grownups can establish calming routines for themselves, such as taking a hot bath and switching off phones and other electronic devices for an hour or two before bed, just as she advises for children.
According to the National Institute of Health, getting a good night's rest is essential for intellectual function—including the ability to reason and problem-solve—as well as for physical health.
"Better sleep requires a better game plan to wind down into slumber," advises Nanny Jo.
Missy Buchanan, a medical administrator in San Francisco, thinks that adults who don't have children can still learn from the mindful and kind way that Nanny Jo teaches families about discipline and setting boundaries. One self-improvement method is employing love and respect instead of shame and punishment when trying to change bad habits.
"It's the thread in every technique of hers: boundaries for the purpose of safety, growth and respect," she says. "She always starts with the family and what they mean to each other and seats the discipline within that. It's powerful to see a woman modeling discipline in the service of growth and connection."
Remember to Empathize
When the Tobeck-Lawrence family got the Supernanny treatment, Nanny Jo discovered that newlyweds Crystal and Jeff had set up cameras in every corner of their house to watch over their blended family in order to feel a sense of control. But this increased surveillance spurred the opposite feeling. The kids, who range in age from seven to 10, acted rebellious, which left the parents perpetually nervous.
Nanny Jo helped transform the family dynamic by offering empathy and connection to foster trust. According to Elizabeth A. Segal, Ph.D, a professor at Arizona State University, empathy connects you to others, lowers stress and can provide an antidote to burnout.
Improve How You Communicate
Nanny Jo often works with parents to ensure they have the tools to communicate better with each other, which, in turn, helps them to communicate better with their children. Chief among those tools: listening to your partner to determine their needs and emotions. But everyone can benefit from being better communicators, regardless of your family status. And according to Nanny Jo, it's simple to implement: "You've got to learn to listen first," she says.
Learn to Process Grief
When Supernanny visited the Richardsons, a family that was mourning the loss of mom Brittany Richardson's ex-husband and the father of four of her six young children, Nanny Jo had the kids write loving messages to their late dad and let them send the notes up into the sky attached to balloons. Such a simple and mindful exercise can be a positive way to process grief. According to Harvard Health Publishing, holding onto the stress of grief can have a detrimental impact on physical health, putting the body at greater risk for heart attack, stroke or even death.
Organize and Schedule
Nanny Jo often creates poster-sized daily schedules for families on Supernanny to help get them on a productive and efficient track. And while you don't have to be quite so crafty, just writing down such a schedule for yourself can help you get organized and help prevent important tasks from slipping through the cracks—whether it's remembering a critical work deadline or finally scheduling your yearly physical.
"Preparation and organization help us lead more productive lives with efficiency," says Nanny Jo.
Supernanny's time with the Ostler family showed the transformative power of self-respect. The mother, Nicole, told Nanny Jo that she felt like a "ghost" when trying to discipline her boys—she felt like they were just looking through her. They would ignore her requests for help around the house as well as her directives to stop bad behaviors. And rather than work harder at getting her family under control, Nicole let her stress and frustrations build up.
By acknowledging the mental emotional toll that Nicole was carrying in the family through an exercise in which she carried actual physical weight on her shoulders, Nanny Jo helped her to cultivate more self-respect. This resulted in her kids listening to her more.
Recognizing the mental weight you carry—whether it's from stress at work, family issues or something else—and doing things to help alleviate your stress, can help in building your self-esteem.
During a visit with the Andersen family, some viewers were shocked to learn that Nanny Jo is susceptible to potentially life-threatening allergic reactions called anaphylaxis. The family's daughter, Kayla, has the same condition and parents Miranda and Dan spent a lot of their time in heightened states of anxiety that something would go wrong. Nanny Jo helps reassure them that she doesn't see anaphylaxis as a limitation in her own life because her parents taught her that her condition would never inhibit her ability to do whatever she wanted.
Nanny Jo emphasizes that people who are living with serious health conditions that may be invisible to the outside world are not looking for special treatment—they're looking to be included. The insight was a powerful lesson for anyone to remember in their daily interactions.
When Nanny Jo first met the Garcia family on Supernanny, parents Bethanie and Anthony were a bit sheepish to admit they spent about $4,000 per month on taking their family of four out to restaurants instead of cooking at home, which put a strain on their single-income finances. Nanny Jo taught Anthony, a stay-at-home dad, to make grocery shopping fun by including his children in on the chore. They'd help find items at the store and were involved in choosing recipes.
The same applies to those without children—cooking at home can be enjoyable and save lots of money. Online recipes and tutorials make it easy to build a repertoire of go-to dishes.
Parent Elderly Parents
Cherie Miller, a single jewelry designer from Washington who takes care of her 87-year-old father, says many of the techniques she's seen on Supernanny can work for her particular situation as well, since she often has a hard time communicating effectively with him about issues that might disrupt his usual routine. She has taken a cue from Nanny Jo and learned to temper their talks with gentle tolerance for misunderstandings and repetition when necessary.
As parents age and children wind up becoming caregivers, Supernanny's advice can come full circle.
As Miller says, “Supernanny shows how to lead with love and patience.”