show which originated in the United Kingdom about parents struggling with their children's behaviour. The UK version has aired on Channel Four
since 2004, and the US version on ABC
Professional nanny Jo Frost devotes each episode to helping a family where the parents are struggling with their child rearing. Through instruction and observation, she shows the parents alternative ways to discipline their children and regain order in their households. Frost is a proponent of the "naughty chair" theory of discipline, and is strictly opposed to spanking.
This show provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Jo has called a few parents out on corporal punishment or using hot sauce to keep a child from talking back. She also took one dad to task for calling his son a "little whiny brat." But the worst case was with the Davis family, where the father made a habit of using his belt on his kids and calling his daughters b—, "whore," and "slut."
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Most of the time.
- Darker and Edgier: The new series Family SOS with Jo Frost is, in some ways, a reincarnation of this show, but often deals with much more serious issues. The kids are usually older, and parents generally have deep-seated marriage, abuse, and other problems. Some older kids are downright violent with family members. Social issues tend to be deeper and more controversial as well; a recent episode had Jo helping a teenager who had recently come out as a lesbian.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: See *Abusive Parents, especially the Davis family.
- Family Theme Naming: Sometimes, as with the Froebrichs, all of whose children had E names (Emerson, Emmett, Emma Jo), and a couple of others.
- Hands-Off Parenting: Sometimes.
- Ill Girl/Boy: The mom from the Tsironis family justifies letting her toddler twins do whatever they want because they almost died shortly after birth. The parents from the McGrath family don't discipline five-year-old Aidan partially because of diabetes; the maternal grandfather died from this disease, and Mom was scared her son would succumb as well. The Bruno family has a fifteen-year-old, Mariah, with cerebral palsy, but she is not a discipline problem. Jo has also dealt with autism and Down syndrome, but again, the parents there are not so much using the disabilities as excuses for bad behavior, as much as they are asking for help on how to relate to their kids.
- Innocent Swearing: Subverted big-time. Some of these kids, most shockingly the little ones, not only swear like crazy, but know exactly what the words mean and why they are using them.
- Missing Mom / Disappeared Dad: Often because of death.
- New Media Are Evil: In a recent interview to promote the show, Jo blamed violent video games for the riots in London in August 2011. In one episode, she blamed video games for a child's behavior even though he didn't own a console and had no friends where he could've played video games.