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A Parent’s Guide to Rebuilding Families

Jo Frost shares insight to help rebuild families through all stages of parenting. From newborns to toddlers and from tweens to teens, Jo’s advice is sure to help in your house. Read Transcript


You've seen her tackling parenting challenges

on shows like "Supernanny" and "Family SOS,"

and joining us now is Jo Frost.

Jo, it's great to have you here.

Thank you.

Watching that lead-in, I realized

that you have to nanny the parents as well

as the children.

I do.

It's important to actually assess the whole family.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Do they receive that well?

Sometimes they do and other times

it's a little bit difficult. I'm met with resistance.

When you can surrender to the process and trust what's

happening, then you get wonderful results.

You've been doing this for a long time.

What drew you to children and parenting and the struggle

as well as the victories?

It wasn't a conscious decision.

I've always loved being around children,

and I've always loved helping families,

and so having the opportunity to be a professional nanny,

and then to consult families, and then

have this wonderful opportunity to be able to help so many more

families through the wonderful power of medium,

and what it can do when you use it very positively, for me,

has been an amazing journey.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Did it always come naturally to you?

You seem to just be able to assess things pretty clearly.

Yes.

Yes, but one has to make sure that there's clarity and focus

and I have my own meditation and my own prayer,

my own prayer as such, before I go into a family

so that I'm present and grounded.

I'm able to--

Stay focused.

You have to be really intensely focused for a season of time

when you come into this.

Yes, absolutely.

Yes, and to be able to make sure that you're

able to assess everything that's going on very, very quickly.

But that takes experience.

25 years now.

Wow.

I always tell my family I've earned every wrinkle.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: I tell mine that too, so you're not alone there.

Talk about your SOS technique, because I think every family

needs to understand that.

But how does that work?

Yes, the SOS technique is giving families the opportunity

to be a little bit more disciplined

and to love with a healthy detachment

as well, being able to step back,

and to take a moment to observe what the situation is.

Who's involved?

What's actually happening?

So that when you step back in, you

can make really decisive decisions

about how you're going to resolve a situation

or to improve, so that everybody feels heard, so that it's fair.

And really, I'm thinking of the lady who

was speaking in that video piece where she said,

I feel like I'm doing this alone.

Part of it has to be getting both parents on the same page.

Yes, indeed.

Indeed.

Otherwise, you feel like you're parenting on your own,

and it feels very isolating, and you don't emotionally

feel like you're being supported.

So making sure that you can have dialogue throughout the time

that you're there with the family,

and that you can listen to them, and what they're feeling.

A lot of people don't talk their truth

or be honest, because they're worried about how

the other partner will react.

And so I'm there to be able to mediate it

with love and with respect so that we can truly

talk about how we feel to get to a point of resolution.

Well, now, you're going on tour.

Tell me how that works.

Yes.

I'm really excited about going on tour,

because I get to travel across America in that mobile office

that you see me use.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: I think that's pretty cool.

JO FROST: It is because I get to work and to take

that surveillance into account with an individual family

that I'm working with.

But also for the community.

So many people were knocking on the door.

Nanny, can I get your help as well?

So for me, it felt very organic to open up this format

and say, let's help everybody in the community.

Let them have the opportunity of the mobile office being

there and coming down and asking those questions.

Because as family, we're so stressed out

with juggling jobs and raising children and time,

forever feeling like we're chasing time.

I wanted to provide that.

Technology is wonderful, but it does

make life seem like it just goes faster, faster, faster,

and grabbing hold of the reins so that you control your time,

control your family.

I mean that in a good way.

Yes, absolutely.

But it is about being in control with respects

to those decisions that you make for yourself that do

empower your family.

We do want to embrace technology and there's

wonderful, wonderful things about technology

on the entertainment side as well as education as well.

But we do have to monitor and regulate that.

Otherwise, we find that it becomes this little stick that

gets in the way of our communication, of our time,

and our bonded experiences and connection with our family.

So we can control that.

And say how does this work best for me?

Yeah.

How does it work for our family, so that we get the best of it.

Well, we went out and spoke to parents

to find out what questions they have on parenting for Nanny Jo

Frost.

And here's what one mom had to ask.

How do you think you can properly discipline children

without using violence?

Very easily, I have to say.

For over 25 years, I have effectively

raised children about the importance of boundaries

and rules, and good moral conduct, and respect,

and being able to make sure that they understand the difference

between right and wrong.

So what are your house rules?

What are those values?

Discuss that with your partner.

Make sure that those boundaries are in place,

follow through on those in using consequences

that are of value to the child.

Is it not a sleepover on that Friday night that you promised?

Is it the fact that you're going to confiscate

something that's valuable to them in their world.

And I do believe that it's critically important that we

raise our children to understand the importance of that

disappear and not use violence as violence

creates more violence.

We can do so.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: [INAUDIBLE] not to hit.

Absolutely.

And to have more composure as parents as well.

You're in charge.

More composure, not losing control,

but understanding that every opportunity when a child has

a meltdown or resists is a parenting opportunity

for a parent to grow.

Sometimes, I think when we have children,

we think, oh, it's going to be just so wonderful to have

this precious baby.

What is the thing they say, the hardest job you'll ever love?

I think really and a long, long term job.

It's true, but I think children have

this magic of being able to teach us

what we need more of as adults.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: That was well put.

We have another question from another mom about the college

years.

When you send your child off to college,

how much leeway should you give them?

How much, it's hard to separate?

How do you find that separation between being

a parent and being somebody that's not calling every day.

You live in their dorm room with them, right?

It's marvelous actually to watch the viewers coming in

with their questions, because I think the toughest job is

for the parent in recognizing.

If you've done your job really well,

it means that you have one of your little chickadees

going off to college, and they're

feeling very confident about moving away from the home

even though they know the stability of the home

is always there.

And I find it's always a new chapter for the parents.

What will they now do and how will they still

remain connected?

And I think really one can make sure that in our busy lives

we have those phone calls, and we

can set days for when they are.

But knowing that we're always there if our children do

need to speak to us, and to be realistic with the time.

When kids are going off to college for that first year,

it's transition.

And we need to be there for them.

But at the same time, let's embrace the new chapter

in our lives.

Does that mean that it gives more time for the younger ones

or for us to find our own individualities of what maybe

we left to the side, hobbies that we were interested in,

or for some mothers and fathers, going back to work

and fulfilling their actual ambition to do certain things.

Lots of opportunity and also, I think, maybe practically

speaking to understand that there probably

will be mistakes made.

Of course.

And that's how we learn.

Of course, absolutely.

Absolutely.

It's true.

Well, there's so much we'd like to ask you,

but we thank you for your questions,

and Jo, we want to thank you for being here.

You can watch Jo Frost "Nanny on Tour."

It airs Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern time on UP TV,

and you don't want to miss it.

Great.

We'll be watching.

Thank you.

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