Jo Frost became a household name thanks to her educational TV series Supernanny. Her new show, Extreme Parental Guidance, is seen in Britain but she’s still making a difference in the U.S.A. The 40-year-old childcare expert has recently partnered with American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC), and opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about this great cause: “Our strategy this year is to create awareness and visibility around the growing epidemic of child abuse and neglect, because everyone is impacted,” Jo says.
Jo goes on to discuss the “horrific” child abuse statistics, saying, “1,770 children died last year in the U.S. from child abuse, that is the equivalent to 70 classrooms full of children.” Jo also provides some sound advice for parents and talks about her hopes to start a family of her own one day.
CBS: You recently signed on with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Tell us about this cause and how we can help.
JF: “Our strategy this year is to create awareness and visibility around the growing epidemic of child abuse and neglect, because everyone is impacted. Child abuse is the pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge, most people are burying their heads in the sand around this topic. But when we choose not to talk about it, it enables this epidemic to remain silent and the problem only grows.
1,770 children died last year in the U.S. from child abuse, that is the equivalent to 70 classrooms full of children. This is horrific. We must stop ignoring the truth and be proactive today.
With the help of the general public, celebrities, political figures, corporations, educational institutions, sports teams, and those alike, a collective movement could be initiated to create national, government-backed, educational and support programs for children, parents, and all caregivers. We need to ask for everyone’s help– whether you donate money to the charity, give your time, spread the message online, send in your videos, everything counts.
The American SPCC has been founded to help set up programs nationally for the prevention of child abuse. Did you know the U.S. is #1 in the industrialized world in deaths related to child abuse and neglect? This must stop. Please go to AmericanSPCC.org to show your support.”
CBS: You are well known as the Supernanny. What are some of the most common mistakes parents make when disciplining their children?
JF: “May I remind parents that consequences are not the resolution for well behaved children. Parents first need to establish healthy communication, set up realistic expectations, give descriptive praise when they see unprompted behavior and be consistent in your parenting.”
CBS: As a parent, what should you do if you feel like you’ve reached the boiling point?
JF: “If you feel like you have reached the boiling point you must step back as to gain some discipline and composure yourself. Observe and be confident if your next move. Whether that’s a warning or a conversation and step up in following through. When parents lose control it can lead to behavior where there is remorse afterward. This only breaks down the relationship between parent and child.”
CBS: Give us your top three tips for disciplining children.
JF: “1. Convey your ground rules; 2. Be generous with your approvals of the complying behavior; and 3. Be consistent wherever you are.”
CBS: Do you have a favorite ‘cuddle’ book that you would recommend to parents when they snuggle with their kids for bedtime story time?
JF: “Every bedtime story is a good story when it is being told with a snuggle and a cuddle. I’m a favorite of the classic collection Beatrice Potter.”
CBS: Do you have any plans to start your own family in the future?
JF: “Children in my future? Is most definitely a possibility.”
CBS: Will you use your Supernanny techniques on your own children?
JF: “Will I use my own techniques on my children? Well of course…I would be crazy not to.”
CBS: Do you have any special holiday traditions?
JF: “As a Brit we don’t do Thanksgiving. As I live here now I will embracing the festivities. Gratitude I believe shouldn’t be for just one day a year. It should be all year round.”
CBS: Do you have any advice to help parents survive the holidays?
JF: “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Make choices about what is a priority. Say ‘yes’ to help and be flexible with your routine.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
JF: “I will be bringing a new show to the USA in 2012. New books, live tours, and plenty of sound advice and techniques. Also, continuing to reach out and help parents.”