Supernanny, Jo Frost certainly knows how to control children and is back for a fourth season on Channel 4. Tonight she contends with 4 year-old Cameron, whose parents, Nicky and Chris, are unable to control his aggression. Since the loss of their second child, Josh, through cot death, Nicky has found it particularly difficult to enforce any discipline. The opposite is true of Chris.
Cameron becomes quite aggressive when he does not get his own way, using his mother as a punch bag, slapping his new baby brother, Mackenzie and other children he comes into contact with. His temper tantrums can last 4 hours at a time and his parents have just three weeks to get him to behave (so that he can go to a new nursery).
The Supernanny gets to work by introducing some new techniques, one of which is to introduce a reward chart. Every time that Cameron does something right, he moves one step up the chart and can see his own progress.
Nicky is taught how to control Cameron by:
• Not giving in to his tantrums, by ignoring Cameron, walking out of the room or removing him from the room (as his father does);
• Telling Cameron when he is doing something bad early on (instead of letting it develop into a full-blown tantrum).
• Using different tones of her voice to indicate when Cameron’s behaviour is not acceptable;
• Removing his hand and put it to his side when Cameron hits her;
• Explaining the consequences to Cameron of bad behaviour – e.g. not getting a treat, not going out.
• Rewarding Cameron when he does something right – with lots of hugs and cuddles.
The programme looked at the progress and saw that the length of a tantrum went down from 4 hours to and hour and a half and gradually get less frequent. At the end the whole family are happier, but time will tell whether Cameron’s behaviour will continue to improve.