SuperNanny is back. The beloved television series made its return after a 12-year sojourn this New Year’s Day. Parentology caught up with the SuperNanny herself, Jo Frost, who talked about the Lifetime network series (Wednesdays, 10/9c) and one reason her expertise is more important now to families than ever: technology.
“We live in a technology era where we have so much information at our fingertips, but we don’t necessarily have the expertise or the wisdom to [navigate that],” Frost says.
Frost sees technology as an amazing tool for families, particularly for time management and scheduling, but one that comes with the need for balance. Something the series will be focusing on is how families should work towards achieving balance in the tech age, an era that opens up extra time for parents, who quickly fill said time with more work and longer hours.
This conundrum reinforces a message SuperNanny continues to convey: the importance of families staying connected to one another.
In terms of technology’s presence in families, Frost says this brings with it the need for regulation. “Technology has become a crutch for a lot of families… we’ve become very dependent on it.” This dependency can lead to bad habits for both parents and children. “We find excuses for pushing the bar and crossing the boundaries,” Frost says of tech’s potential to polarize families.
Frost’s suggestion: meeting in the middle. “Enjoy the entertainment and education of it,” she says. But then, “Have the control and conviction to regulate.”
“One of the biggest issues we have, whether you have children or not, is staying focused in a very distracted world,” Frost says. “We’re so busy swiping left, we don’t even look up and see the clouds anymore.”
SuperNanny is trying to open everyone’s eyes, from youngsters to teens. “It’s about changing how we use these devices and the importance of them enhancing our lives versus hindering them.”
On the show, Frost tunes families into the role technology plays in their family dynamics. “It’s about looking at where they can create more equilibrium and enjoy tablets, educational apps and cell phones versus having them become destructive to relationships.” What this opens the door for in terms of families: “You can continue to bond.”
Season Eight of SuperNanny will feature 20 new episodes covering a range of topics, from technology challenged to postpartum depression and bullying. To catch episodes on Lifetime, tune in Wednesdays at 10/9c.
SuperNanny 2020: Sources
Jo Frost, courtesy of Lifetime