I love watching Supernanny. Okay, so she’s a tad twee and parents cry way too bloody often for their own good, but it’s wonderful to watch other parents fail. It reminds me that even if I’m failing in some ways too, that nobody’s perfect. Is there any such thing as a non-dysfunctional family? Would The Simpsons be such a success if there were?
The above quote comes from a five-year old boy, spoken to his mother. You can tell he’s potentially a good kid, his diction and pronounciation regarding curse-words are second to none, even with missing teeth interrupting his fricatives. An intelligent kid, whose problem is that he’s just simply loved too much. His mother takes it, every soiled little last word of it, and dies a little bit inside.
Isn’t that madness? The running theme throughout most families of tearaway kids on the show, is that the parents can’t stand to chastise their children because they love them so much, they don’t want to hurt them. That is a seriously cruel thing about nature, the necessity for tough love. I don’t know how many times I’ve retreated to the bathroom in distress after I’ve had to dent Puppychild’s wee fairylike spirit with a firmly spoken NO. Watching her features drop into a look of pure hurt like that – having her tell me that she hates me- she always forgets later about the extremes of her revolt, but I never do. They should just extract the sympathy nerve from a mother during the birth of her first kid… that would soften the world’s problems entirely.
I don’t know why they don’t send Jo Frost to prisons, it’s never too late for tough love. Anyone who looks at her sideways would have to sit on the bold-chair for as many minutes as years they’re alive… listening to Celine Dion, maybe. That would set anyone on the right path.