Harford County resident Kristi Davis and her family will be featured in an upcoming episode of the Lifetime series "Supernanny," scheduled to air Friday, Feb. 1. The clip is provided courtesy of Lifetime Television.
When Harford County resident Kristi Davis applied for a slot on Lifetime’s “Supernanny” show, she didn’t think she would ever be on it.
“Oh this should be funny, they’ll never take us,” she recalled saying.
So it came as a shock when she and her family of five were interviewed via Skype and were selected to be featured on the show, which will air Friday, Feb. 14, at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.
Speaking through a fuzzy phone connection, with her three daughters making noise in the background, Davis said she would do the program again, despite the problems the show illuminated and the way the show was edited together.
On the program, Jo Frost — the eponymous, British nanny — visits homes with misbehaving children and teaches struggling parents strategies to straighten them out. And though Davis never expected to be afforded the opportunity, what she learned really works; other parents even ask her, in public, how she gets her children to behave so well.
“Our kids still push the boundaries a little, but we have the tools to deal with it,” she said. “I would 1,000% do it again.”
Mother to three daughters, ages 7, 5 and 1½, Davis said Frost was able to perspicaciously pick up on issues her children were having and give her and her husband Diarmid solutions to misbehavior. Her eldest daughter was having meltdowns and was prescribed one-on-one time with her parents; her 5-year-old was acting a bit of a bully and needed correction; and their youngest could not sleep and woke up her parents during long nights.
The trick is stalwart discipline, as uncomfortable as reprimanding or punishing a child can be in public, Davis said. It does not matter if she has to put her daughter in time out “15 times” over the course of one soccer practice; standing firm is the only way.
“You cannot be embarrassed and your child won’t learn if you just give into them,” she said.
Beyond helping her children, Davis said Frost helped her and her husband better communicate. Now, they are not fighting to “survive our nights” as before; rather, they are better equipped
“She is so intuitive, she picked up on those things in a couple of hours,” Davis said.
Of course, not all feedback on the episode’s preview has been positive, and from what she has seen, Davis “saw the power of cut and paste” that allowed the show’s editors to stitch together a not-so-charitable picture of the family.
“I am more so worried because people have already been judgmental,” Davis said. “I am sure they are going to be nasty, but it helped us … . They don’t know our children and our lives.”
Davis has been conflicted since her sister was killed five years ago. She said that Frost picked up on her physical reactions to stress and helped coach her through it. She is still getting help, but, she said, that is what makes her unique.