kids

Supernanny is returning to our screens next year. This is what Jo Frost's life looks like now.

It’s been 15 years since Jo Frost introduced us to the naughty step. As Supernanny, with her hair pulled back tightly and her high heels on, she used her stern Mary Poppins voice on bratty kids, who always went and sat exactly where she said and stayed there. It was like magic.

Now, thanks to the head honchos at Lifetime, Supernanny is making a comeback on January 1, 2020. The 20-episode season will see Frost discipline a whole new generation of spoilt, disobedient children, re-educating desperate parents and unruly kids alike. Whether or not the ‘naughty step’ will also be returning, is unknown as of yet.

Unfortunately, there’s no word when, or if, the series will air in Australia, but we do have a hilarious Taken-inspired trailer to tide us over till then.

Supernanny is coming back in 2020, and the trailer looks amazing. Post continues after.

So what about Frost? Apart from filming the new reboot, what else has she been up to? Is she still dishing out parenting advice, and what does she have to say about kids these days?

Frost was 32 when she shot to fame through Supernanny. Back then, she didn’t even have her own house. She’d been a nanny for more than a decade, for high-profile TV producer John Lloyd and other wealthy families. When she wasn’t living with a family, she stayed with her dad in London, having lost her mother to cancer in 1994.

When Frost saw a TV production company’s ad in a parenting magazine, she replied. Supernanny was born. The show was an instant hit. It spawned an American version, also starring Frost. Before long, she was a regular on Oprah and other chat shows and had released the first in a series of best-selling parenting books – despite having no formal qualifications. But travelling around and fixing up other people’s families took its toll on her.

“It’s taxing,” she told The Telegraph in 2010.

“It’s relentless. There were times with families when I got back in that car at the end of a day and cried. I got really affected.”

Frost didn’t have time for dating, although there were plenty of men who would have gladly sat on her naughty step. When she told an American chat show she was single and looking, she was “inundated” with letters from men.

ADVERTISEMENT
super nanny
It’s been 15 years since Jo Frost introduced us to the naughty step. Image: Warner Bros/Ch 4

In 2011, she quit Supernanny. Two years later, while working on her new show, Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance, she was raving about the man in her life, American location coordinator Darrin Jackson.

“He’s a great all-round guy,” she told the Daily Star.

"He brings a lot of love into my life. He has a good heart. He gets what I do and is a real cheerleader of what I do.”

By 2015, she was admitting her career had put pressure on her relationship with Jackson.

"You love what you do, but you love the man that you're with, and you feel constantly torn because you love both," she told Entertainment Tonight.

But she was still hopeful of having kids, describing herself as “ready”.

"This doesn't stop the work that I do, and I will be a working mother,” she said. “So I'll let you know, I guess, when I'm pregnant."

There’s been no pregnancy news.

As she moved onto a new TV show, Family S.O.S. With Jo Frost, where she solved entire families’ problems, she faced continuing questions about her lack of qualifications. In 2013, she told the Independent she had “in the field” experience.

“When you’ve done over 100,000 hours, what labels you an expert? Reading a text book? Passing an exam? But it’s also my makeup as well. I’m highly intuitive – highly.”

Last year, Frost was back on TV in Australia with her latest series, Killer Kids, where she looked into cases of children who had committed murder.

“I was curious, when it comes to human behaviour and how family dynamics go wrong,” she told Foxtel.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I chose four cases of children who had killed and it was much darker than I thought.”

Frost is still dispensing her parenting advice – only now it’s through Twitter and YouTube, where she tackles topics such as “teaching kids to declutter”.

Here are some of her tweets of wisdom on the challenges facing today’s parents:

On “snowplow parents”: “I’ve been saying this for over two decades coaching parents: you do your child a disservice. I believe it’s a contributing factor to so much child and young adult mental health. Let your kids learn from adversity.”

On Leaving Neverland: “As a parenting expert and child advocate, child abuse is a silent epidemic in the USA. There are clear patterns of behaviour that need deeper conversation around parenting, social media, grooming and our celebrity-obsessed culture.”

On the cheese-slice flinging challenge: “On behalf of all babies out there, if your prat of a parent is doing this, please, I beg you, send them my way!”

There’s still a place for supernanny, with or without the naughty step.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pregnant? Or planning? Sign up to our Before The Bump newsletter for the best stories and advice from women who've been there.  

00:00 / ???