People Who've Been On Reality Parenting Shows Break Down How Being On The Show Impacted Their Family
Jo Frost aka Supernanny (ET Canada/YouTube)

If you watched television at any point between 2004 and 2005, you likely saw Jo Frost, the self-proclaimed Supernanny of the show's title, on your screen. Her sensible and sensitive (yet no nonsense) approach seemed a blessing for many stressed out parents who appeared on the program.

How Being On The Show Impacted Their Family

After Redditor body_by_art asked the online community, "People who were on show like supernanny, worlds strictest parents, or Scared Straight, what was the experience like? And what was the aftermath?" people who were on the show or any of its various copycats chimed in.


"The premise was that..."

I'm a little bit late to this one, but my younger siblings, mother, and then step-father were on a programme in the UK called Mum's On Strike in the mid 2000s.

The premise was that the mother would be sick of doing everything around the house, and would be whisked away to a luxury spa for a weekend, leaving the clueless father in charge of trying to take care of the household duties.

A lot of the conversations and scenarios were faked. I supposedly visited them for the weekend, but I did multiple different shoots across a few hours on the last day of filming, then went back home.

They'd cause fights between the siblings by purposely creating situations where one was favoured over the other, so the others would throw a tantrum.

There was a shoot on location in our local town centre, and they encouraged my little brother to run off into all sorts of different shops, causing hilarity as my step-father tried chasing after him with two other children in tow.

Mealtimes were a bit of a farce as well - as it was a weekend, my step-father had to cook a traditional roast dinner. The production company intentionally supplied incorrect ingredients to make sure my step-father looked like an idiot. They filmed my reaction to him trying to add beans to the roast a few different times, so they could pick the best one. In the end, after they'd got all the footage they wanted, they sent one of the production team out to the chippy to get us some actual edible food.

HenryXC91

"One thing I will say..."

I'd like to contribute, hopefully someone sees this! My brother was on a show called Violent Children: Desperate Parents and honestly they were brilliant. I wasn't part of this whole experience because I was in University at the time, but my father and my brother both were in this show and the show staff were honestly brilliant.

Here in the UK, especially Wales where my family lives, mental health is not really a thing the poor have access to and my family are definitely working class. This show gave my brother and my father access to mental healthcare they would have never have been able to access themselves and made quite a large difference in both their lives. They continued to support my family for almost a year after filming with offers of more mental health help, and both my father and my brother are happier people today because of this.

One thing I will say is the only reason we were featured on this show was out of pure desperation. There was basically no other way that my father could imagine getting help, given he'd spent almost 8 years fighting with the NHS to get my brother psychological help, all to basically no avail. My family were made into entertainment for the masses so that we could access something fairly basic. Something about the whole experience doesn't sit right with me at all.

kn100

Didn't end up on it..."

Didn't end up on it, but my family was approached to take part in a German version of the reality show "The World's Strictest Parents" (Die strengsten Eltern der Welt?). The reason being my father is somewhat well known in my country for being a bit of a wild man; looks like a Viking, very into the outdoors, fishing, hunting etc. They'd found a special of him on 60 minutes and a few clips of him adventuring online and thought that Germans would enjoy watching bad kids being set straight by the "bear man."

Anyway the interaction was done through a middleman so to speak, who outlined what would be required of us, and what (small) compensation we would receive for going along with it. At the outset it seemed fine, even a little exciting. We had had close ties with a lot of exchange students in the past (we lived in a very small community in the mountains and we all loved traveling), and my father didn't seem to mind the sound of helping out some struggling kids and possibly showing them a different side of life. Not necessarily that hunting and the outdoors are the only way to go, but more open their minds a little and take them out of their comfort zone etc. We watched a few clips of the show online and decided that we were laid back enough as a family that the drama wouldn't really wind us up or anything

Well alarm bells started ringing after a bit more correspondence with the middleman. He started insinuating that there would be times where the kids would be told to play up situations, and that we would have to either roll along with the staged drama, or actively join in and amp it up for the cameras. My dad laid it out pretty straight, saying he'd be happy to take these kids under his wing and show them some pretty cool adventures - he had glacier crossing, hiking through rainforests, caving, white water kayaking, hunting (or at least watching him hunt) and tons of other activities across our country all planned out. I'd just become a SCUBA instructor and even offered to take them out diving on geothermal vents. But they really stressed the whole "people watch this show to see bad kids act batsh!t crazy, so that's what you're expected to encourage" vibe. We politely turned them down at this stage.

A few months later the middleman actually emailed us and told us it was probably a good idea that we hadn't gone along with it. Apparently they never paid him for any of his work organising host families or setting up scenarios. Ah well, dodged a bullet there I guess. All my friends in Germany seemed to think so!

ryshark14

"I was on..."

I was on Supernanny. My siblings and I were out of control kids and my parents frankly didn't know what to do. I liked being in front of the camera for the most parts. Its like a mini time capsule I sometimes watch every once in a while and witness how cringe I was. Nanny Jo Jo set up this reward chart for when we were good. Heck, once they even filmed me in time out ha ha.

Samikeawesome2

"They had a pretty good experience..."

A coworker was featured on SuperNanny. They had a pretty good experience filming and were so excited for their show to air that they hosted a watch party. I'm sure you can imagine what's next-the way the show was edited made the parents look SO bad—like, neglectful bad—and made the kids (who were pretty wild) look even worse. It ended up being a pretty awkward watch party.

shan_diego

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