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America's Supernanny

Let me be clear--I've never seen the show. But ads for it keep popping up in the On Demand preview box where we're subjected to short clips of the tantrums America's Supernanny will be called in to fix.

Maybe it's the wrong answer from someone with a psychology degree...and let's be clear, Deborah Tillman has a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education not any sort of behavioral theory school...but I really don't like someone's instinct as a parent being to call someone in to help.

Not that intervention isn't necessary and that the right kind of It's Me Or The Dog type training couldn't fix both parent and child alike.

There's just something about the sink or swim nature of parenting that doesn't lend itself to critique. Of course, if someone is really, actually, seriously in over their head by all means they deserve help.

It's just shouldn't have chosen to have children if you can't figure out how to get them to bed or not roll on the floor and cry every time they are told "no."

I hesitate here to be so hardcore. Kelly has a friend with a child who has a rare medical issue requiring rather drastic interventions.

As with the "where's his hat," my line I draw is always at whether a piece of advice is given from a "been there, just offering, you don't have to take it" standpoint. Presumably, all the families who take part on the show have volunteered and have actual problems they have tried to solve themselves first. More than a few probably want the attention--perhaps something their problem children are picking up on.

Your kids are yours. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And if you have a demon child they're yours to deal with. That's my philosophy, at least.