Our favorite modern-day Mary Poppins, Jo Frost, is celebrating the 100th episode of Supernanny, airing on ABC tonight at 9 p.m EST. That’s 100 episodes of tantrums, struggling parents, and tough discipline from the suit-clad, London-born childcare expert enforcing “time outs” with families across America.
In tonight’s 100th episode, Frost revisits some of the most memorable families from the show’s past: the McMillions of Arlington, TX (mom raising three boys while her husband served in Afghanistan); the Weinsteins of Amherst, OH (truckdriver dad David was a raging bull while his wife was a pushover with their four kids); the Lewises of Claremont, CA (Mom had to cope with her husband’s death and raising two toddlers); and the Newsomes of Tallahassee, FL (divorced mom struggling with her kids, a crazy work schedule, and downsized house).
EW.com caught up with the Naughty Step Supremo to talk about those suits, her fear of flying, and what she thinks of kids watching TV.
EW: As you celebrate 100 episodes of Supernanny, what has been the hardest day on the job?
JO FROST: I work so closely with families, every day is a tough day. But that’s part and parcel of what I do. You know going in that you’re not having ice cream. There are days when it’s incredibly tough. Emotionally it takes its toll, physically, mentally. I come home and I am “knackered” as we would say…
Also, I’ve been travelling to meet families for over six years, hotel to hotel. I don’t really like flying. That’s been a challenge for me. But I love what I do. And I have a purpose of what I do and I’m very passionate about what I do…This feels right for me, it feels like what I’m supposed to be doing.
How long will you keep doing Supernanny?
My expertise is in child care, in extreme situations or not, and being a family advocate. I want to continue to do that…But who knows. Everyone has to evolve.
Do you keep in touch with families from the show in the past, or any kids that have now grown up and called to say thanks?
The families have a choice, sometimes they keep in touch and sometimes they don’t. It’s the same — we don’t always have regular chats with our pediatricians. With some families, they regularly email or I’ll get a phone call and the kids will say “hi.”