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Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:08:37 +0000
(NEW YORK) -- Emma Jenner is a sort of modern-day Mary Poppins. She's a proper British nanny with a fresh take on old-fashioned common sense, and she believes modern parenting is in crisis.
Jenner, who has worked in homes and even starred in the TLC show Take Home Nanny, is sharing straight talk and advice in her new book Keep Calm and Parent On: A Guilt-Free Approach to Raising Children by Asking More from Them and Doing Less.
In an interview with ABC News' Deborah Roberts, Jenner said parents' first big problem is fear.
"I see a lot of moms, you know, I see fear in their body language, in their face," Jenner said. "You know kids are clever, they know, 'Gosh, if I throw a tantrum right now then my mom's going to give me exactly what I want.' So that's what they do."
Jenner said parents allow bad behavior because expectations are lower.
"I feel that children are capable of so much more than we expect of them today," she said.
And iPads and other electronic devices that are used to keep children quiet in restaurants are shortcuts that parents should not take, Jenner said.
What parents should do instead is show their children how to behave, Jenner said.
"If children don't comply, tell them, 'Then we're leaving ... you're done with dinner and we're leaving the restaurant because you're not going to ruin it for everyone in the restaurant.' And you leave," she said.
What's worse, she said, is that parents nowadays don't seem to want to get involved in another family's troubles, leaving many others without community support.
Jenner said parents must be willing to set boundaries, stand firm and remind their children that parents are the ones in charge.
And after 17 years of caring for the children of others, Jenner is having a baby of her own.
Asked whether she would remember to practice what she preaches, she replied: "I am indeed, at least I hope so."
Jenner's book will be available on Tuesday.
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