“Nanny 911” – finally, a worthwhile television programme!

One of the most popular syndicated T.V.shows around the world,is an English speaking “reality show” which has all the merits of a “social documentary” and none of the exaggerations of a “virtual” reality T.V. show that dehumanizes,exploits and distorts the individual. This syndicated T.V. show is called “Nanny 911″,and is shown in Greece under a different title and of course dubbed in Greek.”Nanny 911” is a production of Fox Entertainment Enterprises. What is so extraordinary about this particular “reality show”is that it is produced in a very “professional” way while it is also socially constructive and beneficial.It presents in a very objective yet sensitive way, the destructive effects of a highly materialistic and competitive Western life style on human nature and on human relations.

The show deals with “disfunctional” families from all over the United States, representing all social groups.The professional nannies,who are the protagonists of this T.V. show,belong to a team of highly experienced and well trained British nannies(the team discusses each case at the start of the programme) who have both the specialized knowledge and background to deal effectively with the “disfunctional” families who ask for their help.We have to mention here that those “disfunctional”families are your average families in any Western society;representing no extreme cases of physical or mental abuse,serious mental disorders or any type of addiction.The major problem in all these cases is “behavioural” which has a serious impact on how well the family members can relate to each other,on the physical and psychological condition of those members,and of course on how productive they are in their particular daily occupations(professional career,child upbringing,household chores,studies of the young,etc.) As I have previously mentioned,these professional British nannies deal with “disfunctional”families from different social backgrounds, of different sizes(number of children) and of course of different age groups(children and parents).The “Super Nannies” in the show seem to be successful in their “task” because they are well organised,they are sensitive and straightforward,and they possess the “charisma” and the techniques to inforce in a civilized way constructive changes in the daily routines and habits of all the family members,especially those of the parents.

Having watched tens of these episodes,I noticed that in almost all the cases,the major cause for the families being “disfunctional”has to do with the “absence” of any real communication of “emotions” and of any real emotional support between the various family members. This type of family environment produces mistrust.Mistrust then produces egotism,egotism produces competitiveness,competitiveness produces tension,tension produces conflict,and conflict undermines the cohesion,the stability and the creative potentialities of the entire family. What the “nannies”try to accomplish is to organise the proper everyday circumstances and incentives so that all the family members can feel secure and at ease with each other.In this new setting,the family members can now openly express their emotional insecurities and in due course their emotional affinities for each other.Therefore, we can conlude that what makes most modern families “disfunctional”,especially in Western societies,is a deficiency in “creative emotional human expression”,both physical and verbal.