America's Supernanny

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
America's Supernanny TV Poster Image
Adaptation of UK advice show is best for parents.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The educational value is mostly for parents, but kids might learn what NOT to do.

Positive Messages

The series offers parenting techniques, but the overall message is that parents need to step up and be more proactive in disciplining their kids. Single parenthood is sometimes discussed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Deborah Tillman helps families in crisis with a firm but caring approach. The children featured here mostly act out as a result of a lack of boundaries. Parents are usually unwilling and/or unable to discipline their kids appropriately or help the learn how to be accountable for their own actions.

Violence & Scariness

Until the Supernanny shows up, kids kick, spit, talk back, break things, and engage in all-around naughty behavior. One episode features a father who yells, berates, and slaps his kids (on the legs, etc.) This behavior is characterized as "bullying" by the Supernanny.

Sexy Stuff

Mild references are made to the fact that if a tween's self-esteem issues are not dealt with, it can lead to sexual promiscuity and related problems.


The use of strong vocab isn't frequent, but occasional strong words like "ass" are audible.


In the opening credits Tillman mentions her national chain of child learning centers, but they are not referred to by name or discussed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series, which is intended more for adults, features moms and dads learning appropriate and effective ways to discipline their unruly children. Young children are shown spitting, kicking, biting, hitting, and engaged in other disrespectful behavior. Kids probably won't be too interested, but watching some of the children's behaviors can potentially lead to some teachable moments.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byneedlegrass March 4, 2014

Why, America, why...?

The British one is great (then again I might be a little bias because I'm British hehe x3) but this one is just really, really bad. It's just a knock... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus June 15, 2012

Just OK.

Fine for older kids, but it probably won't interest them.

What's the story?

AMERICA'S SUPERNANNY, the American adaptation of the original British series, features childcare specialist Deborah Tillman going to different homes to help parents learn how to deal with their out-of-control kids. Each episode features a family in crisis thanks to misbehaving children and their frustrated parents' inability to handle them. After spending a day observing the family dynamics, Tillman sits down with the parents to discuss what she believes are the behaviors (or lack of behaviors) that are creating the conflict. She then spends the next three days working with both the parents and children to develop new communication and disciplinary techniques. After parents spend a day alone with the children practicing these techniques, Tillman returns to review the progress they have made.

Is it any good?

Tillman, who runs a national chain of child learning centers, offers her services to these families as a way of helping them wade through the endless amounts of parenting techniques being publicized by experts around the country. But while her advice to parents may sound unique, most of it simply boils down to: spending more time with their children, setting clear boundaries, and being consistent in the way they are reinforcing them. It also reminds parents that disciplining children now increases their ability to grow up happy and well adjusted.

It's not really for kids, but those who do watch may find some of the children's extreme behaviors funny. Some adults may find the parents' excuses for letting their kids disrespect them or run amok frustrating to listen to. But overall, it's a show that offers parents some positive child-rearing tips, and offers some food for thought about what is going on in their own homes, and with their own children.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the methods used in this show. Do you think a week is long enough to for families to overcome established patterns of behavior? How do you think these patterns began in the first place?  Do you think the improved changes featured are real, or will they stop once the cameras stop rolling?


  • What is the difference between a child care specialist and a child behavioral psychologist? Do you think someone with a psychology or medical background would offer different advice from what is featured here?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love families

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