What parent has never heard of Supernanny? What parent hasn’t at some time put her ‘tips’ into practice, I know I have.

She graced our screens with a magic like ability to tame the most persistent of ‘non-listener child’.

She made it look easy.  Persistence was key, I was very persistent and spent many days & nights persistently pissed off that her advice wasn’t working for me.

I stumbled across her website the other day and laughed and read her ‘Top Tips’ aka ‘obvious information’.

Below is a snippet of her ‘Top Tip’. Her advice is in bold the rest is how we roll in the Buck Stops Here house.

For some children “no” can be the default position when asked to do things. Below are some tips to encourage your child’s cooperation.

Give information

“Clothes on the floor don’t dry very quickly” 

Firstly drop the fancy wording ‘default position’.  The above paragraph should read “for some children “no” is the ONLY answer you will get when asking them to clear up their shit.   On a good day you might get a false promise of “in a minute”.

The one thing that we (Supernanny & I) agree on, probably the only thing we agree on, is yes clothes don’t dry on the floor.  The problem is my kids think they do, in fact they believe all clothes wet or dry actually belong on the floor.

I do, as she advises, give lots and lots of information to my kids, my problem is they don’t bloody listen.  I constantly brief them with all the necessary information like “rubbish goes in bins”, “plates don’t belong in your bedroom”, “if you use it put it back” I even let them know how things work such as the dishwasher even what a linen basket is for.

Unfortunately, Supernanny this ‘tip’ doesn’t encourage any co-operation, what-so-ever.  What it does encourage is smart answers and long debates about whose responsibility it is and a million reasons why it’s not theirs.

I question where the responsibility buck stops, my teenage daughter believes 100 percent it’s mine as I’m the parent, the one who chose to have kids.  As with all problems that aren’t mine it’s all about time, the length of time before they become mine.

Supernanny goes on to suggest you need to:

Describe how you feel

“I don’t like hearing whinging”

“It bothers me when I see clothes on the floor”

Again, I can tick the box here.  I always describe how I feel with no problem relaying this to them.  Venting such frustrations in a calm tone and in full view NOT from another room (as championed by Supernanny) usually results in…err…..umm…………..nothing.

So, I’m sorry Supernanny, forgive me, but in this house shouting from other rooms is the norm as I flit through each one dodging discarded items all over the floor.

Repeating ‘information’ in a calm tone whilst fully visible to my kids surprisingly results in jack shit.

So, what have I learnt from this very handy Supernanny tip? In one word nothing.  The hard reality of parenting is basically no one listens.  No, to be fair they do hear me the eye rolling always confirms this.  Just like her TV programmes her ‘parenting’ techniques rarely works.  I repeat, RARELY works.

Her tips/programme are all great in theory or when you are rubbing your pregnant belly dreaming about the parent you will be.

I’ve long forgotten what parent I thought I would be, but I vaguely remember believing joking my kids would never be the boss of me! #deluded.

So I hear you ask what would be my top tip for Supernannys default position ‘No’:   It’s simple when shouting, swearing, empty threats are all done, unplug the wi-fi and let’s see who starts listening!

Next week – How to get your kids to do the chores.  Scrap that, you can’t.

Might have to rethink next weeks!

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There is something enchanting about the idea of a camping holiday: Fresh air, ‘free‘ days, nature, tales around the camp fire, no wi-fi, waking to the sound of birds singing sweetly.

Now not being one to burst anyone’s camping bubble buuuuuutttttttt let’s just say Murphy’s Law is always in effect on a camping trip – what CAN go wrong WILL go wrong,  factor in 4 kids and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Below is a snippet of events leading up to one of our camping trips.  Like the preparation, packing and essentials required its bloody long so are our camping tales.  But fear not, I have kept this post brief!


‘Just think, its a cheap holiday…….once you have all the stuff you can go whenever you like’.  Weirdly I found myself easily persuaded and totally convinced my ‘discovery channel’ loving hubbie would be able to pitch our tent like he was born in the wilderness.  How hard could it be?

Running the idea past the kids it was a resounding yes, they couldn’t wait & I found their excitement catching.

In my head idyllic visions bounced around, playing games (without arguing), toasting marshmallows, BBQ’s, warm evenings drink in hand.  I couldn’t deny it camping was looking good.

My excitement nose-dived slightly when I drained our bank account of all funds buying all the ‘camping essentials’ a family would need….and would never use! (note to self..let it go!).



Forcing myself not to think how it might have been cheaper jetting off somewhere hot, I looked on the bright side (the only bright bit about our trip) now we had all the camping ‘stuff’ we would be able to enjoy cheap, fun holidays for years to come.

I remained positive, after all there is a lot of Britain we have yet to explore.

Convincing myself  I reminded myself:

  • camping will be fun.
  • it will be sooooo cheap.
  • the kids will be full of fresh air.
  • no need to waste money going abroad (clearly deranged at this point!)

Sun-soaked photos like these would be replaced with ‘Camping is fun’ photos.



Squashing things into the car is the norm with us without boasting it’s something we’re pretty good at.  Or so I thought until we decided to move home go camping.

Like an intelligence test from the Krypton factor – how to get 6 people and half your house in a car, it was safe to say we were challenged.  Hours later and with all hands and arses on boot we got it shut, we were ready.

Ignoring yells of “I’m squashed, I can’t see out” we set off.  Seconds after the back wheel left the drive it was  “how long will it take?” all the way only interrupted with sudden bursts of pointless arguments.

I was more pre-occupied with the thought I had forgotten something.


Realising very soon hubbie was no Bear Grylls, we spent hours scratching our heads over pole positioning.  Finally admitting defeat we asked the kids for help, within no time our canvas hotel was up.

I couldn’t help but think how small our ‘6 man’ tent looked,  it was way smaller than I’d imagined.  I wondered how the frigging hell we were all going to fit in the bloody thing.

Clearly, our tent had been modelled on the size of 6 Gingerbread men.

Nestled between other proper looking tents ours looked more like a dressing room.  Thankfully we only had to sleep in it, we were camping so would be living outdoors enjoying the British sun…….ha ha ha how foolish were we!

Any sudden thoughts of sun & enjoyment will only result in the starting pistol firing for the rain to start.

It was dinner in the car and nights huddled round in a smelly canvas hellhole trying to keep dry.  What FUN camping is.



  • The campsite will bear no resemblance in any shape or form to the one you have in your head.  You will spend the next week convincing yourself, it’s not too bad, at least you didn’t spend a fortune!
  • A ‘6-man’ tent is NOT for 6 men.
  • Camping is NOT a holiday.
  • Camping with 4 kids = nightmare.
  • The sun will be shining as you leave home with rain hot on its heels.
  • You will have tent envy.
  • Time will be wasted every day searching for that one item you need ie. toothbrush.
  • The showers will stop working the minute you lather your hair with shampoo.
  • Waterproof tent my arse!
  • There is no such thing as a good night’s sleep.  You will go to bed teeth chattering and wake up melting in an inferno.


  • It will rain and you will get wet, VERY wet inside your waterproof tent.
  • You will be more concerned with keeping yourself warm and the tent dry than you will with doing your make up let alone doing your hair.  You will look shit and not care!
  • Wondering why people pitch up to the ‘no electricity’ pitch.
  • Sitting round campfires, playing guitars & toasting marshmallows only happens in the movies.  Our sites NEVER allowed campfires!
  • Who knew nights could be sooooooo long.
  • The kids will love the great outdoors until day 2 , then they will want to do something fun!
  • You will hear ‘things’ at night and remind yourself the Blair Witch project was only a film.
  • Wrapping yourself up like a mummy to an inch of your life praying no bug will squeeze its hairy arse in.
  • You will never run out of things that can go wrong.
  • You will walk around with a fixed campers grin of ‘I love camping’ knowing tomorrow is one day nearer to going home.IMG_2370


  • Limiting your drinks after dark for fear of waking up needing the toilet.
  • There’s more chance of inserting your housekey in a door in the pitch black whilst completely rat-arsed first time then you will finding the zipper at night to get out of the tent for the toilet.
  • You will spend hours in the prison queue just so you can wash your plates and cups while the person behind mimics the clock from Countdown!
  • Dinner will become a concoction of anything goes.   Thank god for King Size Pot Noodles.
  • You will ‘nap’ on a plump, inflated mattress and wake up on the hard ground, mattress deflated rolling around like a weeble wobble trying to get up.
  • You will suffer with a bad back.
  • Your kids will wake up desperate for a wee, your husband will be unable to open the zipper so will get cross, turn green, let out a roar and rip the tent apart to get out (oh just my husband then!).
  • You will go home early (or maybe that’s just us!)
  • Bin tent on way out.

The final straw in the canvas tents arse was when rolling up the tent to go home in torrential rain: We had forgotten to remove the car keys from within!    

After enduring it twice, we all agreed with no argument that we would not be camping again, EVER.  

It would be back to looking for passports, long queues, carousels and planes.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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