The Longairc-Green Family

This is a family that was on Nanny 911, the precursor to Supernanny, which airs on Wednesday nights. While Supernanny is a better production and leaves out some of the dopey American-isms of stupidity (such as the opening scene with a much older nanny head whose television showing the family and their issues turns around into a painting on the wall), this show has its value. These families are clueless or don't bother to try and definitely need help.

This family is an exception in that the mother couldn't care less what the monsters do and will do anything to mollify them. The father is more consistent and definitely takes a much more disciplinary stance, but the mother undermines it at every step of the way. The two boys are so unbelievably rude, I'd've killed them where they stood. The little girl only wanted a moment of attention and was not doing anything negative, and the mother was awful to her.

The nanny, Nanny Stella, spent the first day observing. When she sat down with the parents, the mother said she was floored that Nanny Stella said that her kids are so rude. This is shocking? Seriously? Her older boy brags about having told the bus driver to "fuck off". The mother made it clear that she didn't see it, and wasn't interested in doing anything about this. The father is clearly the instigator of getting the nanny in their home.

It's easy to say that the kids are fucking monsters (which they are) but you know that they weren't born that way. Unless the kid is diagnosed with a mental development issue that involves bursts of violence or has Turrets or something along those lines, this is absolutely the fault of the parents.

I posted about six months ago seeing Tom get so angry with Matthew who was playing up in a restaurant. We were there. Yes, he was a little difficult and annoying and had some bad moments but not nearly to the point that Tom got to in anger. It was scary and totally unwarranted for him to be so mad. But Matthew at his absolute worst is better than these two boys at their absolute best. Tom and Alayna aren't perfect parents (who is) but they are the best I've seen so far and Matthew would never, ever be allowed to get into the behaviours that these two get into.

The mother is horrible. She won't try anything at all. She won't communicate with her kids but then when she puts one in time-out while making cupcakes, she then taunted him with the other two kids about how delicious the cupcakes are - clearly teasing him in a completely cruel fashion.

The mother doesn't do anything right in this venture. She either denies that the behaviour happened (Adam yelled "fuck!" at his sister and she denied it) or she tortures them.

The father really wants to see this happen. He wants his kids to have boundaries and grow up with respect and manners. He isn't saying anything stupid, such as "children should be seen and not heard", one of the most heinous sayings in history. He's just asking for normal family interaction. The mother seems to revel in this. In Supernanny, it is almost always both parents making mistakes and both crying out for help. This show may be a little more realistic.

Oh, I do love Nanny Stella. She recorded Adam saying the word "fucking" and played it back to Michelle (that's the mother), who insisted he said "frickin'" - not for nothing, how is that an arguement?! What makes a six or seven year old saying frickin' acceptable but the actual word is an issue? That makes no sense.

It's very obvious that Michelle is the big problem, not the monster kids or the father.

I can't imagine what people are thinking when they have two or three children in fast succession and then are shocked that this is very hard to do. The older boy, Adam, is horrible. Beating, kicking, scratching, punching, pinching, hitting and slapping and then spitting in the face of Nanny Stella. My gods. The immediate desire is to throw this disgusting kid under the bus. However, I'd throw Michelle under the bus immediately following him.

Michelle is an idiot. She said to Nanny Stella with a straight face that speaks respectfully to her children. On national television you are lying to the entire population who is watching this and I guarantee you that not a single viewer is sitting there saying, "She really isn't rude to her kids." Why would you do that? Lying to oneself is one thing, but to lie so blatantly to everyone else is staggering.

This is a one-hour programme and it is 49 minutes through. She still swears that the children aren't rude.

Here's what surprised me. She went into to talk to the five-year-old Sean, it suddenly hit home to Michelle that she did not have the relationship that she thought with her kids. My gods! Something gave her the slap in the face she so desperately needed. This is not a success story, though. The huge leaps and bounds that most parents make weren't made here as this was not embraced at all by Michelle.

One thing that Supernanny does do that is extremely good is follow up or check back in with the family months after as a wrap to the show, to showcase how the new rules have changed their household. That is great - even if things haven't all improved many things have and the parents and kids are all much happier!

Comments

Anonymous said…
These women can be seen in DrPhil with their adult son's life and character in tatters as they have been treated their whole life as property. But this was worse still. Michelle was using his sons as a tool to express her own feelings to the world - she wanted them to be little monsters as then she could imagine that they had a deeper connection, and she silently adores them for their fierceness.

These people somehow get away with lying all the time as others are embarrassed to force them to face the consequences. Actually, it is highly unlikely, that these people can be made to face anything, as they are using the most archaic psychic mechanisms to protect themselves against the whole world. Much of the time, these people aren't even lying as such, they are simply denying and projecting. So, the only disrespectful person in the house was supposed to be the poor nanny...!

I have nearly had the misery of getting one of these women for a mother in law (before I realised that the son was an empty shell as well). She wrote his son a letter where she denied in perfect order the whole monster story that his previous women had painted of her - so she obviously knew the picture that others had of her. But she might have been a worse case than this Michelle, as she had a well-kept public image that had nothing to do with her real self, and she could say all the right things in right order to give the right sort of impression - but she was a smart enough woman to know that her real picture wasn't pretty to look at, she just didn't want to think about the results, and denied all responsibility. Whereas I suspect this Michelle doesn't really see herself as she truly is at all. If she could have seen herself with other people's eyes, she wouldn't have agreed to have her face in TV. Like all these nannyshow parents believe in the beginning, if there was something wrong with her family, it was her children who were to blame. She herself was this well-behaved adult who didn't bite the nanny's head off as she would have loved to do...

Actually I have difficulty understanding, how many people still after years of this line of reality tv believe, that the point is getting those bad children to behave, when practically all the schooling is directed at the parents. Of course, if you actually see your children and spouse as persons with rights and feelings and needs that aren't always the same as their immediate desires, you never end up as nannyshow material: children tend to behave well when they feel seen and heard, and that they can trust that their parents will both be there for them next week too.

I am constantly amazed at how much these problem parents can actually improve, though. So many of them. We know from psychology, that some seriously problematic personalities can't be helped much - it is a relief to see in these nannyshows, how many seriously misguided people still can be helped relatively easily. The parents take a lot longer to help, as they are convinced that their children are the enemy and not they. But always I am relieved to see how strangely behaving children still are surprisingly unharmed when some nanny comes and peels the spikes off their surface. Their silly ways will stop at once when they realise that others do care both about what they are doing and how they are doing.

Suddenly, the children can be seen for the quite innocent and lovely, deeply worried people that they still are, underneath. Under the anger they still love their parents and see them as whole people, whereas the improved parents can still look at their now well-behaved children and believe that the offspring is now somehow cured of their ugly and bad sides whereas the parents were totally good all the time although they had lost control simply because their children were the difficult ones to begin with.

Me parent, you child, me good, you bad...
Anonymous said…
Howdy. This is Sean from the show, Adam isn't the older one. I clearly remember that entire episode was all of us ACTING like total hellians. It should've been quite obvious to see. Plus, a lot of the scenes were edited so that they appeared bad. For the record, it wouldn't be any of your business to judge nor be concerned with another family's issues, which were never really there. You got it all wrong with the roles of my parents. My father was always a dick and mother is beyond great. So before you make awful gestures about one's family, do your research first. :-)
Hello, Anonymous and greetings, Sean,

Apparently I missed the comment from Anonymous above yours, Sean, or I'd have left an answer. Now, three years later, I have no idea if Anonymous will see this or is still listening (so to speak) or what... but his comments are very interesting, loving as I do psychology.

Sean, your message appeared in my inbox minutes ago (to me) on my iPad and I had a whole long answer written, which of course got accidentally erased because my iPad (as much as I love it) doesn't quite work like my laptop. So here I am.

This is the first time I have been answered by 1. a celebrity (you have been on the telly, no matter how unkind a portrayal) and 2. by some one who I actually wrote about. This is a first for me. I'm gratified that you did and appreciate your comments. This is the feedback I am looking for and so rarely get, for a multitude of reasons. I am curious as to how you found my blog.

I guess the first thing to say is that my husband and I always suspected these shows are at least somewhat edited and also that the contestants are picked based on how much they will rile up the viewers. Clearly that ploy worked - I was quite upset when I posted this - both by the show, Nanny 9-1-1 and by my friend Tom, whom I love dearly but witnessed anger that was so out of hand. I don't like witnessing that. And I can to some degree identify with my childhood and these shows...

However, I have to tell you, I am one of those worst people, a child-free person who comments on others child-rearing skills as though I have any direct knowledge of this. I don't have any children and have no desire to have them, but here I am thinking I might contribute anything useful to a parent's struggle to do right by their kids. Sort of like going to an unmarried marriage counselor...

All I know is how my parents raised me, and I was extremely fortunate. My parents did not at all believe in the Unified Parental code... if I asked to do something and one parent said yes and the other no, they'd discuss it until they came to which decision to go with and then explain the situation to me - whichever way they ruled. They were very clear about rude language - "know your audience", just as I used to council employees at work when telling off-colour jokes or using base language freely. They never struck me and never believed in idiot things like "children should be seen and not heard". And while my biological father and I rarely were close, I got really, really lucky when I was two and a half years old and my mother moved in with Ray Kellogg.

It's true he is my [step]father. Except for biology, we share less in common than we do. It is amazing because I get along so well with Ray, my stepfather, than my own father. But when I went to visit him in 2008 (ironically), I discovered first-hand just how much genetics play into this. We are too alike in looks AND personality to get along without hitting bumps and problems along the way.

So now I found Nanny 9-1-1 on NetFlix and queued it up. I hope the episode you were in is there. (I don't know how many seasons it was on or how long it ran.) I'm very willing to watch it again and given your comments and corrections, consider that. It will be interesting to see what I get out of it this time.

Sean, it is a pleasure to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at my e-mail: traislinge@yahoo.com. I think you are someone worth communicating with. I'm also on Facebook: Aislinge Kellogg de Gomez.

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