~*~ Little Angels ~*~
Little Angels is yet another reality-tv style program. It is a kind of rip-off of the popular program Super Nanny, in which the 'super nanny' goes in to help families with problems they are having with their children's behaviour.
This show's 'nanny' is actually not a nanny, but a clinical psychologist - Tanya Byron. Tanya works alongside other experts to help parents participating in the show gain a bit of control back into their lives by showing them effective ways of monitoring their children's behaviour, showing more discipline and generally just helping them to lead more carefree, calmer lives!
~*~ How the show works ~*~
Tanya first meets with the family who are having problems with their children. These problems vary from family to family, but the general theme throughout episodes is a lack of discipline and control in the households. Some children are craving attention, some are having too much of it lavished on to them. A lot of the children are simply seeing how far they can push their boundaries (that's if they even have any boundaries at all!) Frustrated parents who have their children's best interests at heart are showed being pushed almost to breaking point and with no idea what to do next. This is where Tanya comes in. After meeting with the family, she gives the parents advice on how to cope with unwanted behaviour. The methods for doing this vary, but usual involve some sort of time-out area, or a 'naughty spot/stair'.
The aim of the show is to help the parents gain control in their own households by giving them simple but effective ways to manage the behaviour of their own children. The methods shown to them should be used consistently to ensure that children do not get confused or start to try to push the boundaries again.
~*~ Methods used to manage behaviour ~*~
Tanya Byron suggests a variety of behaviour management techniques throughout the show. She stresses the importance of staying positive regularly - it is important that parents take things one day at a time, and don't hold grudges for previous bad behaviour. This should be forgotten about once an apology has been made or suitable solution has been found, and then the family should move on. Any negative attitude will be picked up on by the children, which Tanya argues will result in further bad behaviour.
Distraction is a method of behaviour management suggested by Tanya a lot in the show, particularly with younger children. An example of this is with a baby beginning to throw a tantrum because you have taken something dangerous away from it. Before the baby starts to really get into the tantrum, start playing with something else, loudly, in an animated and fun way (for example laughing and throwing and bouncing a ball) to distract them until they reach out for that instead. It is surprising to see how easily such methods work, which is great for avoiding a big scene in public!
Tanya also stresses the importance of ignoring bad behaviour. She is regularly heard saying that any attention given to a child is a reward, whether it is telling them off or not (with attention-seeking children) and I have been very surprised whilst watching to see how effective (with persistence) simply ignoring bad behaviour can be!
~*~ Where can I watch it? ~*~
This show was first aired in February 2004 on BBC3. The show ran for three series, and has also been shown on UKTV Style.
The show stopped filming in 2006, and there haven't been any more recent episodes filmed, although you can sometimes catch reruns on UKTV Style, or occasionally on BBC3. It's always worth looking on the BBC website though as they frequently add to their archive, and you might be able to catch a few episodes on there as well!
~*~ The verdict ~*~
In all, Little Angels was a good little show. It is reality tv with a 'point', which makes for much more justifiable viewing (than say, Big Brother!). I have found the show very interesting, and have definitely picked up a few good tips on how to deal with unwanted behaviour! The show also makes parents and viewers aware of the little things they may be doing wrong that could be contributing to the unwanted behaviour - things parents may not realise they are doing. Although I haven't got any children of my own I could easily see myself making the same mistakes, and it was great to learn a few alternative methods! I will keep them in mind for the (very distant) future!
The show is not the most exciting bit of telly you will ever watch, and won't have you perching on the edge of your seat. The main disadvantage to the show is the episodes are all pretty same-y. Whilst the problems within the families do vary between families a little bit, they only vary so much (they are all pretty much based on controlling temper tantrums!) so once you've watched one you feel like you've watched them all... However, if you have a bit of time to kill and this is on, it wouldn't do you any harm to give it a watch!