November 2, 2004 -- LUCKILY, I'm not alone in the idea that the best parents understand that you don't negotiate with 4-year-olds.
First off, they're 4, and second, they don't pay the bills. And really, when everybody's acting out, nobody's having fun.
You'll see this kind of child-rearing tomorrow night, when Fox premieres a new "non-scripted" series, "Nanny 911," which pairs experienced nannies with what appear to be the worst children and the stupidest parents on the planet.
On the first episode, bratty 4-year-old Dylan and his equally nightmarish 2-year-old sister, Natalie, are paired with Nanny Deb - a traditional European no-nonsense nanny who walks into their own personal Hell House.
The children curse, throw things and hit their idiotic parents (who are so scared they don't even hold their fingers up while uttering the half-witted "Time out").
The father, Matt, is shell-shocked from it all and too frightened to open his mouth. And the mother, Karen, is so worried that her children won't love her (they yell that particular threat out to her constantly!), that they literally beat her into submission.
It's so bad that the parents haven't even slept together in the same bed for four years. That's the same four long years since Dylan the Demon was born.
Yes, mom has slept in the boy's bed every night since that fateful day. If she attempts to leave, he throws a fit. Instead of letting him cry himself silly, Mom gets into her PJ's every night same time as the brat and they sleep together.
You would have thought once Matt and Karen realized that they weren't any good at parenting, they would have stopped populating the planet. But noooo - they had another baby - who is a horror-in-training.
Nanny Deb, a nanny for 20 years, observes the antics (which is the excuse for us to watch them too) and is appalled. It's a totally out-of-control situation fueled by and controlled by the bratty kids who have absolutely no respect for anyone, and no table manners.
If you didn't know better you'd think they were mentally deranged.
Watching the Rock family is a hoot and a half - as long as you're not watching them from the next seat on a plane. And no matter how horrible your own children are, these families are so dysfunctional, they'll make you feel like The Huxtables.
But at the end of the day, "Nanny 911" is one of those TV instant-fix/Dr. Phil solutions to problems that take more than a week and a nanny to fix.
Tomorrow night at 9 on Fox/Ch.5