April 23, 2008 07:46 PM by Lisa Stauber
Christy and Kyle Schrage have three lovely daughters: Ellie, 10; Emma, 6; and Cara, 4. Unfortunately, the girls have come between them – literally! Mom hops into bed with the girls, leaving Dad on the couch. Can Supernanny Jo Frost sort out the sleeping mess?
Observation begins, and right away Jo notices the artwork on the walls. No, it’s not paintings, it’s crayon scribbled on every surface. “They just don’t respect their home,” Christy says. Memaw is the live-in grandmother, with her own apartment, but the girls don’t respect her space either. Christy just drags herself around, watching her bored children make their own mischief.
Cara still has a pacifier, but Christy gave up trying to take it away. “We’ll have to put a stop to that,” Jo says primly. She confronts Mom on her passivity. “I’ve gotten pretty good at living,and not feeling anything,” Christy confides. “She’s unsure, unconfident, and unenthusiastic,” Supernanny determines, chalking it up to lack of sleep.
Bedtime arrives, and Jo ends up tucking Mom into bed with the older girls. Dad watches a movie on the couch until Cara sacks out, and then he goes upstairs to shuffle everyone around. Kyle ends up sleeping in one of his girl’s beds, alone, while his wife snuggles with the children. No wonder everyone is sleep deprived!
“Yeah, it’s amazing we have three children,” Kyle says, revealing that he and Christy haven’t shared a bed in eight years. Mom obviously doesn’t want to let go of her baby, but Jo has a plan to change all that.
The Parent’s Meeting involves Memaw as the third adult, and she airs her complaints about her lack of privacy. Supernanny tells the Schrages that she is going to help them with respect, boundaries, and bedtime – sounds like she plans to solve all of their problems!
Teaching begins with Supernanny jumping off a building. No, the children haven’t finally driven her over the edge! She and Christy are conquering their fear of heights, so Mom will have the confidence to face her fear of displeasing her children. It works, and timid Christy is ready to write some rules.
“I started with a really strict routine,” Supernanny explains, and the parents go over the new rules. First up: Every body is to sleep in their own bed.
Cara decides to test her mother right away, and gets put on the naughty step. As soon as Christy’s back is turned, Cara scampers away to hide. After watching Christy gently place her back in time out over, and over, and over again, Supernanny decides to demonstrate how it should be done. Jo grabs Cara’s hand, hustles her down the stairs, and firmly places her in the corner. It works, and Cara serves her time.
Now it’s time to dump the pacifiers. “We’re going to have a paci hunt!” Jo exclaims, and the girls rush to find each and every one. They fill a jar, and Cara throws the pacis away. “It’s fun to have no pacis!” she cries. Who knew it would be that simple?
Supernanny solves the graffiti dilemma by placing large art pads on the walls. Now when the girls feel like drawing, they have a safe and appropriate place to do it.
It’s finally bedtime, and it’s time to put the new routine in place. Jo explains the bedtime technique, but Christy is too softhearted. Jo distracts her while Dad handles Cara’s tantrums, and soon all of the girls are asleep. Supernanny bids goodbye, while Kyle and Christy enjoy their first night together in many years.
Now it’s time for the Tip of the Week! Teach your children gratitude, Jo says, by having them make thank you notes. They can draw a picture on an index card that you can frame with a larger piece of paper. Add a note on the back and send it on out!
Three days later, Jo is back. She watches footage of a successful naughty spot in action, and praises Christy. The next clip is Mom at the playground. Christy huddles under the monkey bars, clutching her purse and looking miserable. Where’s the fun, Mom? Later that night, bedtime goes bad. After multiple trips to the parent’s bed, Christy climbs under the covers with Ellie. “No, no, no!” Supernanny cries. “You simply cannot compromise the technique!” It’s back to Bedtime 101 for the Schrages!
First, Jo decides to show Christy how to have fun. The family traipses off to the YMCA, and Mom actually smiles as she climbs around after her girls. Bedtime goes well, too. Supernanny makes Christy do it all on her own, without Kyle’s help, and she manages to get the girls in bed, asleep -and alone.
“I definitely have a newfound confidence in my parenting skills,” Christy says, “because now I have some!” Kyle is grateful too. “We’ve got a good foundation,” he says, and hopefully they also finally have a restful night’s sleep!
Photo courtesy ABC/K. Bomboy