October 24, 2008 09:39 PM by Lisa Stauber
Supernanny visits Georgia this week, to help a big city family adjust to the Southern life. The Winters have moved from New York, and Dad doesn’t like the kids to do anything on their own. The four little kids are out of control, and Kristin is a teenager who wants to cut the apron strings. Cathy, the mother, has just recovered from cancer and relies Tom on to take care of thing, but he’s in over his head.
The kids fight constantly, with wrestling, screaming, and hair pulling. Tommy is going through the terrible twos and he’s a biter. Tom is 16 year old Kristin’s stepdad, and they fight all the time. “She thinks that I’m not cool,” he says, but doesn’t trust her friends. Cathy is a preschool teacher and is around small children 24 hours a day. Tom is a restaurant manager who splits shifts with Kathy and works a lot of nights. Tori and Tommy sleep with mom every night because they refuse to stay in their own bed.
Cathy had a kidney removed and is recovering from cancer and she’s exhausted. Supernanny’s on her way to help! Jo arrives and the children all greet her politely. Kristin’s still asleep, but rolls out of bed to say hello. She’d stayed out too late the night before.
Jo sends Mom away so she can see how Tom handles the kids on his own. He’s terrified to be left alone with them. “I can’t do it. I want to run out of the house,” he says. He calls his wife, then calls her again 20 minutes later.
Jo and Kristin have a heart to heart. Kristin never talks to Tom anymore. “Do you think he knows you?” Supernanny asks. “No,” Kristin says. Jo has a talk with Dad, too. He’s been her father since she was 3 years old, and he wonders where his little girl has gone. “I don’t know her friends, so I can’t trust her friends,” he says. He’s afraid she’s doing drugs, drinking, and having sex. “I’m lost,” he says.
It’s bath time, and Cathy hates this part of her day the worst. Tommy likes to leap off the side of the tub and the girls scream their heads off for fun. “Bathtime is crazy,” Kayla says. While the girls fight, two year old Tommy helps himself to a snack in the pantry. Tori is having a fit, and she gets a turn on the naughty step. Cathy holds her down on the step and yells at her, while Tori just runs and screams. Meanwhile, Tommy leans over and bites her leg. Cathy moves the timeouts to the bedrooms, and holds the door shut. “I have no control,” she says. Tori and Tommy refuse to sleep in their own rooms, and Cathy struggles for hours to get them settled.
Jo addresses Cathy. “You are the backbone of this family,” she says. She calls Tom on his lack of support. “What are you doing to make sure Cathy’s life is easier?” she asks him. Jo tells Cathy she does not need to bathe all four children at once and promises to make is fun and much more calmer. Supernanny also plans to teach Cathy and Tom to put the kids to bed. Moving on, she tells Tom he doesn’t trust Kristin. “You think she’s not capable. You think she’s like yourself at 17 or 18,” Jo says. “You have to trust her.”
“Get to know her friends,” Jo says. “It’s going to be challenging and hard work,” Supernanny says. “So when do we start?”
“My priority was to make sure Dad understood discipline to take the pressure off of Mom,” Jo says. “I was a non-believer. My kids are not going to listen and they’re not going to do it,” Tom says. Supernanny puts Tom through Time Out Boot Camp and walks him through it over and over again.
She gets Kristin and Tom together to have a talk. He shows her an old picture and says he misses her smile. “I just want you to listen to me,” she says. They hug and promise to try harder. Kristin’s going to invite her friends over, too, so he can get to know them. She invites her friends, both girls and boys, over. He wants to see which boy she talks to the most. “The reason I don’t bring the guys over to my house is because of my dad,” Kristin says, and Tom proves he’s a dork by dancing. The guys think it’s funny and they have a good time.
Jo’s going to fix bathtime now, and gives Cathy a pep talk. She’s going to countdown at the end and try to keep Tommy calm, since he’s the ringleader. He has a nice bath, and it’s bedtime. Jo goes over the bedtime routine, and it’s a marathon. “Keep putting him down in his bed until he stays in his bed,” Jo tells Cathy. Tommy has to be put back in bed over 70 times but finally goes to sleep.
The Winters are doing great with bedtime, and Cathy takes a firm stance with Kayla. She doesn’t want to go in timeout but eventually settles down. Cathy confronts her and they get into an argument and starts yelling. Cathy has a habit of yelling and shouts at the children all the time. Jo decides to concentrate on using the naughty step.
Jo demonstrates how to speak firmly to Erika, and Cathy learns how to correct her without being mean. Now the Winters are happy, and Tom’s not afraid to be with the kids anymore!
Photos courtesy ABC.