November 07, 2008 10:17 PM by Lisa Stauber
Supernanny is doing something new tonight: helping the Manley’s get divorced. John and Sarah have been separated for months, but John still eats at their house in order to spend time with the kids. Sarah’s not sure if they’re going to get back together, and the kids don’t know why Daddy moved out. John reveals that he doesn’t want to reconcile, and now Jo Frost must help the family split apart without cracking up.
Since John has moved out, the children have gotten out of control. They are angry and aggressive, biting and hitting. Max, age 7, is mean to his mom and says he hates her. Four year old Claire nags and whines until she gets her way, and Sarah is at the end of her rope. Her timeouts don’t work, and Mom’s just given up. John doesn’t know what he’s doing, and acknowledges that the situation is not fair to the kids or to his wife.
Max starts chasing his sister, and both of them are screaming. Jo sees that there are no boundaries in place, and they are both running their mom ragged. Sarah’s had enough, and drags Max to his room and holds the door shut while Max destroys his furniture. Now Max and Mom are crying. After he has settled down, Jo has a heart to heart talk with him. Max is frustrated because no one will tell him why his dad left. “Do you want to know,” Jo asks? “I really do,” Max says softly. “My dad, he’s not part of the family anymore.”
Sarah takes the kids shopping, and the kids run off. She finally finds the kids, and Claire throws a temper tantrum. Dad comes home while they put the groceries away, and the kids are ecstatic. He takes them in the backyard to play and Jo sees a chance to talk privately with Sarah. John decided to move out, and isn’t communicating with Sarah about if he wants to stay together or get divorced. Jo talks to John, who reveals he was miserable and frustrated with the marriage.
Jo talks to the Manleys about Max’s anger. Supernanny then tells them to talk about the elephant in the room- is John staying or leaving? He thinks about it overnight, but is terrified to actually commit to a divorce. “At this stage of the game, I’m not coming back as a husband,” John says. He doesn’t want to work things out, and Sarah can’t fight anymore. They are going to split. Jo promises to help them through the transition, and she’ll be with them when they tell the kids.
The first thing Jo does is have the Manleys make up a schedule so the children will have a stable routine no matter where they are living. Then Max and Claire head to John’s apartment to fix up a room for themselves. The apartment is pretty bare, so Jo goes shopping and helps decorate the kids room.
Now it’s time to tackle discipline. She’s using a naughty chair, and Claire quickly gives Sarah an opportunity to try out the techniques. It takes 20 minutes, but finally she finishes her timeout. Jo teaches Sarah how to get the children involved in helping at the grocery store, assigning each child an aisle to help out with.
On Their Own
Jo leaves the Manleys on their own to see what they need to work on. It’s Max’s birthday, and they are having a party. Max has a meltdown, but Sarah manages to get him in a successful timeout. John and Sarah fight about everything, though.
The family takes a trip to the pier, and Sarah and John manage to work together. Max throws a fit, and Sarah has to give him a warning. Max straightens up and they all have fun together. The family might be splitting, but Sarah and John will be raising their children together with love.
Photos courtesy ABC.