February 27, 2009 09:53 PM by Lisa Stauber
Supernanny is on her home turf in the United Kingdom tonight on ABC, and she’s got a whopper of a challenge. Natalie and Martin Williams have four young children, and Dad prefers to hang out on the computer instead of help his wife raise the children. Looks like Jo is going to have to fix five children!
Martin works at a fast food shop, and it’s shift work. Natalie thinks the children have no respect for anything in the house, and they break and trash everything. She has to wrestle clothes on the kids while everyone screams. Tyler, in particular, has violent temper tantrums and often hits his mom. Martin just ignores it, saying “Kids will be kids.” He thinks that Natalie overreacts. Natalie thinks Supernanny is their only hope for a peaceful, happy family.
Jo arrives and meets the children. Martin thinks she’ll probably be able to help, but isn’t all that committed to her techniques. Natalie is trying to get shoes on 4 year old Tia, and is battling a temper tantrum. Tia throws her shoes across the room as soon as her mom turns her back, and the other kids are starting to fuss, too. Tyler claims his jacket is too dirty to wear, and while Natalie tries to dress him Martin is busy looking at go-karts online.
Jo takes a tour of the house and sees broken toys, clutter, and writing on every wall. “It’s showing that the parents can’t make an effort to look after property,” she says. Martin is still online while Natalie tries to play a game with the children. She takes him aside for a talk. “What do you find difficult during the day?” she asks him. Martin says the kids don’t listen to him and that Natalie undermines him so it’s pointless to try.
Tia’s having another fit while Natalie tries to get her pajamas on her. The bedtime routine is no-nonsense, with no story time or special cuddles. Tia won’t stay in bed and begs for her parent’s attention. Martin puts her to bed because Natalie will just climb in bed and cuddle with her. Martin thinks she should cry it out. The parents fight back and forth about whether to hug Tia or put her back to bed again. They can’t agree on any parenting technique!
Supernanny thinks Martie is in denial. “What part of you feels it’s acceptable and okay to turn a blind eye?” she asks him. “We clash when ever I try to get involved. All I want is the quiet life,” he says. Natalie agrees that she undermines him and they are not a united front. “I don’t see nobody being proud of being a parent,” Jo says. “There is no discipline. You are failing your children.” Martin’s in denial again. “I think they’re all right,” he says.
“You both need to change,” Jo says, and Natalie and Martie agree to try.
The first thing Jo does is put up a morning routine chart to make getting ready for school easier. She makes Martin help with the kids. The kids are ready for school on time, and the kids are smiling in the morning. “You proved me wrong,” Martie says. Next, Supernanny sets the parents to cleaning up the clutter while the kids are at school, so they can set a good example. Natalie and Martin work all day, and the kids are happy that they can enjoy their outdoor playhouse now that it’s not full of junk.
Supernanny teaches Natalie and Martin about the naughty chair, and by dinner time it looks like Tia’s going to be the first one in. Of course she won’t stay put and Martin’s going to have to show her he means business. He give up after one try and won’t follow through. “If you mean what you say, then follow through,” Jo tells him. He ends up putting her back on the naughty chair over 100 times. Supernanny makes Martin follow through with the last two steps, and gets an apology and a hug.
Natalie has to put Tyler on the naughty chair, but when his time is served, Tyler explodes and kicks her in the face. Jo steps in right away with a firm voice. “Leave him there,” Jo tells Natalie. He starts spitting and running away from the chair, and finally Natalie has to take the chair away because he’s throwing it. He’s still mad! He calls his mom a bad name, and Natalie tells Jo that Martin calls her that all the time. Supernanny thinks Tyler is copy catting his parents, and she says that it’s because he’s seen it happen between the parents.
Martin steps in to help keep Tyler in the corner. He finally gives the apology. Jo teaches them how to do the bedtime routine next. Natalie reads a story after giving a bath, and the children settle down quickly. The next day Supernanny gives them a craft to do so they can have fun together, and the Williams have a great time painting. Natalie liked spending time as a family together. “It seems to be working,” Martin says.
Supernanny’s been gone for a couple of weeks, but the cameras keep rolling. She shows up to review the footage. The morning routine is going well, and Martin reads the bedtime stories, too. Tyler puts them to the test again, and Martin loses his temper and says he’s going to kick him out. “You can’t say that to him!” Jo says. Natalie gives up on Tyler’s time out later, too. Jo says there is a destructive cycle going on in how the kids get her attention, and Tyler alway expresses his feelings as anger.
Jo wants to help Natalie and Tyler’s relationship, and also tells Martin to spend time with him being a positive role model.
Jo sets up a blindfolded trusting game for Natalie and Tyler to play. Natalie practices giving clear directions, and Tyler practices listening carefully. Later, Jo has the girls spend some special time with their mom while Tyler and Martin play darts together. The Williams are now backing each other up and following through.
Photos courtesy ABC.