Atkinson Family is the first episode of Season 7 of the American Supernanny show. It first aired on ABC on November 5, 2010.

Episode summary

Jo visits the Atkinsons, who are a blended family of 7 from Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Jen (41) has two teenage daughters from her first marriage: 14-year-old Amanda and 13-year-old Abbey. John (39) has a 10-year-old daughter, Julia (with whom he shares custody with his ex-wife as their only child together).

Together, John and Jennifer have two daughters: 4-year-old Reese and 2-1/2-year-old Maeve.

While the family is a blended family by name, it is anything but blended. Teen daughter Amanda disrespects her mother and stepfather and even makes her mother cry when she tells her that she wishes she was dead. Abbey can also be disrespectful at times and Reese has major separation anxiety from John and will scream and cry and even ran out into the street when he leaves the house. At one point, Reese screamed so much, she damaged her vocal chords.

During her observation, Jo realizes that Jennifer and John aren't very consistent about rules and parent their children differently from each other.

Can Jo help the Atkinsons maintain structure and rules in their household? Can she help Jennifer's relationship with her teenage daughters before it's too late? Can she help out with Reese's separation anxiety before its too late?



When Jo arrives at the Atkinson home after watching the submission reel, John's daughter Julia is still at her mother's house. Jo soon gets to see how Amanda and her mother interact. She very rudely demands that her mother makes her pasta for lunch.

Amanda complains that Jennifer "always wants to be in her life." During the argument between mother and daughter, 4-year-old Reese took a seat on the table. Amanda promptly tells her that this is "her seat", and that she always sits there.

John tells Amanda to let it go, but Amanda continues to argue with Reese during lunch. When John tells her to cut it out, Amanda burps loudly and leaves the table.

When John attempts to leave to pick up Julia, Reese melts down and did something Jennifer had never seen her do before: run down the driveway. Jennifer then spends the next twenty minutes chasing Reese before putting her inside.

When Jennifer asked Amanda to put the chips away before dinner, Amanda tells her mother she wishes she would die which brings her to tears.

Amanda has a brief conversation with Jo, who sits down with her sister Abbey and tells Jo that her moods affect everyone and though she wants a relationship with her family, but does not know how to change.

Family meeting

At the family meeting, John and Jennifer admit that having different rules for children from different relationships doesn't work. Jo feels that there is a lot that needs to be clarified in between Amanda, Abbey and Jennifer in particular.


As teaching begins, Jo gets out black sheets and explains that things covered by these sheets cannot be used for the duration of her stay. She places the sheets over the television and computer. Jo then brings out a pot and tells the family that all of their cell phones would be taken away and given back at 7:30 every evening to ensure she gets their full attention.

Jo sits down with the parents to have them write a list of rules that would apply for all of their children.

John and Jen introduce the rules to their children, but Abbey and Amanda become resistant to the curfew rule due to the summer weather. Jo then asks Julia to send the younger children away so she can tell the two teens about the dangers of staying out late.

Jo teaches Jennifer and John how to deal with Reese's separation anxiety - she tells them to put Reese in time out every time she crosses a line separating the house's driveway and the street. John drives off to the post office and Jennifer warns Reese about crossing the line.

Jennifer puts Reese into time out after she crosses the line, and Reese resists. Jennifer repeatedly places her back on the time out spot, and John takes over when he returns from the post office. The time out ends after 27 minutes.

Jo sets up a way for Amanda and Jennifer to let out their repressed thoughts. Jo has the two say their thoughts out loud and throw water balloons as they say them. One of Amanda's thoughts was that whenever her family wanted to do something it would always be about Reese and Maeve rather than about her and Abbey.

DVD meeting

When Jo returns after leaving the family for a few days, she the relationship between Amanda and her mother has improved while Reese's separation anxiety has come to an end.


Jo notices in the footage that John gave Reese constant warnings with no follow-through, so Jo gives him another chance to try following through with his warnings.

Maeve starts crying while going on a walk with him, Reese, and Jo. John warns Maeve that she will be put in time out if she continues, and he follows through when Maeve doesn't stop. Meanwhile, Abbey and Amanda open up to Jen and fix their relationship.

Family members

Person Age Relation to Family
John Atkinson 39 Father
Jen Atkinson 41 Mother
Amanda 14 Daughter (Maternal)
Abbey 13 Daughter (Maternal)
Julia 10 Daughter (Paternal)
Reese 4 Daughter
Maeve 2.5 Daughter


External Links

Season Seven
Atkinson FamilyPeterfreund FamilySwift FamilyThe Young FamilyVan Acker FamilyFernandez FamilyGeorge FamilyMiller FamilyColombo FamilyPotter FamilyMerrill FamilyDeMott FamilyFroebrich FamilyFederico FamilyEvans Family