Jo visits the DeMello family in Taunton, Massachussetts where Dyane (40) & Don (43) have 3 children: 6-year-old son Damon, 4-year-old son Dante, and 2-year-old daughter Gianna.
Damon and Dante are explosive. Don & Dyane have a hard time controlling their kids' misbehavior. Even Don has to psych himself up to enter his own house. Dyane appears to be running out of energy and patience.
Can Jo help the DeMello family out?
Meanwhile, 2-year-old Gianna is starting to picking up Damon & Dante's explosive behavior, and
When Supernanny arrived at the DeMello household, Dyane was at home looking after the children while Don was at work. Dyane was a little nervous and anxious to see Supernanny of what she is going to tell her and handle everything.
Damon wanted to go on the game console but Dyane said he can go on it later then went he into a meltdown as he couldn't play on game console. Dyane was trying to disclipline him, although, he was talked back to her by calling her "Stupid Mama!" which Mom allowed to tolerate.
Jo said, "The reasons why the children are bouncing off the walls is because they are kept inside all the time". The family has a big backyard Dyane says that the children love to go outside and there is a lot of aggression inside the house as the children don't get out enough fresh air, although, the family spend most of the time inside.
The children woke up at 8:00am, they were stuck in the house for 6 hours which cause them to suffer from cabin fever. Jo decided to take the family outsie the house to see how chaotic it can be for Dyane to deal with the children. Once outside, Mom was not fill with enthusiasm to play with the children and they didn't know what to do. Mom doesn't take the children to a park or open field, though, she does do the pool and activities for the children during the summer but not in the winter.
Don came home from work not acknowledging Mom as he walked in. Jo asked both Dyane and Don if there relationship are on the same page Don replied, "Most of the time!", though Dyane replied, "We don't communicate about it, we are on the same page as far as we do the same things".
Don tried to put Dante on the naughty chair for timeout when he hit Gianna, during timeout, he was repeatedly reasoning with him. After timeout, Dante chose to do drawing and called him "Stupid Daddy". Dad felt his timeout was not effective.
At dinner time, the children were throwing a tantrum at the table they scream for Dyane to make a second meal but she told that she was not going to do it. Mom ended up giving into the childrens' tantrums by making a second meal to please them but she was not actually pleasing them when Jo confronted her and picked up Gianna to show her facial expression to prove what she was not making everything better.
Jo called it a day observing the family dynamics and issues to be dealt with she hoped that tomorrow would be a wake-up call for both Mom and Dad. Both of them knew what they are doing was absurd and wroing it was what she called "lazy parenting".
The parents were not happy and not doing their job; the children are sad and angry. Dyane says, "I thought it was going to be easy", because the way she grew up and the fairytales she heard. Jo did not saw any enthusiasm in the family though Mom proves she does everything she suppose to do to make the children happy but Jo doesn't see any effort from Mom. Both Mom and Dad emotionally brokedown when they heard Jo saying that the kids are not getting to right connection between the two of them and Dyane says she loves her children.
Jo bring in the family routine helping Mom to do chores and spend time with the children at the same time. The parents had to write "talk" to show communication. The children have ideas for activities for them to write down ideas.
Dante lashed out at Damon and call him "stupid" when he had a idea. Dyane undermine Jo steps to timeout by consoling him which shows that disclipline had not worked for the family before. Jo showed both parents how to do a proper timeout by placing him on the naughty chair for 4 minutes for not giving an apology to Damon. The parents were realised there was a purpose of placing him in timeout and does work.
Jo introduced a technique for the children when they call out words when they are angry e.g. "stupid" to help them express their feelings. The technique has lollipop sticks with different emotions on each stick this allows for the children to open up their communication. Mom thought it was adorable and the way the lollipop sticks were laid out. Later in the afternoon, the parents were putting this technique in practice and Damon opens upwhen he put up the stick with the angry emotion about feeling angry when he is placed in timeout.
Jo want Dyane to address her first fear: taking her children out in pubic - by taking them to a grocery store to pick their lunch. In the store, the children were wandering around Jo had to coach Mom to make sure they stick to close proximity, but, while Dyane was focused on the Deli section Gianna was wandering out of her sight so Jo had to pick her up in time. Dyane was panic-stricken when she went out of sight and needs to be diligent, she says, "She is thankful it wasn't a stanger, and knew there is a lesson needed to be learned".
Meanwhile, the family went to a museum. Dyane and her children had lunch together, then, the children had a great time playing. Mom was doing a fabulous job with her confidence growing daily and her children having more fun.
Later at night, Don came back from work. Jo taught Dad how to do a proper timeout with the steps written down on paper when Gianna refused to eat her dinner. Although, he was hesitant when placing her in timeout what was stopping him was that the fact that she was 2-and-a-half and he thought she was too young for timeout, but, Jo said that she was the correct age of disclipline. Dad managed to place her on the naughty chair for 2 minutes, during timeout, he was giving communication like talking and gestures Jo coached him through it so it does not end up like a failure. At the end, he managed to explain to her why she was placed on the naughty chair and demanded an apology from her.
Jo left for a couple of days, but before she left the family has a piece of homework to do: the communication exercise. Where they have a circle to write down their issues and get to the bottom of it. Dyane was a little nervous about not succeeding and things will revert back to the way they were before Jo came in.
Dyane was playing with Gianna when she was playing with the baby doll and putting it on the naughty chair for timeout. Jo says, "She's learning and what she will do is do that in her own world with her own toys".
Don was placing Damon on the naughty chair, during timeout, when Damon was yelling but Dad was arguing with him. Dad was sabotaging the technique and winding him up this was falling back to old behaviour.
Both parents were doing the communication exercise, but Don was lazy, sitting down watching TV and not putting any effort to it and Dyane felt she doesn't communicate and all alone. --- Jo says to Don, "Yet again, every technique you're sabotaging". The parents were living like a divorced couple in the same roof and still there was work to be done for both of them.
From the DVD footage, Don was struggling to implement disclipline despite an opportunity arises when Dante refused to sit at the table and eat. Don gave him a warning then sent him on the naughty chair for 4 minutes and explained why he was placed there, although, Dad had a major problem with being quiet so Jo bring in a mask for Dad to wear over his mouth so he can keep his mouth zipped during timeout. Dante was getting out of the naughty chair realising that he wasn't going to win this one therefore he sat on the naughty chair for the rest of his time, after that, Dad explained that he was in timeout for not sitting at the table until he was excused. Don says, "You know, it worked. But it is still hard even with [the mask] on". Dad had managed to do a timeout effectively for the first time.
Jo bring both Dyane and Don, without the children present, to show a very important point to be made. There was a large symbolic block of ice with a photo of the couple taken during their first year of marriage when they didn't have children at the time. Dyane says, "Excited to be together, happy"; Don says, "Less stressful!". Jo talk to them about the importance of their marriage and parenting. The challenge for them was to reach the photo by using an ice pick to break down the ice. At the end, Don expressed how he was been feeling to Dyane sympathise how his selfishness had been a huge impact to her and want to move on to raise the children.
It was the end of Jo's time with the family and she leaves them. The family has now communication, Dyane noticed a big difference in the family and the children hopes for a big change in their parents and how they are raised.
- Dyane DeMello, 40
- Don DeMello, 43
- Damon, 6
- Dante, 4
- Gianna, 2
- ‘Supernanny’ settles in with city family - Taunton Daily News, 2/20/2009.
- Necessary changes for family - Taunton Daily News, 3/15/2009.
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