Episode summary

Jo goes to Kissimmee, Florida where she visits the Fernandez family.

High-school sweethearts Jerald (31) and Marla (29) have three kids: 12-year-old Desiree, 5-year-old Elias and 3-year-old Eulisis (who goes by his nickname "Shorty"). The boys are acting out. Shorty throws tantrums by screaming, crying and aggression. Elias is defiant and he's picking up Shorty's explosive behavior.

Although Desiree doesn't act out as much as her brothers, she's starting to be noncompliant and her grades are getting lower.

Marla struggles to do it all while Jerald hardly helps out at all, putting their marriage on the rocks. Additionally, Marla gives empty threats to her children and is starting to vent all of her frustration on her children (especially Desiree) which is straining their relationship.

Can Jo prevent this marriage from falling apart and finally get some discipline in the house?



The family was very warm and welcoming to Supernanny. Marla needed to take Desiree to go to the store to buy some clothes but Jerald did not want to come because it is girls' shopping, though, he made a choice to come. Shorty refused to put his shoes he threw a temper tantrum and Mom says, "Just leave him!". Outside the house, Shorty refused to get in the car so Mom says, "Leave him!", though it took 40 minutes for the whole family to get ready and left without the door shut.

Outside the store, Elias refused to come inside as he didn't want to come in so Mom threatened, "The police will get you!" - this made Jo laugh and she claim that Mom is barking out empty threats. Inside the store, Shorty did not want to put his shoes on so Jerald had to do forced him to put the shoes on him that provoked into a temper tantrum and Mom could not concentrate choosing the clothes, this made Mom had to intervene Dad to make him realise that people were watching. After putting on the shoes, Shorty went into a meltdown and say, "I going to peed myself!", but Dad did not care so he peed himself and then told Mom it is time to go. Mom looked at Shorty in sorrow so she made excuses to cover it up, although, Dad walked away from it like it didn't have anything to do with him ending up clean his son's mess on the floor and the family ended up buying no clothes.

Back at home, Jo talk with Desiree about her strained relationship with Mom and Dad - the fact that her grades were falling and receiving a lack of trust. She needs to recognise the importance of making decisions to earn her parents' trust and not hold her grudge forever.

Dad always sitting down on the couch and Mom is doing the chores all of the time. Jo had a word with Mom about her relationship with Dad despite the fact that she loves him but not in love with him.

Parents' Meeting

Jo brings the topic of they're not trusting Desiree, the lack of disclipline but Gerald blurted out "We hoping they grow out of it, I guess" - but Jo calls Dad "pathetic" and "ignorant", the fact that Shorty threw a big tantrum over a pair of shoes, and she mentioned the list of threats Mom makes to her children which is not for Mom to talk like that because she is their parent.


The family showed really poor behaviour and Jo had to lay down boundaries. She comes up with 'Rules of the Ring' house rules as the boys like wrestling. Desiree was writing the rules down, but the pen cap fell down on the floor, Shorty pick it up then but refused to give the pen lid and went into time-out altough Marla was not firm enough when giving him a warning so Jo intervened to demonstrate how to do a time-out and he was there for 3 minutes. During time-out, Shorty was going out of the corner as Mom was putting him back into time-out she was pleading with him. Jo wanted both Mom and Dad to take turns when placing Shorty into time-out to make sure they are both on the same page, after 67 returns, he later calmed down and apologized.

Jo wanted to give Gerald this fun idea to bring him closer with his daughter so he can rebuild trust. The fortune teller game was about asking questions and learning more about each other.

During the dinner time, Gerald was cooking which surprised Jo and her strong words in the meeting did make an impact. Marla says, "She is out of her element because she doesn't know what to do with myself". After dinner, she sat down both parents to sort out the daily chores and who is going to do what, then the parents made up a weekly chart to divide the chores evenly.

Desiree's homework needed to be addressed as her grades were falling down so Jo set up a homework system and attitude towards homework needed to be changed. Desiree rushed with her though Marla had to review it but was not happy about it so they both went into a tense argument. Mom was carrying months of frustration and Jo said that Mom needs to be mature, so she wanted an apology from Desiree for the way that she spoke to Mom. After all that, Mom took Desiree to dance class and hoped that things would change.

The next day, Jo bring both Marla and Gerald with Desiree in the garden to have a discussion. Elias interupted so told to leave but refused so he went into a time-out, although, Marla was not doing time-out correctly without giving explaination and demanding an apology. Therefore, Jo made Marla to write down the steps for time-out on a piece of paper. Jo had to leave for several days though there was a lot of homework had to be done especially Mom had to work on time out despite struggling on it.

Parents Evaluation

Clip 1

Marla told everyone to get ready to go to the store and took only 11 minutes to get prepared which was a big difference compared to in the Observation. Marla managed to buy clothes for herself and Gerald was entertaining the boys. Everyone had remained calm and do as they are told.

Clip 2

Gerald had bonding time with Desiree includes playing the fortune teller game and taking her out for shopping. The difference was better communication.

Clip 3

The family was baking brownies in the kitchen, although Marla was hushed about the boys making a mess with the eggs and sitting on the counter. Jo says to Marla, "Kids make mess, Adults make mess".

Clip 4

Elias was being silly and consequently sent to time-out. Marla did not make any eye contact when placing him into the naughty corner but she was joking, "The cat got your tongue", when she was supposed to wait for an apology.


Marla was putting in the effort to do a proper disclipline. Shorty wanted Gerald instead of Marla to make milk for him which made her upset. Then Jo had a word with both Mom and Dad to say that they are finding a 1,000 excuses why they can't step up and do what they are supposed to be doing. Marla went into a rage saying, "I'm getting p***ed off!", when Jerald was making a certain body language but he was taking it in that he has to be committed.

Shorty went into a tantrum so he threw the bottle then Marla warned him if he does not pick up the bottle he will go into time-out.

Marla was moving in the right direction despite that she needs to compose herself even if things do get messy. The family went outside to wash the car which involved getting wet and resulted in one clean car at the end. Marla says, "We had a great time, splashed water and getting wet".

Family Members

  • Jerald Fernandez, 31
  • Marla Fernandez, 29
  • Desiree, 12
  • Elias, 5
  • Eulisis, 3

Behind the scenes

This episode was filmed in September/October 2010.


External Links

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