This Tuesday (December 13) don’t miss Lifetime’s newest series, America’s Supernanny, starring childcare expert Deborah Tillman. This episode features a defeated mom and dad out of Danville, NH who have checked out, leaving 9-year-old Dillon in charge of his three younger sibling: MacKenna, 1, Cameron, 3, and Ayla, 4. The Dentons struggled with conflicting schedules that led to bad communication, a nightmarish bedtime, and a clingy baby that won’t take no for an answer.
The Virginia-based wife, mother and author, who boasts more than 19 years experience in early childhood education opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about working with the Denton family.
CBS: Tell us about working with the Denton family. When you saw them, they were on the verge of divorce, leaving their 9-year-old son Dillon in charge of younger siblings. Where did you begin with this family? What were some of the emergency/immediate skills you taught them? What were some long-term goals and strategies that you helped them with? Is there hope for the Denton family?
DT: “The Denton family had several issues I needed to tackle. They were on the verge of a divorce. The parent’s did not communicate or support each other at all. They played the “blame” game. There was no affection or intimacy in their marriage – they barely co-existed.
With respect to the children, there were no rules or discipline in place. Dillon watched TV all of the time and played inappropriate video games. He hit, kicked and spat on his sisters Ayla and Cameron.
The house was a mess with writing on the wall, broken banisters and a basement “playroom” that was not fit for an animal and the children were expected to have fun in. The dog pooped on the floor and the smell was ever so present.
Other issues were the Denton’s one year old daughter who was unbelievably clingy and mom couldn’t get anything done because she never put her down.
Since the parent’s relationship was so broken, I began working with them both. I needed them to be accountable and responsible so I put in place parent house rules that they wrote and vowed to remain faithful to.
The immediate tool I taught them was the sensitivity technique. Some of the long-term goals and strategies that I helped them work with was the clean up/organization technique to get the “playroom” looking and smelling like a place where children could go and have fun. I also made the parents throw away the inappropriate video games and take Dillon’s TV out of his room. I put in place a naptime and bedtime strategy for the kids and a self–reflection technique for Dillon and his dad.
There is always hope and the Denton family is no exception. They worked hard but they are not out of the woods yet. I am pleased that they were both willing give of themselves and to keep their marriage and family together by making it a number one priority.”