This Tuesday (December 20) don’t miss Lifetime’s newest series, America’s Supernanny, starring childcare expert Deborah Tillman. This episode features the largest family Deborah has worked with. With ten kids and two more due at any moment, Deborah must help mom Nicole and dad Sam break the cycle of bullying and violence that has developed in their home. Deborah has to stop the parents from spanking – and even from using a belt!
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 Carzell family.
CBS: Tell us about working with the Carzell family. They have a whopping TEN kids, with 2 more due soon! We hear their busy household has a problem with bullying and violence. How did you help the parents set up the appropriate boundaries and consequences with the children to end this behavior?
DT: “The Carzell family was one of the biggest families I have ever worked with.
One of the major issues I experienced with them was the constant bullying and violent behavior that the kids exhibited toward each other. Bullying, calling each other derogatory names and violence was not going to be tolerated so I showed the parents how to implement positive house rules and appropriate discipline in the household. For the younger children, the “calm down corner” was used and for the older children, I used “lose what you like.”
Once discipline was in place, it was important for me to get the children to stop bullying and being verbally abusive so I did put in place a Family Circle Technique in order to get and keep everyone connected and realizing that each member of the family was valuable and had unique gifts and talents that contributed to making a “family.”
I also had Nevada who received the brunt of the bullying write a letter to her mom and dad telling them how she felt when the other children hurt her so that the parent’s would begin to take responsibility for managing and correcting their children’s behavior.
I showed the children how to be accountable toward one another by using a Role Model Technique so that they would not have to go outside of the house to find a positive person to look up to.
Since the children had no idea how to play appropriately, I put the Team Games Technique in place to teach them outdoor games and activities while being active and positive at the same time.
After getting the children to get along and play together, I needed them to learn compassion and empathy so I took the children to an adult community center where they could learn how to give of themselves and become caring and compassionate human beings.”
CBS: And we hear you also stopped the parents from spanking and using the belt with their children! How did you get the parents to stop their own violent behavior? Were the parents able to see that they are role-modeling violent behavior, and therefore normalizing a violent household?
DT: “The techniques would have not been as effective if I did not have the complete cooperation from the parents. I actually began the techniques with the parents because I wanted them to realize that they as parents needed to be Leading by Example and that they MUST model the behavior they would like for their children to have. Thus, I made the parents sign a Parent Contract. They had to promise to stop spanking with a belt or any other objects, speaking down to and yelling at their children. The parent’s reviewed the contract with the children so that everyone would be held responsible and the children would know that a positive change was going to take place.
By the end of the week, I was excited to see that this house became a home and the Carzells became a “true family.” It was just in time because during my last day, mom went into labor. Now this family can welcome two more “little” ones with loving arms, a disciplined house and a positive spirit.”