This Tuesday (December 27) don’t miss Lifetime’s newest series, America’s Supernanny, starring childcare expert Deborah Tillman. This episode features the Gregg family-of-seven. While the parents, Traci and Bill, split shifts between their growing business and their five children, it seems the result is a strained marriage and a house of havoc.
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 Gregg family.
CBS: Tell us about working with the Gregg family. While the parents split shifts between their growing business and their children, it seems the result is a strained marriage and a house of havoc. Tell us about some of the techniques you used with the Gregg family to bring some boundaries and a sense of peace and order into their household.
DT: “The Gregg family consisted of 5 children, including six year old triplet boys a 4 year old boy that the parents considered a problem child and 1 year old Scarlet.
Traci and Bill the parent’s ran a café together and their split work schedules and business like approach to their marriage had a negative impact on the family as a whole.
Traci did not set limits and boundaries for the children. None of the kids listened to her. She couldn’t even take the kids to the grocery store because she was afraid of that they would run away like they had three years before.
Dad was clueless and thought he was helping by getting the boys wound up during his exercise regiment but in fact made things worse. Thus, bedtime was outrageous!
Some of the techniques I used were to put house rules and discipline in place. Four year old, Armani challenged both mom and dad in the calm down corner.
For bedtime, I used the three B’s technique which is bath, brush teeth, book and sweet dreams. I also told the boys that they had to sleep in their own beds instead of sleeping with their parents and running back and forth to different beds.
To prevent the boys from running away outdoors, I put in the OUT OF BOUNDS technique where the children had to respond by stopping to a listening bell.
The fact that Tracy had not taken the boys to the grocery store in three years was an issue so I used the STRANGER DANGER/ BUDDY UP Technique. The technique had multiple parts to it. The boys received buddy belts which gave the boys a sense of responsibility and a reason to behave. Next, I put them with “buddies” so that they would look out for each other and helped mom keep track of them. The boys get a reward and stripes if they come back home with their belt still on. The boys did a fantastic job!
I noticed that when Armani was put in the calm down corner, he would use profanity. So I tackled that by creating an Armani’s feelings board. Dad confessed that he felt responsible for Armani’s cursing which led to a technique that would help Armani AND Dad stop the bad language. Armani would be taught how to use good words instead of bad words and got praised and encouraged whenever he used an appropriate word when he was angry.
It is difficult to help a family when the marriage is falling apart so I put in the IN THE LOOP technique which gave mom and dad the opportunity to communicate about everything except their business.
Overall, the Greggs showed a lot of improvement.
Mom and dad are talking again, and realizing that their household is more important than their business.
Dad is more consistent and now models the behavior he wants for his family. Mom is a stronger mother and stopped being afraid of the boys. Yes, she is still outnumbered but she is now in control and that makes all of the difference in the world.”