You’ll need an extra place setting at the dinner table on Tuesdays this year because America’s Supernanny Deborah Tillman is moving in! In the second season of Lifetime’s hit unscripted series, now titled America’s Supernanny: Family Lockdown, Deborah will live with families for one week. The premiere of America’s Supernanny: Family Lockdown airs Tuesday, January 8, at 10:00pm ET/PT.
Deborah opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about going into ‘lockdown’ with families and the biggest issues she came across last season that revolved around over-use of technology, lack of respect, and issues with boundaries. The Virginia-based wife, mother and author, who boasts more than 20 years experience in early childhood education opens up about working with the Guido family on tonight’s premiere episode.
CBS: Tell us what we can expect in the upcoming season of America’s Supernanny: Family Lockdown. What kind of challenges will we see this season?
DT: “What viewers can expect to see is a plethora of techniques for families to learn from and be empowered with. Some of the challenges for the families is that I put them under ‘lockdown.’ What that means is that I take their life away as they know it. We stay in the house unless I have a technique to teach outside of the home with them. I confiscate any and all things that are a distraction: cell phones, computers, cigarettes, alcohol etc., so that I have their undivided attention while I am teaching. And to top it all off, I am spending the night in their homes.”
CBS: After last season’s America’s Supernanny, what issues seemed to be at the forefront for most American families? What are some of your best tips on these common issues?
DT: “One issue that seems to be in the forefront for most American families is the abuse of technology and violent video games.
- Set limits and guidelines for using technology;
- There should be no technology time for young children during school nights;
- For tweens and pre-teens, one hour per night is sufficient only after the children have communicated with the family;
- Computers and cell phones need to be taken away at bedtime;
- Doors should be open while children are on the computer;
- Parents need to know the password.
Technology is not harmful in and of itself. However, when it is abused to the point where families are not communicating or strengthening their relationships, there needs to be boundaries in place.
Another issue is that children and parents need to tame their tongues. There is a blatant lack of respect from children and parents toward each other.
Best tip: Parents should have zero tolerance for disrespect. Never allow children to get away with disrespecting their parents. Teach children choices and consequences when they are very young. That way, they begin to understand what will be tolerated and what will not. Parents should be modeling the behavior they want. Therefore, if parents want their children to be respectful then they must also be respectful.
Another issue is that moms are trying to be the ‘cool mom.’ They want to fit in and be their child’s friend rather then their disciplinarian. That causes problems in the relationship.
A mother’s first priority is to be the best mom she can be not attempt to be the ‘cool mom’ who is afraid to discipline her children. Become more concerned about leading, guiding, training and teaching your child. The ‘friendly’ part will come when they become adults.”
CBS: Please tell us about working with the Guido family. How did you help Melissa work on structure and boundaries with the twins, as well as Gavin’s anger issues?
DT: “Melissa was a single parent and had a tremendous amount of guilt that she carried around inside of her day in and day out which kept her from thinking and believing that she could be a better parent.
With the Guido family, desperate times called for desperate measures. The first thing I needed to do was to send the other family members away. The family members who Melissa relied so heavily on kept her from stepping up as a parent.
After I put Melissa and the boys under my lockdown, I confiscated all of their electronic devices. The reason I took their technology is because no one wanted to spend time together. They were escaping to their technology.
Next, I put house rules and discipline in place for the 6 year-old twins, Mateo and Genaro, as well as Gavin so that they all knew what Melissa would and would not tolerate.
I began at the top with Melissa. I had her take inventory of her life in the Circle of Life technique. As she began to change her mindset and not see herself as a victim, she was able to change her perspective and see herself becoming a better mother.
In order to help Melissa parent better, she needed to stop focusing on the negative and find ways to be positive. Thus, I had her start her day and end her day on a positive note.
Once Melissa began to change, I worked with Gavin to provide him with a positive male role model. Because Gavin loved music, I took him to a recording studio where he got the opportunity to record a rap song. Gavin needs a positive outlet where he can channel his passion and anger toward positive activities.
In order to build stronger relationships in the Guido household, I worked with the entire family on ways to spend quality time together. In addition, I had Melissa and Gavin write down one way each day that they could improve their relationship and then act on it.
As Melissa began to change how she dealt with the boys, she got better at discipline, consistency, and follow-through.
One of the biggest challenges for Melissa, a cancer survivor, was to give up cigarettes despite the fact that her son couldn’t bear watching her smoke. So before I left I asked her to dig deep into her soul and make up her mind that her life was much more than the pack of cigarettes she smokes each day. She finally made a commitment to at least put down a date to start the process.
I believe everything happens for a reason. It is not that we go through challenges and adversity in our lives. The real test of life is how we choose to react to those challenges. If Melissa continues to put her best foot forward, she can change the course of her life and her entire family. My prayer is that she becomes strong enough to do so.”