You’ll need an extra place setting at the dinner table on Tuesdays at 10:00pm ET/PT 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.
Deborah opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about going into ‘lockdown’ with the Zurlinden family. The Virginia-based wife, mother and author, who boasts more than 20 years experience in early childhood education opens up about working with this blended family on house rules with technology, and consistency with discipline.
CBS: Please tell us about working with the Zurlinden family. How did you help this blended family set up some rules and boundaries that work for everyone?
DT: “Jay is the biological father to the girls and Jayden and Cassie is Brayden’s biological mother. This is a blended family that is a challenge to make come together, and stay together, as blended families have one of the highest divorce rates.
To add to the strain Jay and Cassie, while together for 4 years, are making it official and getting married in less than 30 days! It’s a complicated household where the children have all had to deal with the absence of biological parents, along with some severe health issues at young ages. Jayden is already a cancer survivor, and Kylie has had to deal with chronic kidney disease.
I quickly identified some specific issues that I needed to fix in order for this household to come together as one, loving family:
After the lockdown and takeaway of their overwhelming pile of electronic devices and video games, I helped Jay understand what Cassie went through everyday, and what he was avoiding by turning the tables on him in his own wrestling ring. The outcome was one of the most heartfelt and emotional apologies I have ever seen.
I put in house rules for the boys and girls, including no TV at bedtime and consistency when it came to discipline. I implemented the calm down corner for the boys and Positive Punishment for the girls. I then worked on bringing Jayden and Brayden closer together by having them go on a scavenger hunt and having Cassie and the girls bond in a way that should have started years ago. I ended things with them all developing, and committing to, a series of Blended Family Vows in advance of their wedding.
Overall, this was a challenging transformation for everyone but I see a new sense of commitment from a once absent Jay, relief for a once beaten down Cassie, a real opportunity for togetherness in this blended family.”