Jo visits the Italian-American Bruno family in Trinity, Florida where John (48) and Denise (38) have four daughters: 15-year-old Mariah, 13-year-old Taylor, 6-year-old Isabella (or “Bella”) and 4-year-old Samantha (or “Sam”).
Mariah was born with cerebral palsy and wasn’t expected to live long after birth; she gets daily occupational therapy from her mom, but wishes to spend more time with her dad.
Taylor is at odds with John because of her punk goth-like style and John ridicules the way she dresses and the way she wears her hair, which causes a strained relationship between the two of them.
Meanwhile, Bella and Sam lash out at their mom, Denise with their aggressive behavior and outbursts. Mom needs time for Mariah’s therapy, but Bella and Sam demand their attention. Sam also whines constantly and Bella is very sassy.
Can Jo help mend Mariah and Taylor’s relationship with their dad and help Denise control her youngest daughters’ behavior?
As soon as Jo walks in and meets the family, Denise and Mariah get ready to do her physical therapy, seeing that she's a girl with Cerebral Palsy. Jo found out that Mariah had surgery on her right hip. Like always, Denise and Mariah try their best with this therapy. Mariah likes to be with her mom. Denise barely finished doing therapy with Mariah, when Isabella kicked off and fought with her mother. She hit her mom with a whip during a naughty chair timeout. Then, Denise takes Bella to her room, which she starts to kick the door. Then, Denise is physically shaking. According to Submission Reel, the relationship between Taylor and John was really strained, so she asked the older girls about it. Mariah says she spends less time with her dad than she wants. She wants him to hold her more. Taylor and Jo play pool together. Jo and Taylor have a talk about the strain in her and her dad's relationship. Taylor says he's very invalidating and negative, especially about her hair and the way she looks. Taylor is not sure if it will come as far as being able to open up to her father. Jo says that she's only doing this for love and approval. Not long after Taylor's time with Jo, she observes exactly how Taylor and her dad are when they are together. They argue about her hair because Taylor is tired of waiting for a response. John talks to his wife about the situation and tells her to tell Taylor "no". John says, "You just said this morning, 'Dad if you let me color my hair, I won't say, 'I hate you'. I won't disrespect you.'" Taylor says it's false because her dad is still rude to her regardless of her actions or words. John gives in and says to do it, hoping her hair "falls out". The yelling is Mariah's biggest pet peeve. Jo says, "These guys just can't go on like this. It's really damaging! And I'm ready to sit John and Denise down and sort this out now!"
Jo compliments how magnificent their house is. Things are beautiful outside. Jo's not so sure about the inside. Jo starts off by talking about the way Bella and Sam are aggressive towards Denise and how they smart mouth her. Jo was in no way pleased. Jo also talks about John's relationship with Taylor (because that doesn't exist). She mentions how Taylor hears from her that she doesn't look beautiful, her clothes attract negative attention. Jo also asks how much longer he is going to treat his daughter like this before she turns 15 or 16 and John has no idea where she is or whom she is hanging out with. She also talks about his relationship with the next teen (Mariah). Jo wants to see bonding, not stuck to that wheelchair. She says how Mariah wants her dad to hold her.
Denise and Bella fight even before Jo started teaching. Jo immediately proceeds to the Naughty Mat with Bella. For two and a half hours, Bella eventually stays on the Mat. And then, Jo helps Mom complete the technique. Jo films Taylor airing out her feelings about her dad and how he is demeaning to her. Bella and Sam were expected to practice a play, but wanted their mom's attention, but Denise had to do therapy with Mariah. The younger girls practice, and after Denise and Mariah are done, the whole family watch the play all together. John looks at his daughter on camera airing out her feelings about her, which hit him hard and make him feel guilty. Taylor and John make up, they cuddle frequently and it was like this weight had been lifted off her shoulders completely. Finally, Jo suggests that Mariah and John take a dip in the pool just for Mariah and John to do things together. They do and Mariah really liked doing it. For John liked that too. After that, Jo leaves the family by themselves for three days.
Sam helps her mother set up therapy with Mariah, but Bella and Sam bombard her for her attention. Jo says how that space should be respected, and that there should be consequences if it isn't.
Before viewing the video, John thought that he and Taylor did pretty well with painting. As they view it. Taylor and John communicate how the walls should be and they're on the same page. Jo gives John a lot of praise.
With Denise already irate, she puts Bella on the Naughty Chair and after she apologizes. Bella, did stay on the chair for her time and didn't escape the chair, but mom airs out her anger, still. Jo says how at that point it didn't work because mom was just so angry with her, but really herself.
Again, Denise and Mariah have to do therapy and again, Bella and Sam want her attention. Sam throws a temper tantrum and kicks her mother and she gives her a warning about her behavior. The family spend quality time together playing shuffleboard. This time, John helps Mariah when it's her turn. The family sit down for dinner as Jo's about to leave. Sam breaks down in tears saying goodbye to Jo, but she says she won't be completely out of her life. And then they eat together.
- John Bruno, 48
- Denise Bruno, 38
- Mariah Bruno, 15
- Taylor Bruno, 13
- Isabella Bruno, 6
- Samantha Bruno, 4
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