Jo visits the Chapman family in Elm Grove, Wisconsin where Sara (37) and Glenn (42) have five children: 17-year-old Brittany, 14-year-old Moriah, 4-year-old identical twins Ethan & Cole and 3-year-old Quinn.
For the first time, it's the oldest children asking for her help instead of the parents. With Sara and Glenn working full time, Brittany and Moriah are living a real life Cinderella story, where the girls are left to look after their brothers and do all of the chores, all while trying to go to school online. The family's hectic lifestyle has left the girls stressed out, exhausted, failing school and their relationship with Glenn quite strained.
At one point, Brittany faints in the middle of Jo's teaching. Despite that, the parents refuse to make any changes whatsoever and the girls don't trust them to try and change. Can Jo stop the neglect and make these parents take responsibility for their sons? Can she finally give these teens their lives back?
When Jo looks at the submission video, she is surprised that it's the children calling for help this time rather than the parents and is disturbed from the fact that these girls are doing all of the chores, failing school, can't be teenagers and are locked up in the house to act like parents.
When she arrives, Jo is shocked to discover what goes on in the house. Before the parents leave for work, Jo notices that the girls are preparing breakfast and spots the chore board. On the board, she notices the girls are assigned to do almost everything in the house. When Jo asks Glenn about the work his daughters do, he feels they don't get enough done and if the girls want to go out they should finish their chores.
Glenn explains that his relationship with his own parents wasn't that good because his mother was very controlling over his life. Jo is worried that Glenn is not stopping to think that he is starting to repeat that same control his parents had with his own daughters.
Sara then leaves for work and then Glenn leaves a few minutes later. Before Glenn walks out the door, Brittany has to deal with Quinn throwing a huge tantrum which Glenn describes as normal. Immediately, Jo sees how stressed these girls are and how they don't know what to do with their brothers when they throw tantrums or have mood swings.
When the girls go to school online, Jo recalls that the girls grades have been very bad and after seeing how distracting the boys can be for the girls, she then knows why. When they're trying to do their school work, she observes that Brittany and Moriah are constantly looking over their computers to check on their brothers and constantly have to fulfill the boys' needs.
Jo then has an emotional conversation with the girls about how they never get to be teenagers, are often jailed up in the house and that they are not usually very quiet and submissive like Jo sees them at the moment.Afterwards, Jo finds out that both the girls are doing work in the house 24/7 and can never stop working, or their dad will get grumpy. Even when they don't have school work, Brittany and Moriah are constantly doing chores and watching over their brothers. She also notices that the boys have constant mood swings and tantrums due to a lack of structure in the house and the girls still don't know what to do.
Meanwhile, when Sara was supposed to be home at 6 pm, a concerned Brittany had to call her, but the phone was not answered, eventually Brittany did get in touch with her mom, but she was told that she was going to arrive home about an hour later. Even when Sara is finally home, she doesn't take responsibility for her boys and Brittany and Moriah are even involved at bed time where Sara throws the towel in after Quinn has a meltdown. Jo then leaves in tears from the emotional breakage she has seen.
At the parents meeting, Jo does not sugar coat anything and goes over how the parents are selfish, lazy, expect too much from their daughters, are irresponsible with their boys and don't respect their daughters enough, which leaves the girls overloaded, stressed, falling behind in school and with broken spirits.
While both parents try to make excuses to justify what they do, Jo doesn't buy it and tells the parents that things need improvement around the house, especially having both the parents take responsibility for their boys, creating a schedule and allowing the girls to be teenagers.
One of the most important issues was making sure the girls can only be concerned about their grades since they have been failing their courses because the boys distract their sisters so much.
Jo then warns that their relationship with their daughters will go nowhere if this continues and will continue to break their daughters' spirits. Sara agrees and starts to tear up in the middle of the conversation and wants things to change.
As teaching begins, Glenn talks to his daughters about improving their relationship. Meanwhile, Jo introduces a new routine which the girls love and the parents feel that maybe hiring someone to watch over their boys would be better so that Brittany and Moriah can focus on school.
Later, Jo shows the parents a chart to display how overloaded the girls are with their chores. However, the pressure builds up so much for Brittany when Glenn starts to intimidate her about who folds the laundry, she faints in the middle of teaching. After Brittany is taken to the hospital, Jo claims that if that is not enough to wake the parents up, she doesn't know what will.
When Brittany comes back, Jo also presents the girls with their own school zone so they can start bringing their grades up. Afterwards, Jo makes a chore chart to decide who does what chores and finally relieves the girls of their overload of chores.
After Jo comes back with the test run tape, she discovers that while some areas have improved, the parents still can't communicate with their girls well enough and both of the girls believe that their parents are going to go back to their old ways when the cameras are gone.
Afterwards, Jo invites the girls and the parents to do a communication exercise. Jo leaves with a tearful goodbye.
The family update shows that the girls are finally free from their chores, unrealistic expectations, having to look after their brothers and their relationships have finally improved.
- This episode was filmed in June 2007.
- This is the first episode where the older children call for Jo Frost's help instead of the parents.
In the news
- "Fox Valley couple accused of child neglect after appearance on Super Nanny" - River Falls Journal – In this article, the parents Sara and Glenn were being accused of child neglect after this episode aired on TV and garnered thousands of negative comments. However, the edited film clips weren't enough to prove the abuse, so it appears the case against the parents was closed.
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