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Episode summary

Jo Frost travels to Arizona and meets Holly (26) and Jimmy (28) who have three small boys: James (7), Tyler (5) and Ryan (2).

Family members

Plot

Observation

As soon as Jo arrives, Tyler goes outside to pedal in his go-kart while James and Ryan play video games with their dad. Jo went outside then caught Tyler cycling on the road which made her worried and she brought Tyler in the house to discuss the issue. Holly told Jo that she let James and Tyler out but not Ryan.

Video Game Segment

James and Tyler head to their friend Colton's house and Jo follows them. During an interview segment, Holly says that James and Tyler like to go to their friend's house and play games that they’re "not supposed to play". Jo asks James to give her a case for the video game he is holding. Jo points out the "T" rating and the "violence" part of the rating. She asks James and Colton what the "violence" part is there for and James responds, "When they say it's 'violent', it's not really 'violent'. They're just trying to get you not to play it." Tyler then says, "she's lying." During an interview segment, James says "In video games, you race, shoot, and, um...tackle...you pop 'em in the head!". Tyler shoots something at Colton. James giggles and continues during the interview, "Really, you do." Later, Jo asks James what "10+" means in the "E10" rating. James replies with "You have to be 10 and under." Jo says that the sign is a "plus", and then points out that James is too young. James asserts that the rating means 10 and under. Jo says during a narration segment that she knew James knew what some of the ratings were but not the others, and that had her concerned. Jo later finds a game with an "M" rating on it. Jo says during a narration segment that the "M" rating meant "Mature". James tells Jo that it's a "very, very, very hard game." In a narration segment, Jo points out in a shocked tone that the 7-year-old boys were playing games that were rated "T", "10+", and "M". After a quick segment of the kids slapping each other, Jo continues in the narration segment, "You won't want kids this young watching an R-rated movie." Jo continues to say that it's a "scary thing" and that parents need to be in control of these situations. Tyler continues to shoot stuff at Colton.

The boys were acting up in the house, Dad made empty threats to them and lied about it, so Jo pulled the boys outside to ask why they lie all the time.

During dinner time, Dad was in a frustrated mood and takes his anger on the family, especially on Ryan. Dad saw Ryan not eating his food, took his food away and he threw his plastic forks at him. Dad hit him back with it and swore "I'm going to f****** throw it away!". Therefore, Jo confronted Dad to leave the table and then he became emotional when discussing about his past of not knowing his own father until aged 14 and the importancy of him having a relationship with his sons.

Parents Meeting

On the same night, Jo sits the parents down. Jo voices her concerns about letting the kids out of the house and Holly says it is not a busy street. She then brings up the topic of the boys playing video games which contain violence and "strong language"; Mom says they cannot control what the boys do at their neighbors' house. Lastly, she demands the parents that they stop the biting, hitting and kicking and Holly admits she hits the kids in the mouth and that Ryan breaks their spirits.

Teaching

Jo introduces the House Rules for the kids, then she put the family into the test by taking them into an antiques store. Ryan breaks something and is placed on the chair for 2 minutes. Holly finds the confidence to take the boys out in public on her own.

James and Tyler participate in rock climbing to show they can get on together and support one other.

Video game ratings

During this segment, Jo teaches the family about the video game rating system. She mentions during a talking head segment that only 21% of kids say that their parents have rules regarding ratings. First, Jo pulls out a paper showing the "E" ratings and asks what "E" means. James answers "Everyone". Jo then pulls out a paper with the "E10" rating and asks the family what it means. Tyler answers "E10 and up" and James answers "You have to be 10, but you can't be under 10." Holly mentions during a talking head segment that she wasn't aware of the "E10" rating. Jo puts up a paper with the "T" rating, and Jimmy responds with "Teenagers, 13 and up." Jo then holds up the paper with the "M" rating and Holly answers "M for mature, meaning a game not found in our house." James says "I played an M game, but I don't know any more." Jo asks James what the M game was like, and James answers with "Shooting, cussing, robbing, and killing". Jo then asks James what the "best" game rating for him is and starts to shuffle the papers. James answers, "I wanna play one Teen game - it's not even THAT bad." Holly tells Jo to let James read the back of the "T" rating paper, then tells James to read it. James reads, "May contain violence, suggestive themes, minimal blood." Holly asks James, "'Kay, so does that sound like something you should be playing?" She continues while pointing at the paper, "Do we want any of these things in our house?" James responds with "It's just a game!" and Holly responds with "But it's not when you act it out." Jo says during a narration segment that teaching Jimmy and Holly about the game ratings made them realize that they needed to "pack up those T games right away", and when James realized what that meant, he started to get upset. Holly tells the family that the "T" paper should have a big red "X" over it since the games "weren't allowed in their house or anyone else's house". She later says to pick out the games that the boys thought were allowed in their house, and James replies with "Oh, Great!" In an interview segment, James says "When Jo showed me the ratings for the video games, I didn't really like it. I used to be able to play Teen games, BUT NOW I CAN'T." During the segment, James is shown sulking. After the segment, Holly continues, "T for Teen is out." James says that "All the fun games are gone!" and tosses the paper onto Jimmy's lap. James continues, "I can't even play my favorite game!" Holly reassures him, "You only got a couple years - it'll FLY by, I promise you! Before you know it, you'll be 20 wishing you were 10 again, 'kay?" Jo tells the family that she feels that a lot of kids get exposed to so much so early, but while people are in their own homes and they have communication with neighbors and friends, they can do as much as they can to control the situation. In an interview segment, Jo says that parents are ultimately the one's responsible for controlling what their kids play - whether it's at a neighbor's house or their own home. Jo continues to say that when Holly didn't know how to discuss the video game issues with Laurie, that she took the liberty to invite Laurie to Holly's home so they could all discuss the issue. She tells Holly and Laurie that what they decide to do with their children is one thing or another, and then asks how they would handle the possibility of James being able to play games rated "T" and M". Holly says that she won't let Colton play any games that Laurie doesn't want him to play. Laurie says, "Right, same with you guys - I won't let him play until we talk to you and Jimmy." Jo asks Laurie and Holly if they have each other's number, and the two proceed to exchange numbers. Jo tells them that the nice thing is that they have more support. Holly says during an interview segment that she and Laurie will converse more often so that they know how the kids are behaving at each house.

Jo noticed that James was upset about his Dad being gone and thought he only cared about his work. The boys spend time with their dad by playing football.

Parents Evaluation

Clip 1

Holly places on separate walls of what game ratings they are allowed to play and not play. This time, James finally gives in.

Clip 2

James leave the backyard and climb over the wall. Holly asks James if he left the backyard and said "No!", and asks Tyler to find out the truth though the same response. All of a sudden, James admitted that he left the backyard and he had lied to her.

Clip 3

James tells Tyler, "Smell your own butt crack!". Holly reminds James that she just warned him and she punishes him by putting soap in his mouth.

This leads to Jo demanding an explanation from Holly why she used soap. Holly claims she didn't use a whole pump. When Jo showed the labels of soap to prove it is a toxin, Holly says that "It's disgusting and they don't want to do it again!" and after Jo points out that soap has never worked in discipling children, Holly then cursed at Jo calling her a b**** three times and then walked out of the meeting. Jimmy fetches her and persuades her to come in while she was hiding in her car.

Reinforcement

Jo gave a reason to Holly why it is not necessary to disclipine her children with using toxins. There was perfect opportunity for Holly to disclipine James when he took a balloon and lied about it, he was placed on the Naughty Step for 7 minutes.

After that, Jo leaves the family.

Trivia

  • This episode was filmed in October of 2007 as stated in the 100th Episode Special.

Video


Season 4
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