‘Supernanny’ to feature Chandler parents - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

‘Supernanny’ to feature Chandler parents

September 24th, 2020 SanTan Sun News
‘Supernanny’ to feature Chandler parents

By Kevin Reagan
Staff Writer

A Chandler family will be sharing their struggles with raising four children under age 4 by participating in an upcoming episode of the long-running reality show “Supernanny.”

Jo Frost, the show’s host and child-rearing expert, visited Amy and Justin Sutherland’s home in February to offer some parenting advice.

The Sutherlands’ episode will be featured in the show’s season finale Sept. 22 and the family hopes viewers will pick up some useful parenting tips by tuning in.

“I’m just super hopeful it’s relatable issues that other families are having and hopefully they can learn something from this because it was so helpful for us,” said Amy.

The Sutherlands are long-time Chandler residents – having originally met as teenagers at Santan Junior High – and have four children: Jett, 4, Rio, 2, and 16-month-old twins Tex and Crosby.

Amy said that before Frost’s visit she was starting to feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of taking care of so many young children. Her husband had been working long hours and the family’s sleeping schedule had gone off track.

There were nights when the children wouldn’t get to bed until 11 p.m., the mother recalled, because she and her husband would want to spend time together as a family.

But the downside of that arrangement left the whole family feeling irritable, drained and joyless.

“We were all exhausted and frustrated,” Sutherland said.

The family also was still recovering from a traumatic event in 2018 that resulted in their daughter, Rio, spending a week in the hospital for burn injuries.

Amy had been bathing Rio in the kitchen sink when the child sneakily turned off the faucet’s “cold” handle, causing the water’s temperature to suddenly get extremely hot.

The child ended up sustaining burns on her belly and legs and had to be rushed to the hospital. She stopped breathing for a brief period of time and had to be resuscitated by doctors, her mom recalled.

“It was a very scary thing,” the mother said.

Rio quickly recovered but her mother was left feeling overprotective of all her children and hesitated to leave them under the watch of another person.

When Frost came to observe the family’s dynamics, she noticed how Amy was reluctant to accept any help in caring for the children and advised the mother on how to relinquish her fears.

Amy said she realized she had to eventually accept the reality that accidents happen and to not obsess over trying to prevent them.

Perhaps the greatest advice Frost gave the couple involved time management.

The nanny put together schedules to help the parents better prioritize the needs of their children and to get them used to a more stable sleeping pattern.

Amy said she and her husband rarely had a moment alone together before Frost implemented these schedules since there would always be at least one kid sleeping with them in their bed.

By putting the children on their own sleeping schedule, the parents discovered they could have their own time together.

“The reduction of stress has been huge for us,” Amy said.

The parents also learned how each of their children require different types of attention. They discovered their oldest son may need more praise than his siblings while their daughter may need more boundaries to tame her headstrong nature.

Frost’s visit came at a time when the Sutherlands were about to spend much more time together self-isolating from their home. A few weeks after the camera crew left, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and families across Arizona were told to stay home.

Amy said she was thankful to have already gotten Frost’s advice because it made her family’s quarantine more productive and harmonious.

“If I had not had all these tips and tricks and tools — it would have been a completely different experience,” she said.

The “Supernanny” episode will air on the Lifetime network at 8 p.m. on Sept. 22.