As previously mentioned, tonight's episode of Supernanny featured a family on the brink of divorce. Mum and Dad have five little ones, all under the age of 9. The oldest two are Mom's kids from a previous marriage, although their biological dad is never mentioned. The two oldest boys refer to their stepdad as "Dad" and he doesn't talk about the older boys any differently than the younger ones, although they did have to develop a closer relationship throughout the show.
One of the telling things about this show was that the tension between Mum and Dad was one of the key factors in the boys' bad behavior. The children were out of control before Jo arrived, but Jo's first observation was not about the naughty children; it was about the palpable anger between Mum and Dad. Mum had filed for divorce six months earlier, so Dad was living with a Damocles' sword over his head.
By the end of the episode, Mom handed over the divorce papers, announcing that she had withdrawn them. The oldest boy (who, remember, has already lost one dad) eagerly jumped up, a pair of scissors in his hand. Obviously, the kids knew that their family was in a precarious position and their joy at having a family that felt secure was infectious. As Jo bid Mum and Dad good-bye, they were standing together, arms around one another, peaceful looks on their faces for the first time in the hour-long program.
Good job, Jo!