On the Wednesday, January 22 episode of the new season of Supernanny on Lifetime, Jo Frost helps out two parents whose tragic loss shaped their entire parenting style. Dane and Nicole Ostler now find themselves at a loss with how to regain control of their sons Jax, 6, and Kaydin, 4. Not only that, but Dane’s job as a wildland firefighter has him away from their home for days at a time, leaving Nicole as a single parent and in need of some help.
Heavy got the chance to sit down with the Ostler family ahead of their episode to talk about their experience with Supernanny, which has ultimately changed their lives in countless ways.
Braylin’s Death Has Affected Everything
“We had one other son who passed away. We were 24 weeks and five days pregnant. I had placenta previa and so I went into full labor. We actually got to deliver him, got to hold him for about two hours until he passed away,” an emotional Nicole told us about their experience with their first son, Braylin.
So that loss has affected their parenting style, particularly for Nicole.
“I’m super protective of these boys,” she said of her other two sons. “That’s one of my struggles in parenting, like I don’t want to be mean. I’m wanting to protect every ounce of their being.”
But she said that one of the first things Nanny Jo taught her was “to be able to let them do things and not be such a helicopter parent.”
Nicole said that Nanny Jo also helped her realize how much she needed to talk about the loss of Braylin even so many years later.
“I’m opening up about it … just being able to do that more in allowing people to ask me questions, I feel that it helps me when I’m talking to somebody else about it or reaching out to somebody,” said Nicole, adding, “So [Jo] just kind of helped me process that, recognize my signs as to why I’m the way I am with my boys that are here on earth with us.”
Jo was also instrumental in helping Dane work through his guilt for being gone so much.
“I always felt bad because I’m always gone. I never get to go to his gravesite, you know, I felt awful because I never get to see him,” said Dane. “And Jo was like, ‘You need to stop because he’s here. You don’t have to go [to his grave]. He’s here with you.’ So that helped.”
Both Nicole and Dane Are Seeking Loss Support Systems
One thing Jo pointed out was that while it’s great the two of them can talk about their loss with each other, it’s important to talk to someone outside the family too.
“I just suppressed it and that was it. It was over. It was done. And since [Jo came] I’ve been more willing to talk about it, more open to it,” said Dane. “I was just telling Nicole the other day, I forced myself to listen to songs that make me feel emotional or whatever. And so it’s been cathartic to be able to open up … it’s been good to be able to talk about it more and feel those emotions that go with it. And it’s been a lot easier to deal with since Jo was in our house.”
Nicole said that they’re looking into bereavement counseling, but it’s been hard to find the right person to talk to. But they are looking and she actually thinks a person she’s going to see in the near future might be the one.
“I still want to go and get help. I still have some deep things that I need to obviously process,” said Nicole. “So absolutely I’m on board for that. I just haven’t found the right person to — you have to have that special connection to be able to open up to somebody with that kind of situation … I’m hoping this one that I have lined up is going to be a great fit for me.”
They’re Working Hard Every Day to Use the Techniques Jo Showed Them
Nicole and Dane wanted to make sure viewers know that it’s not like Jo breezes into town and then the families she helps never see her again. She checked in with them a few weeks after she filmed their episode to see how everything was going and if any new concerns had arisen.
“And she told us that if anything comes up in the future, just to give her a ring,” said Nicole, “She said, ‘I’m not just here for the moment. I’m here for the lifetime.’ And she called about a week or so ago just to check in and see how things were going.”
“There have definitely been ups and downs [since Jo came],” Nicole added. “I mean, we’re not perfect. I literally still have her rules for timeout, which we filmed in August, I still have them to this day on my fridge where she taped them … we still have little setbacks every once in a while.”
But Nicole said there have been “huge improvements” and Dane added, “We used to have bad days or three days or a week. Now it’s bad moments.”
Supernanny airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.