The 7 Little Johnstons always manage to smile and keep things fun for their family, even through struggles. In this week’s April 14 episode, “We Came from Uranus,” Jonah sees the family therapist to sort out some of his academic and sibling struggles with Anna. The entire clan of 7 Little Johnstons learns some surprising geography about their history, and dad and Alex made a little more schooling in the travels of Christopher Columbus.
The ‘7 Little Johnstons’ move forward with Jonah
Trent Johnston always tells it like it is, and he was very straight about procrastination and laziness becoming a destructive pattern for his eldest son. At the same time, Amber and Trent both agreed that there was a tremendous,,ent-up anger inside Jonah. The years of witnessing his parents’ attention being consumed by Anna’s numerous academic and social struggles, as Monsters & Critics reviewed on April 14, took a toll.
Jonah is responding in a more accountable way for his failure in math class that caused him to be disinvited back to college. Amber related to Trent during their late-night chat in bed that visits with Dr. Galen Cole should come first, before plotting a new course for Jonah. The family is considering a technical school program with certification in 1-2 years over further academic courses. This will give Jonah a sense of accomplishment and success to keep him on the right course. Trent also feels that Jonah needs the structure of a part-time job with the school. Jonah agrees.
During his first session with “Dr. Galen,” as Trent calls him, Jonah was open about feeling overwhelmed by his sister’s restrictions from school and driving. Those punishments turned out to be punishments for the whole family, as Amber admitted. Jonah had to play chauffeur for Anna and the younger children, and the therapist noted that many parents “lean on the eldest child” for help. The eldest son reflected that if he could have changed anything over the past few years, it would be his responsibilities with Anna and the younger children. Jonah described how much better Anna was doing now.
Dr. Galen asked Jonah to envision himself walking across a stage to receive a diploma. The therapist stressed that embedding this mental image should be a constant guide for future progress. It was obvious that Jonah felt relief in opening up with someone other than mom and dad, and Trent and Amber are committed to moving forward without punishing Jonah for the past. Trent truly trusts Dr. Galen, and Amber insisted that studies and work would be Jonah’s priorities this time around. Everyone is rooting for Jonah and the 7 Little Johnstons.
Unexpected pleasures with pottery creations
It was another scorching summer in Forsyth, Georgia. Amber always thrives on keeping her bunch busy, and the 7 Little Johnstons decided to do their best with a first try at pottery. Alex was delighted with his “pretty good bowl” and the praise from the instructor. The cutest aspect of the whole experience was seeing Trent try to re-create the potter’s wheel scene from “Ghost” with Amber.
He’s got everything that Patrick Swayze had when it comes to romance, but just not enough arm length. Anna’s creation resembled either a baseball game favorite or a private part of the male anatomy, however, the beholder chooses to see it. Amber was pleased with her uniquely shaped dish as well.
Surprising ancestry facts for the family of ‘7 Little Johnstons’
Another summer pastime pursuit that Amber Johnston planned was tracing the roots of each family member. A professional genealogist came to collect some family information. The facts were much easier to get than a proper amount of saliva in the tubes. It was a riot to watch everyone’s mouth go dry as they attempted to reach the black line. Alex seemed to have the best technique of all of the 7 Little Johnstons with this task.
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Alex really hoped he was part Italian because nobody loves Italian food like he does. Emma has always assumed that at least some of her heritage rose from Africa since her skin tone is darker than Alex. Amber described how these discussions came up at least “once or twice a week” between the kids. Mom always assumed that she was part German and Italian, based on family stories. Trent and Amber became interested in discovering their heritage after seeing Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty on a trip to New York. The 7 Little Johnstons have always made their travels into learning opportunities.
The genealogist disappointed the 7 Little Johnstons in that regard. Neither mom nor dad had any relatives to pass through Ellis Island in their American journey. Trent’s Georgia roots had English sprouts along with Scottish, and Amber, too, shared Anglican beginnings. Each child read their own heritage discoveries, and both Emma and Alex were fully Asian, from China and Korea. Elizabeth, Anna, and Jonah all had different percentages, but very similar family genetics. Amber explained that even biological brothers and sisters can inherit more from one parent than the other.
What about Christopher Columbus?
Something hilarious happened when the expert told Amber that her heritage traced back to the Mayflower Compact, which became our nation’s first set of rules. Producers asked Trent about the Mayflower, and he said it was the ship that brought Christopher Columbus to America. Alex, too, was sure of the same. Elizabeth and Jonah recalled the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. They also remembered the pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower, but the 7 Little Johnstons’ dad didn’t ever seem swayed by history.
Somehow, no one thinks any of this will really change Alex’s menu preferences. Emma will just have to dream about being a princess from the Ming Dynasty instead of an African queen. The 7 Little Johnstons are blessed with the heritage of love, no matter what the maps say.
7 Little Johnstons airs Tuesday on TLC.
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