Both families were extreme- even more so than usual.
I read the military wife's manual (they have them on the show's website) - they have some rules I would call unduly harsh and restrictive.
For example, the 14 year old girl is not allowed to spend the night at a friend's house if that friend has an older brother. They also mention having a two-headed shower so the boys shower together and the girls shower together. I think that at the age these children are, they are entitled to some privacy in regards to their own bodies.
Chores and responsibilites are essential for kids. But it should not be the focus of the kids' life and the kids need socialization with kids outside their family. Kids also need time to be kids - they have their whole lives to be responsible adults. On the other hand, the Bittners need to get those lazy girls up and give them some responsibility.
The Bittners were also ridiculousl. Cindy's manual said that her 14 year old daughter's boyfriend stayed over. That's crazy! And while I think a teenager has earned the rights to a little autonomy as far as clothing goes - they don't need to dress too old for their age either. That clothing is simply not appropriate for a child. The 18 year old needs to find a job or start attending school. That family does not do the children any favors by making them completely dependent and unmotivated.
The food choices for both families I thought were needlessly extreme. At least the military mom sorta eased the Bittners into rules. And the Bittners could definitely benefit from structure and limits.
Cindy's rules were just designed to piss Paul off. She wasn't interested in bringing about a lasting change in that family. When he finally lightened up a little with the pinata - she was visibly ticked off that he was having fun. Cindy is a miserable woman who has to have her own way. Melissa strikes me as a miserable woman unable to vocalize what her own way might be. One home is too quiet, the other too loud. Steve struck me as a saint and at least tried to get Cindy's daughters to accept the rules initially. Paul was so unyielding and domineering that I dont' think he is capable of treating a woman like an equal. I think that notion is fundamentally repugnant to him.
I'm beginning to think the main point of these shows is to make the rest of us feel better about that fact that our families fall somwhere in the middle of this nonsense.