Cover image for I refuse to raise a brat : straightforward advice on parenting in an age of overindulgence
I refuse to raise a brat : straightforward advice on parenting in an age of overindulgence
Henner, Marilu.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Regan Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xix, 203 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ769 .H498 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ769 .H498 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ769 .H498 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Nobody wants to raise a brat...but the surest way to do so is by doing too much for and giving too much to your kids.

Parents often inadvertently confuse love with overindulgence. They don't want their children to suffer a moment of frustration or be deprived of any desire. But in truth, a balance of frustration tolerance and gratification is necessary to become a resilient and responsible adult.

Of course, every child is difficult on occasion, but true brats are constantly selfish, demanding, and incapable of listening. Their parents must regularly plead, cajole, and bargain with them to exert some control. So what makes a child become a brat in the first place? And what can a parent do--or not do--to keep their children from becoming brats?

Since being a mother is her most important role, renowned actress Marilu Henner has often turned to Dr. Ruth Sharon, a highly respected psychoanalyst, for advice on raising her own children. Together, in I Refuse to Raise a Brat, they have created a practical and accessible guidebook based on Dr. Sharon's fundamental observation: Adults with the greatest emotional difficulties were generally overgratified, overprotected, and overindulged as children.

Consequently, parents need to allow their children to work through their frustrations at an early age and not consistently indulge them. I Refuse to Raise a Brat will show parents how to:

Establish parent--child contracts and effective methods of discipline Handle temper tantrums, bedtime issues, sibling rivalry, lying, and more Help their children tolerate frustration and become comfortable with difficult feelings

Filled with dozens of real-life questions, practical advice, and humorous anecdotes, I Refuse to Raise a Brat is a witty and uniquely helpful resource to help parents raise secure and self-reliant children.

Author Notes

Mary Lucy Denise "Marilu" Henner was born April 6, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. Marilu Henner began taking dance classes at age 2 at her mother's school - the Henner Dance School. She was soon choreographing shows at local high schools and colleges. Marilu Henner has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), formerly referred to as hyperthymesia, and can remember the details of her everyday life since she was a small child. Henner originated the role of "Marty" in the Kingston Mines production of Grease in 1971. She played "Marty" in the national touring company alongside John Travolta, who played "Doody". Additional Broadway credits for Henner include Over Here!, with Travolta, revivals of Pal Joey, Chicago, Social Security, and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Her first film appearance was in the 1977 sleeper-hit Between the Lines, co-starring Jeff Goldblum, Lindsay Crouse, John Heard, and Jill Eikenberry. Her second role was opposite Richard Gere in the 1978 film Bloodbrothers. Henner came to national prominence with the role of Elaine Nardo in the situation comedy Taxi. She was the leading lady in the 1982 film Hammett, produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring her first husband Frederic Forrest. In 1983, Henner starred opposite Burt Reynolds in The Man Who Loved Women, directed by Blake Edwards. Reynolds then asked Henner to join the cast of Cannonball Run II later that year along with Shirley MacLaine and Dom DeLuise. She was the leading lady in the 1984 film Johnny Dangerously, playing love interest to Michael Keaton. Some of her other movies include: Perfect, LA Story, Noises Off and Man on the Mooon. Henner also guested on Match Game and Hollywood Squares. Henner has written eight books on diet and health, the most prominent being Total Health Makeover, in which she explains the virtues of a non-dairy diet in conjunction with food combining and exercise. Some of her other known titles include: Wear Your Life Well: Use What You Have To Get What You Want, Healthy Holidays, and Healthy Kids: Help Them Eat Smart and Stay Active-For Life! Her title Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Actress Henner, who entered the realm of authorship with a couple of health books, now offers her advice on parenting. A supporter of psychoanalyst Ruth Sharon, Henner's basic philosophy is that children are overindulged and thus do not develop into independent adults. Through a Q&A format, Henner relates Sharon's theories about many childhood concerns such as sleep and discipline, adding anecdotes from her own experiences with her two preschool-age sons. Like other books of this nature, this one has some nuggets of useful advice. The overall presentation, however, is impractical with its black-and-white view of parenting. While real-life examples can personalize otherwise dry information, Henner becomes grating and self-serving when talking about her own children. In addition, she provides misleading information about breastfeeding. The most interesting portions are her memories of her own colorful childhood, making the listener hope that Henner's next writing venture will be an autobiography. While this program can supplement well-rounded parenting collections, it should not replace more comprehensive manuals.--Susan McCaffrey, Haslett H.S., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Marilu HennerDr. Ruth V. Sharon
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Prefacep. xvii
Chapter 1 Twenty-Four-Hour Womb Servicep. 1
Baby's Imperfect World
Chapter 2 Independence 101p. 17
Life's First Lesson
Chapter 3 "No Screaming, No Biting, No Dairy Products, No Sugar"p. 33
The Need for Contracts
Chapter 4 "Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home"p. 49
The Contract Between Parents
Chapter 5 "Cut the Drama!"p. 63
Handling Tantrums
Chapter 6 "I'm Calling Lily!"p. 77
The Importance of Discipline
Chapter 7 He's in the Middle of His Own Moviep. 93
The Curse of "Special"
Chapter 8 "But I'm Not Tired!"p. 109
Bedtime Is Bedtime
Chapter 9 "And What Are We Going to Do About This?"p. 123
Sibling Rivalry
Chapter 10 Liar, Liar, Pants on Firep. 137
The Truth About Honesty
Chapter 11 It's a Hard-Knock Lifep. 149
Dealing with Disappointment and Unpleasant Feelings
Chapter 12 Spooky, Spunky, and Sleepyp. 163
Balanced Parenting
Appendix More Commonly Asked Questionsp. 167
Indexp. 189
About the Authorsp. 204