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on June 3, 2009
I too don't want to raise brats. I do agree that overindulging is no good and setting bounderies is right. As for the rest, I can't agree with the means. Yes, conquences are part of raising a child but there is a huge difference between unatural and natural consequences. I'm happy to say my girls(15 and 10) are doing splendid and I credit the tools of Thomas Gordon's Efficient Parenting. His method is win-win, with children learning to develop the necessary qualities to make good decisions instead of "obeying". So many "obedient" kids act out the second the leave the nest: they were "well behaved" in fear of an (unnatural) consequence but without developping the thought process to naturally prevent the bad choice. And time-outs? Really? in a room filled with gadgets or in a humiliating corner: what do you really think the child is learning from this process? Is he/she going to have flash of genius while sulking or plan ways of not getting caught next time, or learn that with autoritarian strengh comes power? It's not as if there are 2 options: beeing permissive or an authority figure: there is a third option as explained in Thomas Gordon's work and I'm greatful for the results.
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on April 15, 2004
When I was trying to conceive my first child I stumbled upon this and other books by Marilu Henner. I thought it offered great insights into things that a new or even established parent should and should not do if they want to raise a healthy, respectful and well-behaved child.
In a society that has an abundance of unhealthy children I find this book to be great at educating parents in a non-threatening way. Sure Marilu cracks jokes, she is a very funny lady. Sure she is considered a celebrity but more so since she became an author. I think she has done what many people would love to do, take something they are passionate about, write it all down and share it with others. She didn't get a book deal just because she is also an actress and she wouldn't continue to write nor get the book deals if her books didn't sell.
Take the time to read this book with an open mind and I bet there is at least a dozen things that will make you think about how great Marilu must be as a mother. I guarantee that if you were ever to meet Nicky or Joey you would find them both well behaved and extremely respectful!
If you don't want to spend the money, at least check it out from a local library! You won't be sorry that you did!
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on December 11, 2003
Okay, being a has-been TV star and writing books telling people to avoid breads and dairy products does NOT qualify you to write a book on raising children.
Dr. Ruth Sharon's insites were sometimes good. But Marilu`s additions were horrible. Some of them didn`t even answer the question. The perfect example was one woman who complained that she and her husband disagreed with if the children should keep their rooms tidy. She then goes on and says what SHE does and how her brothers were known to grown interesting plantlife when she was a child. THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE QUESTION. And one of the chapters she wrote just had me fumming. I am convinced that Marilu Henner has any idea of what life is like in the real world. It was a chore to make it through this entire book.
Reading this book is like shopping at a thrift-shop. You`ve got to go through a ton of garbage to find a few pounds of something useful. Some of their ideas were worth discussing with my wife. But all in all, I don`t think the time I (quote unquote) invested into this book had any valuable return.
There are so many other parenting books out there that are more worth the time to read. Don`t waste any time on this one.
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on October 8, 2003
This is probably the worst childrearing book I have ever read. Where should I begin? As others have previously said, the breastfeeding advice is just plain stupid, and if Marilu got an award from LLL shouldn't she be aware that the World Health organisation reccommends b/f for 2 years and beyond? This has been done for 99.9% of human history ---- were all our ancestors 'overindulged'??!! (in fact, it is well known that societies in which children are breastfed for a few years produce children that are happier, better-adjusted, and respectful --- read 'The Continuum Concept')
As has the 'family bed', most people in the world sleep this way now and seperate sleeping arrangements have only been around for about 200 years, even in the West. The example she provided about cosleeping was to the extreme, and it is a fact that more babies die in cribs than their parents bed (check out for more info)Common sense is the key when cosleeping - it is important to follow safety reccomedations, and there should be no problem.
I am not for permissive parenting, but it seems to me this book has gone to the other extreme and takes the stance that all instinctive nurturing is harmful. There is a middle-ground to be had between permissive and authoritarian, if we recognise that children are PEOPLE, and not nuisances to be cut down to size.
I couldn't believe that this appalling Dr. Sharon was praising parents who both worked till 8pm for instilling a good 'work ethic' in the child. Is she trying to assauge her own guilt or something? I was flabbergasted.
I am just saddened that some people will read this book and disregard their own instincts to follow its advice. I certainly would not want to be the child of that Dr. Sharon!
If you want to raise insecure, lonely, joyless, frightened children this is the book for you.
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on July 26, 2003
I'm not surprised that there are a lot of scathing reviews of this book. Just look at the kids out there these days. America has more badly behaved, spoilt, obese, lazy, diabetic, violent, attention deficit disordered kids than any other country in the world. Obviously parents of those kind of kids bought into the "Listen closely to your kid's wants and needs. Treat them as an equal" kind of modern parenting books. Of course they would totally disagree with Marilu's solid, good old-fashioned advice. Marilu's advice harks back to the days when kids WEREN'T shooting up schools with automatic weapons and schools didn't need metal detectors at each entrance to screen for weapons. If all these new soft approach books are right, why are the kids these days so screwed up? Why, when parents were much stricter and less accomodating to their child's every whim, were the kids more polite, respectful, had a much better work ethic and way, way less out of control. I love the bit where Marilu says that spoilt kids don't grow up to thank their parents for giving them everything they always wanted. They usually have no respect for them. Unfortunately my wife and I have opposite opinions about raising our two boys (2 & 4). My wife hates to see them cry, so she constantly gives into their demands. As a result, it's much harder work for her to be around the kids than myself because they are much needier and brattier with her than they are with me. If you are firm, consistent and make the rules simple, the kids really quickly realise that it's a waste of their time whining and crying about the silly stuff and are much happier for it. If I put the kids to bed, I can leave them to fall asleep by themselves. I tell them that I'll come back in a couple of minutes to check on them. I may have to do this once and there maybe a little half-hearted grumbling about being left alone but it's usually an extremely rewarding and painless experience. If my wife puts them to bed, she can't leave the room without the sound of screaming kids following after her and usually ends up staying in their room until they fall asleep. I ask you, which scenario is most likely going to produce an independent, happy and confident child? Kids are constantly checking for chinks in our parental armour. If they find a weak spot, even at a very early age, they are incredibly smart and know how to take advantage of it. It's mindblowing to me how they do this. But I agree with Marilu, I think kids want and need rules to be in place and stuck to. They are more secure knowing that their parents are actually in charge and have things under control. Anybody know how to get in contact with Ruth Velikvsky Sharon Ph.d. who helped Marilu with the book? I'd like to get in touch with her.
Oh, and financially successful parents who had nothing as a child (the " I want my kids to have the nice things that I never had" types) , stop giving your kids brand new BMWs when they're sixteen. There are undiscovered tribes in the Amazon jungle who know that this is a terrible, terrible thing to do to your child. What the hell do they have to aspire to if they're handed stuff like that on a plate. Yeah, give them a car...a car that is uncool enough that they want to get a job to earn money to pay for a cooler one. It's so simple.
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on June 20, 2003
This book was horrible. Most of the book is done in a Q&A format, and Dr. Sharons responses are usually a cold and simple 'You're doing it wrong and your kid is going to grow up to be a drug addict because of you.' After her response, Ms. Henner gives her answer in one of two formats: 'This is how my parents did it,' or a stupid joke that avoids the question.
The authors make generalized comments on sensitve issues that are entirely based upon the norms of our culture, and they are completely intolerant of other views on child rearing. This is probably the worst 'You're doing everything wrong' book I've ever read. It is so full of self-promotion it makes me sick. She Obviously thinks her parents did a great job, just look at how wonderful she is!
I actually might have given this book a 2, because I completely agree that children aren't helped be answering to their whim and shielding them from all the responsibility and heartache of real life. It was Dr. Sharons comment that a child whose parents both work until 8 at night is somehow benefiting by having parents with a strong work ethic that earned her boycott status.
These women annoy me so much that I don't think I'll ever be able to purchase anything with either of their names on it again.
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on April 19, 2003
Seems like other people from NJ liked this book too. I'm from Jersey, am much younger than Marilu Henner and really appreciated this book. I have no interest in reading some boring textbook on what to do and not do with my 2 children. This book has real life examples backed up with expert advice. Makes this a good read for parents. Very practical with great insight that I find very helpful. This book is written in a user-friendly format. Use what you want from this book. Refer to it as needed. Nobody says that you have to like or live the advice from Marilu. There are many valid key points that we are putting into practice with our kids. I borrowed the book from the local library and found myself taking so many notes that I just ordered a copy from Amazon. I want my husband to read this book too. You will find experiences in here that you can relate to about people/children you know. Some serious moments, some funny moments. The humor makes the book readable. I haven't been able to put it down. I am disgusted with the way children are raised these days in a society of conspicuous consumption and waste. (overindulgence) I like her advice on a balance between "frustration and gratification". You will learn a lot not just about kids, but about the people around you and most importantly, yourself.
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on March 19, 2003
Starting with the bad: Some of the advice provided is worthless and cold, e.g, both parents coming home at 8 p.m., according to Dr. Sharon "is showing a 5 year-old child a good work ethic." I figure if both parents are going to be out of the home all day while the child sits in daycare and waits, why bother having a "token child" in the first place? Obviously, only brats would raise a child in such a selfish way, anticipating only moments of together time in front of a camera displaying a "happy and intact family." As far as Marilu, her humor is not always appreciated. She doesn't have to be funny "all of the time." Her remarks at times were grating and nerve-racking.
As far as the good: Not giving in to your child's every single whim is good, good advice. I appreciated Marilu's perspective in pointing out that she would struggle as a mother seeing her child's heart broken in front of her eyes, but she maintained her parental stance, knowing she did it for his own good, which is comforting. The word "No" used intelligently when raising a child is good for a child's self worth in the long run, as they grow (parents hope) to be responsible adults. Truth is: a spoiled child is a worthless child who grows up to be a selfish, worthless adult, who is always expecting to be served. Ugh!
It's interesting to know that a wealthy star like Marilu is doing her children a favor by refusing to give in to their every whim, e.g., not letting them sleep in the "family bed", a fiercely debated topic. As a parent myself, I started noticing some of my own bad habits with my own kids, which after giving it good thought, is good, and I have made some changes that benefit me and my children. Thanks, Marilu!
Is this book worth purchasing? If you can get it used, it would be good to get. It's a good read, but I'm not sure I'd want to give it away as a gift because of the book's title; the recipient might take it wrong. Given as an anonymous gift might be the best bet to a parent that you think might benefit from it.
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on February 16, 2003
My husband and I were so afraid that by buying almost every new toy, video, outfit out on the market, our daughter would end up being a spoiled brat. We also questioned our disciplinary styles, because they didn't seem to work. We took advice from friends and family, and found nothing was really working for us either.
We bought this book, which is incredibly easy to read, and reference. I found many answers to many questions I had. It includes real family dilemmas written by concerned parents, and includes answers that make a lot of sense and are sometimes humorous.
We learned that our actions now have consequences that can/will last a lifetime. It's very important to allow your child to do for herself, learn NO, not to spank, learn to have "contracts" with your child regarding how they act and behave, and to show your child how to become a part of the world they live in rather than them thinking the world revolves around their needs and wants.
We highly recommend this book!
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on January 7, 2002
I have no children myself but I do have several nieces and nephews who I have watched grow up as they lived in our home. My sister always responded to her kids when they cried, they slept with her and their dad and they were never spanked. They were breastfeed on demand for as long as they wanted. They are FAR from being selfish, demanding brats! In fact they are just the opposite. They are very independent and self confident.
I only read a couple of chapters so far and I while I like her basic premise that we should not coddle our kids, some of her advice is just downright harsh and cruel. One person in there asked a question about holding her three month old in a sling and was told that basically that "You should hold her for 10 to 15 minutes then put her down and let her cry otherwise she will learn that she can have her own way"! We are talking about an infant, a baby who has no other means to communicate except through crying. Most research now says that until 6 months to a year, that you can not spoil a child by picking them up. But, she makes it sound like a sin if you do and that you have damaged your children for life! She makes it sound as if our children will be damaged for life if they are held when they need to be and that if we dare stay home with them when they are sick, god forbid, they might find out that they actually like having mommy around! What a terrible thing for a child to want to have his mother instead of a housekeeper raise them! Most of us can't afford daycare much less a housekeeper! I think that is one reason they chicken pox vaccine was created-so that the parents would not have to take time off work to take care a sick child. I was pampered many times as a child when I was ill and I turned out just fine! I hate when celebrities try to tell others how to raise their kids, when truth be told, they are not raising them: a housekeeper is!!
She also has the audacity to state that a child overindulged is WORSE off then a child who was neglected and abused! Has she ever seen an neglected child to know this? All in all, I hated the book and my best advice would be what Dr. Spock and others have always said "trust yourself. You know more then you think you do!"
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