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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
Raising children in today's society can be a difficult path to navigate. Filled with constant twists, turns, and a continuous bombardment of confusing advice, the road to happy, healthy kids can appear bumpy and sometimes even scary. It is heartbreaking when your kids, after years of love, support, and constant care, backtalk, break your rules or even bully you. How do you prevent your child from becoming a brat? Help! I've Created A Brat! by Chantal Kayem is a parenting manual that focuses on bringing the parent/child relationship back into balance. For nearly thirty years, children have been pampered and indulged for fear that their parents would inflict horrible psychological wounds that could leave the child incapable of living a happy adult life. Parents became so worried about how the word "no" could affect their kids that they learned how to avoid it.
Concerned about future decision making, parents started allowing little Johnny and Suzy to decide where the family would go to dinner, what movies they would watch, and even where to vacation. Soon, imbalances in the family dynamics started wreaking havoc in the community. Now, as parents fight to take back control once again and regain their authority, they struggle to find the delicate balance between being authoritarian and overly soft in their parenting methods. This book breaks down the three primary parenting models, and explains how to create a peaceful, wholesome home life for your children without robbing them of all forms of self-expression and maintaining a balanced relationship.
Help! I've Created A Brat! by Chantal Kayem is a self-help parenting book that shines a light on the most popular parenting myths, shattering them, and replacing them with practical techniques that establish the parent as the authority figure. Although I appreciated the book and the author's advice, there were some things that I know will simply not work for autistic children; others will need to be adjusted. Because I had tried several of the author's suggested methods on my autistic child when he was younger - same techniques, different source - I don't suggest this book to parents that have children on the spectrum. I do, however, highly recommend this book to parents of children that lack respect, push their boundaries, and expect too much from the world. Filled with constant guidance and encouragement, this book is a must-read for the rundown parent!