Cheryl Hines: My Daughter Is ‘Not Well-Behaved at All’

10/29/2011 at 05:00 PM ET
Amanda Edwards/Getty

Cheryl Hines adores her daughter Catherine Rose, but admits she’s far from perfect – even in Mommy’s eyes.

“She’s not well-behaved at all,” Hines, 46, told PEOPLE Sunday at the Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times Halloween Carnival at the Universal Studios Backlot in L.A. “She’s wild.”

The Suburgatory star uses a recent incident involving makeup to describe how her little girl, 7½, gets out of hand.

“She took a bath the other night, and when I went in there, the bathtub was covered with my makeup,” Hines explains, adding that her daughter immediately denied having anything to do with the mess.

“I said, ‘It’s only you and me here, and it wasn’t me.’ And she said, ‘I don’t know how that happened.'”

Hines, who says her daughter still hasn’t “‘fessed-up to doing it,” also worries about her in social situations.

“My main concern is that she’s true to herself and isn’t influenced by other kids,” Hines says. “I want her to make decisions that are right for her. I feel like right now the kids are getting cliquey. I don’t love that. I’m trying to pin it down to avoid it being an issue later.”

In the end, the actress confesses she’s really bad with punishments.

“The problem is I tell Catherine how cute she is everyday and how much I love her,” Hines says of her only child with ex-husband Paul Young.

“So when she misbehaves, she says something that she knows will make me laugh. Then it softens me up a bit, and I think, ‘Who cares if there’s makeup in the bathtub?'”

— Dahvi Shira

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 64 comments

Holiday on

Yep she sounds like a bratty only child! Doesnt surprise me, thats how all the kids I know that are only children behave!

Sarah on

I have a 12 year old and he is an only child.

He hasn’t been spoilt, has clear boundaries, he’s honest because he’s always been encouraged to tell the truth, he has a clear self identity, is social, very very bright, very helpful, he’s caring and has great empathy for others, knows the world doesn’t totally revolve around him. He’s a pleasure to be around.

It really annoys me when people generalise about only children.

Jill on

You are so right, Sarah. She’s not a bratty only child. She’s a child who has been shown no limits and given no boundaries. I have known brats in a family of 4 and well behaved only children. It depends on the parenting.

amandamay on

i agree, sarah! i have an only son and he has the *best* manners of any of the kids we know. people actually comment on his old fashioned manners 🙂 “only child” generalizations are annoying and usually wrong. all of the only children i know are bright, well behaved and sweet.

Tee on

I don’t think that brattiness is limited to only children nor do I think that all only children are bratty. That’s a pretty big assumption to make!

Jennifer on

Wow! 7 1/2 and pulling stunts like that!?! I can see my 2 yr old trying to pull that, but my 8 yr old knows better. If they have these respect issues now, I cant imagine what it’s gonna be like in another 5 or so years. Good luck to you!

Ang on


Ang on

wait-ex husand? maybe suffering from the divorce.

me on

why do celebrities feel the need to share EVERYTHING with everyone? Cute stories about your kids? That’s okay. Talking about how proud you are of them? That’s fine. Mentioning how sometimes parenting can be hard? That’s fine also. But telling the whole world about your child’s misbehaviour? So uneccessary. Kids nowadays have ways of finding out this stuff and it can seriously hurt them, how would you feel if your mom was telling the whole world what a brat you are? Such a shame…

Megan on

I actually like reading stories like this – it makes me feel better about my own little devils. Parenting is HARD – would much rather celebs admit their struggles as well rather than just sunshine and rainbows all the time.

Jordan 1 on

I totally agree with me…some stuff you should keep hush hush

CH on

i dont think it has to do with the amount of children or the parenting* (*some times). Some children are born with a certain character and that’s the way they are, even as adults. I dont think her daughter is bratty because of wanting to play with mommy’s makeup and ended up makign a mess. Should she lie about it, NO? but she’s still young and still needs to be punished/have time outs, etc. to understand certain things aren’t going to be accepted. We need to remember that children need to be told right from wrong even when they’re already grown adults at times.

Melissa on

I am currently child-free so I have no idea, but is it typical of kids that age to lie like that? Also, I would think at 7.5 the little ones would know better then to draw on the bathtub with makeup, but maybe I am just clueless on child development?

Barbara on

i agree with CH, it has a lot to do with a child’s personality. i have 3 children, all being raised the same way, but one of my daughters is very strong willed and no matter how much she gets punished, will do what she wants anyway. my other two are very easy going and when they do get punished, they learn their lesson. some of you are so quick to judge, it’s ridiculous.

lisa on

maybe if you spent more time with her and less time chasing RFK jr and his kids all around she would have the love and nurturing she needs!!

Loralee on

I understand having a strong willed child, but what may be somewhat cute at 2 is not so cute at 7 1/2. Consequences to actions, good and bad, are part of life. You can love the child and not the behavior.


What Barbara and CH said.

And Lisa, what the heck do you know? Is she not entitled to date someone? Must she remain single until her child is raised? STFU!

Shannon on

So she tolerates lying? Not cute.

Sam & Freya's mum on

My son went through a stage of being like this, when playing with his friends, drawing on things he shouldn’t, not popular! (windowsills, drawers etc with little friend next door, went suspiciously quiet, but he was told off and helped his dad to help clean it off!). However this was when he was only around 3.5-4yrs old – he certainly knows better now, and it hasn’t happened since (which doesn’t make me feel so bad as a mum, the consequence worked!)!, so I would say 7.5yrs is a bit old for that behaviour as others have said. Lack of boundaries, expectations, limits, consequences etc? – not that I’m a perfect parent of course!, lol…

Sam & Freya's mum on

….sounds way too soft to me, and her daughter knows she can get away with it!! Sounds to me like she’s trying to be her friend, over-compensate, too much reliance on her as she’s the only child maybe, who knows…?

Robin on

I take offence to the statement that all only children are bratty…no they aren’t. I was an only child and didn’t get everything I wanted and was given strong limits and boundaries. Children who are bratty haven’t been trained…it’s all in the parenting…

emily on

Dear Everyone,

Sometimes kids do bratty things. Does it make them a brat? No. Kids misbehave sometimes. It doesn’t equal bad parenting, ADHD, or not being “loved and nurtured”. If you’ve never had a kid who has done something naughty,like lied or made a mess (gasp!) you’re lying.

Get over yourselves.

lisa on

I know when a Mom is gone all the time and spending time trying to win over other children, leaving her own with a nanny, especially fresh off a divorce it spells TROUBLE.

And trying to be her friend to make up for it is not cool!!

lisa on

When a mom is busy with work and busy with a new life away from a child aiming for lots of attention is typical..cheryl doesn’t need to put her entire life on hold but with such a young kid she might want to get her priorities in order at home before globe-trotting with a new guy and his kids.

lisa on

the divorce was and still is pretty fresh for a young child. especially an only child. sounds like cheryl needs to be more of a mom and less of a playmate. also sounds like she is not around enough and the little one needs much more parental attention at this age and this situation.

i’m sure cheryl wouldn’t mind slowing her world down just a bit for her only child.

would she??!!

Megan on

Uh Lisa, creepy much? Four comments, really? Are you somehow personally involved? Yikes.

Jillian on

I have met plenty of bratty children with siblings and well behaved only children. It depends on how you parent and raise them.

Lynda on

This is for the person calling themselves “Holiday”. I resent the remark about only children. I’m an only child and I was never a brat. I am educated w/ a master’s degree and teach in an underpriviledged school. I have taken money out of my own pocket when I didn’t have it to give to buy coats for kids who didn’t have one in the winter. I have had my kids do projects to help the elderly at nursing homes and writing projects to soldiers in Iraq to show them the world is much bigger than we are. I have walked in countless fund raisers for everything from JDA to Alzheimer’s. I am also the parent of an only child born w/ cleft lip palate issues so I am very involved in Operation Smile.

I was taught the world was a much bigger scarier place than we think and the only way to make it better is to give back. I am also teaching that to my daughter who is an only child. She is a very giving child who always goes out of her way to make an other child who is new to school feel welcome. She also wants to adopt every animal we see. She has a heart bigger at 9 than some of these people commenting will ever have as an adult.

To pigeon hole only children just shows the narrow mindedness that screws up the world to start with. The little girl in the story isn’t this way because she’s an only child. It is simply because she is a child as all children do things. I know as I am around 9 year olds all day and have been for over 20 years as a teacher. Good grief. Some of you need to wake up!!

Hea on

Sounds like she needs a parenting class. Preferably on college level.

Cammy on

Not something I’d tell the public, as children can be sensitive to things like that. What if Some school Mom read it and told her family and it got back to her daughter. She could be teased at school for it.

Who knows why she did it? Did she use her lipstick like bath crayons? Is she upset about her Mom’s divorce? It shouldn’t be our business, but our tabloid news world makes personal trivia our business….

Nancy on

Holiday—YOU ARE SO WRONG. I work at a school and the children who misbehave the most are the ones with 2 or more kids in the family. I also know families with 6 kids who are well behaved. It has to do with the parenting. I have an only child and he is constantly complimented on his behavior from other people.

Ok, I can understand Cheryl saying “whats the big deal about makeup in the tub” however, she admits she doesn’t discipline and her child lied to her!! This will only get worse with time.

heather on

Holiday….seriously?? lol, My first son was an only child for 10 yrs. and he was the sweetest, quiestest baby and child in the world! I dont think he has ever sat in one minute of time out, lol!

kristen on

Holiday is entitled to her opinion, even if she is completely wrong and off about her assumption. My daughter is an only child and while far from perfect, definitely isn’t a brat. The key is in the parenting and we’ve all known kids with parents who just didn’t put in the time or just thought that their kids were too cute to discipline.

This woman finds her child too adorable to discipline- makes it so much easier for those who will have to deal with her in society who may not find her quite so adorable. Or if nothing else it will make it a dream for the man who has to deal with the lying manipulating woman she is raising.

Kudos for that… and as another poster mentioned; at first my thought was that this was normal for a two or three year old child but 7? By this age all that comes to mind is a child who is seeking attention or boundaries and “by any means necessary” applies.

Stella Bella on

It’s not whether a kid is an only child, but whether she is an INDULGED child.

JMO on

I know plenty of only child children and they are better behaved then other kids with siblings! More often then not kids with siblings are fighting for different kinds of attention and will pull little stunts even if the reaction from their parent is a negative one.

Children most certainly need boundaries. Her child isn’t the first to act out and won’t be the last.

I always say you get what you create. If your child is rude, disrespectful, bratty etc – it all lands on your lap as the parent.

I could of never have gotten away with this as a kid my mom would of put her foot up my ass lol. That’s the difference between kids today and kids 20+ years ago. Parents weren’t afraid to discipline!!!

Robin on

While Holiday is entitled to her opinion she made the mistake of stereo-typing and assuming that ALL only children are brats…kudos to the only children and parents of only children for speaking up…if you put your narrow minded opinion out there without anything to back it up be prepared to be called out on it…


It sounds like this child needs 3smacks too the butt and too be put in time out.

lisa on

oops. no megan. i did not know they all posted cause of the delay. and in a way yes. my daughter has a friend Catherine’s age going through the same thing. divorcing parents, busy careers, and new partners. it has been hard watching the little girl get lost in the struggle and also hard to explain it to my little one. a child is such a blessing and i think mom’s that are too self indulgent forget that these little guys really need us more than we can imagine. they are always affected by such things even when adults don’t notice

Holiday on

Ok I should have said in my experience the only children I personally have known were brats and VERY VERY over indulged by the parents. My dad and grandpa were both only children and I hate to say it but both were very very self centered and hard to be around.

jsoprani on

how is she going to enplain having an open affair with a very married robert kennedy jr, she has no boundries or morals, doesn’t take a genius to figure out her daughter is going to catch the lying bug too, what a disgrace, Cheryl Hines doesn’t even get what people think of her, and now she wants to drag her daughter into her mess, what a parent

kirsty on

I have an only child and she is not bratty, sometimes she can be bad, but thats with all kids. My SIL is a huge brat, very entitled and thinks everyone should do what she wants and she is in a family of five kids and she is the 2nd oldest and the worst one. My husband tells me everyone would cater to her and it still shows at 31 years old.

jsoprani on

from someone who is openly having an affair with a very married robert kennedy jr, you expect boundries and morals, come on. she’ll drag anybody into her mess if it meeans her picture is somewhere, how low can you go

Helen on

I work with children and brattiness has nothing to do with being an only child or having siblings. In this child’s case, it sounds like a clear lack of guidance and discipline. This child’s behavior is what I’d expect of a 2 or 3 year old, but certainly not a 7 year old! A parenting class would be a good idea indeed.

ally on

Dear people,

All kids misbehave. At one point or another, they do. Sure, some more frequentely then others, and on different levels, but at the end they all do, and a 7-year-old kid is still a kid. Get over youselves. All the ones who say that your kid doen’t lie or misbehave is either lying or your kid is so good at it that you haven’t caught up to it.

Plus, how can we get the whole picture about Cheryl’s life, or any other celebrities, from a couple articules from sensasionalist websites and magazines. At this point we all should have learned that there is much more beneath the surfice.

Hea on

“It sounds like this child needs 3smacks too the butt and too be put in time out. – KATIE on October 30th, 2011”

Hitting a child because of something you’ve allowed them to indulge in would be like hitting you for being unable to write a correct sentence. If you can’t parent or teach without physically hurting and shaming a child then you’re not doing it right.

Shannon on

GReat. Another Hollywood brat of the future. She’s way too old to act like that and get away with it. Shame on Cheryl!

fuzibuni on

Why are some people saying Robert Kennedy Jr. is married? I thought he got divorced a year and a half ago.


Hea,I only said for her to spank her because then she wouldn’t be allowing her to act like that.I’m not saying for her to beat her but a couple smack to the butt doesn’t hurt.Oh and fyi I did write a correct sentence.But I am not going to fight with you over all this.All I know is when I have children they will not act like her and I will spank them and put them in time out.

Margaux on

I don’t think that most children are necessarily “bratty.” Often times the real culprit is boredom.

Cheryl Metrick on




Indira on

Disciplining is the MAIN job of being a parent, whether that involves spanking or a talking to or both. If she isn’t disciplining her daughter and she sees the consequences i.e her daughter’s bad behavior, then she isn’t a very good parent. She’s doing a disservice to herself and her child.


Indira I agree with you.I seen nothing wrong with spanking as Disciplining you’re child.

tlc on

If you have to hit to discipline, then it’s YOU who are doing wrong, not the child. Too many kids are abused by parents who think “a few smacks on the butt” is okay. Then said parents in a fit of anger, beat the crap out of the kid because “a few good smacks” no longer works. Believe me, I work with foster kids and that’s how most parents start.

It’s a shame that parents that think using thier hands on a kid is okay but yet, turn around and punish that same kid for hitting another kid!!!! Discipline should be firm and GUIDING, not a beating, no matter HOW few or many smacks they get. It’s demeaning to the kids and how do they learn from it? What they learn is to be AFRAID of mom and dad. Yeah, that works well!!

As for Cheryl, it sounds to me as if she would rather be her daughter’s friend than her mother. She needs to be consistant and let her kid know that lying is not acceptable. This child at 8 years old is seeking ATTENTION by doing these acts. She wants mom to give her something whether negative or positive.

And Holiday, my son was an only for 8 years until our daughter was adopted and he is not perfect, but he is very far from a brat. Thanks for generalizing all only kids though..very fair.

Nancy on

So true Cheryl Metrick. I work in a school and I ask the undisciplined kids what they do when they get home and they say that they watch tv and play video games all night. Then they come to school and refuse to do any work. It is mostly parenting.

Deanna on

Parenting is not easy but she will have more issue with her daughter later…if she thinks her daughter is wild now…she is not teaching her daughter anything and her daughter lies too

Jillian on

So then your son was a brat, VERY VERY over indulged by the parents, self centered and hard to be around, until he stopped being an only child an had a sister? Because until that point he was an only child. Or is he an exception to the rule? I am just curious. My daughter is nothing like you describe and is going from only to first time sibling. Again…’s all how you raise them.

Holiday on

Anon my son was a small child when I had my daughter…. all small kids can be brats at times (im talking 2-4 year olds) but kids who GROW UP an only child IMO have been spoiled, selfish, thinks the world revolves completely around them and their parents are to blame for it. My neighbor has a 9 year old daughter who is an only and just horrible. The other day she took my 1 year old daughters toy right out of her and and my baby starts crying. I ask the bratty only child to please give it back. She says in a rude tone “I just want to look at it and see what it is” Her mom rushes in defending her spoiled only saying “Jeez she will give it back in a minute, let her have a look” Those are the kinds of encounters I have witnessed lots of time with only kids. Sorry thats my observation.

meghan on

Leave it to Holiday to make a blanket statement, assuming that her observations are the norm. I don’t think you would take it so well if it were a post regarding young parents and someone called all young mothers stupid or something along those lines. You would throw a fit.

dsfg on

Holiday, you are constantly complaining about people generalizing about young parents, but you think it’s okay to promote a stereotype about only children? Wow, what ignorance . . .

KW on

I’d like to defend to a small degree the notion that only children can be spoiled.

I have a 2 year old daughter and am due to have a son sometime this week. For 2 years my daughter has been the center of attention. She was the first grandbaby so her grandparents, aunts, and uncle dote on her every chance they get. On top of that I run my husband’s small business with my daughter in tow and customers LOVE her to pieces and give her tons of attention. Is she spoiled? DEFINATELY! But that doesn’t mean she’s a terrible child or I’m a terrible parent.

She’s very intelligent. Not only is she smart about ABC’s, shapes, and colors but she’s smart about getting out of trouble. She melts your heart with affection and smiles and makes you feel bad about becoming angry. But just because she’s smart enough to play the cute card doesn’t make her a brat. It just means she’s growing up and experimenting which is healthy and normal.

I think it’s natural and important to spoil your children to a degree. I’m afraid that my daughter is going to feel like she has to compete for attention with the new baby coming and so I don’t mind that she’s showered with attention and patience. What I do mind are people who tell other people how to parent. There is nothing more annoying than a customer telling me that I’m being too harsh because I put my daughter in a time out. We are all learning what’s best for OUR OWN children. We are all trying our best.

So my opinion on the whole only child syndrome is that if it’s right for someone to have 1 child in their family and if they are giving them a lot of attention and maybe cave in more than they mean to that just makes them a loving parent. Who doesn’t want to see their child happy?

And I think that the same thing should go for those of us who have or plan on having a larger family. Giving your children each a little spoiled attention can be healthy. Coming from a family of 8 kids I know how important it can be to get personalized, doting attention from your parents. Every parent, child, and situation is different and I don’t think it’s right to criticize when we all know we have our own kinks to work out with our own children.

I took time to write this out in the hopes I would not offend anyone. I certainly hope no one can be offended by anything I’ve said.

Holiday on

KW I agree with you 100 percent. I give my children a lot.. probably too much compared to other parents and since I stay at home with them they get every bit of my attention all the time. But…my son has good manners and is not demanding and bratty like I have noticed about many many only kids. Giving them tons of love and attention is great, but not setting boundaries and letting them be mean to other kids or when they are nearly 8 and ruining moms make up in the tub, that is pretty ridiculous.

Liz Lambert on

You’re all making a mountain out of a molehill. The kid dumped makeup in her bathwater; she didn’t murder anybody. She was probably trying to concoct a bubble bath or something. The behavior doesn’t indicate future psychopathy, brattiness, or acting out over a divorce. Quite being so judgmental!

abbiecadabie on

Shame on this woman for dabbling with JFK. SHAME! Run a mile lady before he screws up your life too. I feel sorry for his suicide ex-wife and having to put up with you and his lifestyle.

pld on

Children need to be taught not to lie.It sounds like Cheryl is having trouble setting boundaries when her daughter tries to ‘cute’ her way out of messes. I imagine Cheryl has been able to cute her way out of a lot of messes. I think this current mess may be her undoing.