Florence Henderson's children once asked why she wasn't as nice as Carol Brady

Carol Brady was the mom that everyone loved, even Florence Henderson's children.

It can be challenging when two families come together to form one big family. Yet, super mom Carol Brady, her husband Mike Brady, and housekeeper Alice kept things in order on The Brady Bunch. Florence Henderson played the classic television mom, and no one else was better for the role.

Henderson had four children when she started her Brady Bunch journey, and in an interview with The Tampa Tribune in 1989, she talked about how being a mom helped her bring a few things to the character of Carol. "I had four children of my own, so I was the only one with hands-on experience on the show," she said. "My youngest was about [2 years old] when the series started."

She continued, "I brought as much to the role [as possible]. But television had a lot of rules. That was 15 years ago. TV parents couldn't really discipline children in any harsh way. You couldn't even raise your voice."

It's normal for actors to be completely different from their roles in real life. However, Henderson's children wanted to know why the Brady kids' mom was nicer than their mom. "When I'd go home, my own children would say, 'Hey, mom, why aren't you that nice at home?' and I'd remind them that my TV children were nice, too, and always obeyed."

Although the show was lighthearted and family-oriented, critics felt the problems in the episodes were solved too easily.

"Some critics jumped on The Brady Bunch because they said it was too sweet. We were criticized for solving little problems in 28 minutes," Henderson said. "But what's wrong with little moral messages that teach children to respect their parents and share with each other? We should be proud of that."

Despite the criticism The Brady Bunch faced, the show was still popular, and Henderson believed it was a success because it also showed a family communicating.

"I think that its appeal is that it shows a family communicating on all levels. The husband and wife communicate. The children communicate with each other and with the parents." [They] all genuinely cared for each other, and the viewers liked that."

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17 Comments

mitz123 12 days ago
Carol Brady a Super Mom?! She didn't do anything. Alice, the maid, did all the work. Cooking, cleaning, housekeeping, even playing with and helping the kids. All Carol ever did was go shopping.
Laffy 17 days ago
The right woman for the portrayal of Mrs. Carol Brady.
I am guessing Mrs. Henderson children did not know that their mother was Mrs. Brady.
Some times the obvious is not seen.
The purity of children is what keeps the adults in the correct direction.
saswifteagle 20 days ago
Her children asked the same question as I would in the same position.
Runeshaper 22 days ago
A caring family that communicates is pure gold (-:
Mblack 22 days ago
Adam Rich has died. The youngest Bradford on "Eight is Enough".
harlow1313 24 days ago
For perspective on my age when "The Bunch" first aired, I was born in 1956.

I always found the show to be trite and hopelessly corny. From reruns I developed a small appreciation for the ridiculousness of the later episodes. I have a taste for the ridiculous. I like MST3k movies.

I am a dissenter.
GermanAmerican1945 24 days ago
Correction on the Brady Bunch mother article. It was not that the showed WAS loved. It should have read "Is STILL loved, by new generations.

Sure, the show was kind of generic but that is why so many viewers STILL LOVE the show.
No, there's no correction needed. The article was written in the past tense.
Huh??? It doesn't say at all that the show "was loved." It says "Despite the criticism...the show was STILL POPULAR". Why SHOULD it have read the sentence you wrote? You're adding info to an article that is unnecessary. Perhaps it should have read "Florence Henderson liked pineapple." That makes about as much sense as your "addition".
Andybandit 24 days ago
I think that if Florence was more like Carol at home. They would not have discipline and respect. Like when I was growing up in the late 70's and 80's. You were disciplined if you did something wrong. The parents today are so afraid to discipline their kids, and the kids get away with everything.
LoveMETV22 Andybandit 24 days ago
To give the parents of today a fair shake. Discipline, when I was a kid came in a different form. A form that cannot be used today. However then or now, there were some parents that were better disciplinarians than others. I don't think todays parents are fearful of using discipline, its just that the form has changed, so it's more challenging today than say the 70's or 80's. JMO-respectfully.
ELEANOR Andybandit 24 days ago
Due to certain rules administered by public school systems and certain local government agencies, some kids can almost get away with murder at home and in the classroom. Parents and teachers CANNOT discipline the children like they should as their hands are literally tied. The Brady Bunch is helpful in depicting respect for parents and the ability to live life well.
Concrete64 LoveMETV22 20 days ago
Take their phones away. That's what I'd do.
RogerThat 25 days ago
It's obvious that children can learn good and bad things from watching TV. If a TV show presents chidren behaving badly and disrespecting parents, some children, especially the young and impressionable ones, will believe that's how families are, or should be, in real life, and they will try to emulate what they've seen.

One of the worst things a parent can do is give in to a child. You see it so often at supermarkets. A child wants this or that. After saying no a few times the parent relents and allows the child to have what they want. A parent who allows a child to continue asking for something without putting a stop to the nagging is the parents first mistake. When they give in to the childs begging it's all over, until next time. The child has learned that they can get away with nagging and eventually the parent will give in and reward for their nagging by buying the item the child has pleaded for.

I know that some children can be little horrors and parents give in to them so as not to create a scene in public etc., but in my view it's better to have that scene and show the child that they can't get what they want by nagging or putting on a show rather giving in to them and teaching them that all they have to do is behave the same way next time they want something and the parent will eventually get that item for them.

I guess that's my roundabout way of saying that I feel that generally The Bady Bunch show was and is still a mostly good show for children to watch. Critics of the show may say it doesn't reflect real life. Well it may not reflect their experience of life, but for others it may reflect their experience of life when growing up.

ELEANOR RogerThat 24 days ago
If a mother can, if possible, take her children to the store, to the restaurant, or any place and ensure that the children have been fed, rested, have had a chance to play; then the children hopefully will not fall apart and throw a fit. But if the children are hauled directly from school and/or day care to these places and expected to behave, this is when they might fall apart. Also, if the mother has a relative or companion with her when taking children to these places, she has more of a chance of keeping her children in line.
Moody 25 days ago
Well, in real life she was a real mom dealing with real kids. How many parents looked at their kids & asked why they couldn't be more like the Brady kids?
Peter_Falk_Fan 25 days ago
"When I'd go home, my own children would say, 'Hey, mom, why aren't you that nice at home?' and I'd remind them that my TV children were nice, too, and always obeyed." Ooh! Not mincing any words there.
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