Most helpful critical review
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a nice message, but not all it's cracked up to be
on October 31, 2000
I'm generally not one for self help books because I think the majority of them are money making endeavors that offer little real help. I've heard about Chopra for years, perhaps the most known doctor in America besides Dr. Spock. I've picked up his books many times to be greeted by the perfect family shot of him, his wife and handsome son. For some reason I never could bring myself to read him. So finally, I bit the bullet and read The Seven Laws for Parents.
I feel guilty criticizing a book with such noble intentions. I mean, who can criticize a book that espouses spending thoughtful time with your children and family, encourages being thoughtful and considerate, and asks us all to foster our spiritual being and self? For this message, I certainly do not fault Chopra. No one would. But do I think that he has anything unique to say or that by summarizing our lives into seven laws all our parenting woes are gone? Certainly not. These books have a popular appeal because they are simply written, teach good values, and provide some concrete advice for parents. But somewhere along the line, I feel betrayed by the "industry" of Chopra, his institutes, seminars and programs. This book contains many fairly obvious points - I guess I'd call it "parenting 101 light." Nothing bad about it, but nothing special either. Perhaps the word "oversimplification" sums it up best. It's a 20 minute read at best and could just as easily be found in Cosmo Magazine as in book form. It's the reader's digest version or the classic comics of real literature, but at least its message is worthwhile. Don't get me wrong -- parents can benefit from following the practices in this book. The success of this book and his other 7 habit book shows that many are just looking for a quick 7 step solution to solving their problems. This the book will not do.