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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well it's about time
During the past 10 years, I've had countless encounters with completely uncontrolled, screaming, demanding children on a weekly - if not daily - basis. This is particularly strange since I am neither a parent, nanny or daycare provider. I have seen downright frightening tantrums everywhere I venture in public, from the grocery store to expensive restaurants to my...
Published on Oct. 1 2003

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
I'll begin with what I like about this book: The chapter called "The Truth and Consequences of Child Care" is a well done illustration of the rock and the hard place parents are driven to today in order to provide for their children while they are very young.
The rest of the book is a suave combination of good advice, observations that should be obvious to anyone,...
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by Penny Thoughtful


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The sky is falling! The sky is falling!, Jan. 31 2004
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
I'll begin with what I like about this book: The chapter called "The Truth and Consequences of Child Care" is a well done illustration of the rock and the hard place parents are driven to today in order to provide for their children while they are very young.
The rest of the book is a suave combination of good advice, observations that should be obvious to anyone, and Chicken Little. Shaw is right that parents who buy their children everything instead of spending time with them are probably going to raise jerks. My guess, though, is that any parent who cares enough to pick up a book about parenting is probably smart enough to figure this out already. Shaw is not right that we are all going to hell in a handbasket. Just look at the title of this book: Epidemic, rot, permissive, plague, joyless, selfish. He's just trying to make money from making people think the world is worse than it actually is.
The biggest problem I have with this book is that Shaw seems to think there is only one acceptable parenting style. No baby should be fed at night beyond six months of age? All two-and-a-half-year-olds should be completely potty trained? Forcing your baby to sleep in a crib when both you and the baby would rather sleep together is necessary? I've got news for Shaw: There's more than one way to raise a kid, and implying that a child is going to be a sociopath just because he's still nursing all night at 18 months (or isn't potty trained at 3, or has a parent who adds "okay?" to the end of sentences, or...) is ridiculous.
There is more than one way to raise a happy, healthy, well-behaved child. I'm sure the methods Shaw suggests work for some folks, but all children are different and all parents are different and all families are different.
Take the good stuff away from this book, and take the rest of it with a can of salt. The sky is not falling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well it's about time, Oct. 1 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
During the past 10 years, I've had countless encounters with completely uncontrolled, screaming, demanding children on a weekly - if not daily - basis. This is particularly strange since I am neither a parent, nanny or daycare provider. I have seen downright frightening tantrums everywhere I venture in public, from the grocery store to expensive restaurants to my office.
These encounters became so common that I began to notice children who were well behaved and polite as the exception; I began to congratulate parents with children who said something as basic as "hello" or "thank you," and felt tempted to gush if a 10-year-old held a door open for me.
All the while, it was the children for whom I felt most sorry - who were often clearly tired, had rarely if ever heard the word "no" in their brief lives, who cursed and swore at their parents. I could not fathom how on earth they were supposed to go about becoming happy, functional, satisfied adults.
Reading this book was such a relief to me, to know that my observations had been shared with others and, finally, a doctor! It was so refreshing to read a book that questions the completely permissive parenting I've witnessed so many times, and that focuses on the effects of this on the children who cannot know, at such young ages, to ask for discipline, for structure, for parents they can respect.
Parents I know - and here I mean those who have disciplined and punished their children as necessary and often been frowned upon for it - have found this book reinforcing. They've known, deep down, that they were doing a good job - the fact that their children are well behaved and polite and friendly is a testament to this. However, they've found it difficult not to question their methods when other parents glare at them in the grocery line for refusing to cave to demands for gum, candy and toys.
Despite the somewhat startling title of this book, it is an honest one, and this book is just that: honest, yet hopeful for the changes and results that can be brought about by parents doing their jobs. It doesn't take a shrink or medication to raise a happy, healthy, balanced and respectful child.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Hands-On Guide for Parents, April 23 2004
By 
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
Although the book opens with a discussion of tragedy of the school shooting at Columbine High School, the purpose of The Epidemic is not to pinpoint an immediate or public causes that causes youths like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to do what they did, but to highlight their cases as symptomatic - an extreme one, admittedly - of a broad problem of children who grow up oversaturated with stimuli, incapable of emotional development, and uncontrollable at school and at home. All of these, Shaw says, "are signs that our society has become toxic to children".
On this foundation, Shaw's goal is to give instructions for parents in preventing these problems before they arrive. This begins as early as infancy, where Shaw encourages the parent to begin a dialogue with the child (at this early stage, the "dialogue" being nonverbal expressions of affection, such as kisses on the baby's head). While the message for parents to be involved in the child's life seems to be self-evident, pressures for the parents in the workplace can threaten the development of this bond. Also, Shaw is very thorough in instructing parents on the *right* way to develop this bond, mixing anecdotal evidence from his practice with broad guidelines and checklists of symptoms to watch out for, so that the time and effort spent with the child won't be in vain.
By focusing on the internal family structure rather than the external factors that might threaten it, Shaw's book avoids criticizing many of the outside cultural factors surrounding the Columbine shooting that others have pointed to (whether correctly or not), and thereby makes the book accessible for parents of nearly every political persuasion who are looking for practical childrearing tips.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT AND SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE, Oct. 1 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
Buy this book even if you have to save money to do so. The words were like music to my ears. The message is strong and clear but only if we take the responsibility to do something about today's attitudes of today's kids and us - the parents. Back talking, poor judgement, sassy, loud mouth kids who act just like their parents, are making it cool to have an "attitude" that is ruining our country and our complete souls. PLEASE do yourself a favor and buy it and give it away to as many people as possible. One other book that helps parents realize that chores and responsibilties will surely save one's sanity in family life is Mommy-CEO, by Jodie Lynn. Mrs. Lynn is a parenting/family columnist and shares similar ideas - and a few different topics - when it comes to unscheduling and undoing the "me" syndrome. Buy them both and get smart while getting a handle on your family for everyone's future. Wow - this is great! Thank God for these authors!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this book!, Oct. 26 2003
By 
Susan (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
It's about time that someone finally wrote about how parents aren't "parents" anymore - they are so busy working, dating, buying they don't have time for their kids anymore and so, rather than be parents, they try to be their kids' friend instead. This doesn't work and the kids are really suffering for it. They don't know the meaning of the word "no"; have no tolerance for frustration, can't see others' points of view, and as Dr. Shaw says, they have no empathy. Just this week in People magazine are stories about how teen hazing is getting out of control - these kids can't even see what they're doing. Please get this book for every parent you know, and if you are a parent yourself, please buy it and read it now. We as a society need to hear this call to action and do something now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book for every parent you know, Oct. 11 2003
By 
A Reader (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
Well - someone is finally saying it - all this permissive parenting has got to stop. I, like many people, am sick of seeing kids throwing tantrums, backtalking and rolling their eyes, treating their parents and everyone else with total disrespect. I am also sick of watching parents do nothing about it - they are too tired, too busy, too uninvolved with their kids to discipline them and demand or deserve respect. Everyone needs to wake up, and Dr. Shaw is finally here with what he calls, not a "how-to" book, but a "what is necessary" book - kudos to Dr. Shaw for telling it like it is and helping parents, grandparents and even aunts and uncles help their kids to be happy, productive and a pleasure to be around. Buy this book!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for all parents and parents-to-be, Sept. 28 2003
By 
cjfan "cjfan" (los angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
Robert Shaw, M.D. has finally put into words what we've all been thinking - that many of today's children are out of control, spoiled, unhappy, mannerless brats whose parents stand by helplessly as their kids throw tantrums and misbehave. In this thought-provoking book, Dr. Shaw shows us what is going wrong and why. But all is not despair, as Dr. Shaw also gives us the roadmap to put our kids back on track to becoming loving, relatable and enjoyable children. This is a must-read for all parents, grandparents, friends and relatives - and for parents-to-be who are full of questions about how to raise children in today's difficult world. Kudos to Dr. Shaw for raising difficult issues in today's overly permissive world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just the Right Prescription!!, Jan. 21 2004
By 
D. Hawkins (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
As a teacher, I daily see the effects of today's permissive parenting, from kids with no concept of working hard to their parents who let them stay home from school for ANYTHING! Sometimes I'd like to have a video camera to film what will happen to these kids as they leave highs school and head out into a great big world that will slam doors in their faces. You may think that a bit harsh, but if their parents aren't teaching them the lessons they need, the world will be happy to do it. As a parent, this book has also helped me look at my own parenting style (I'm certainly not perfect) and make adjustments so my son does things with his life, not sit around and expect to have others do it for him!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Book, Jan. 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
Finally the truth is told. This book clearly illustrates the serious deficiencies in todays parenting and how to fix it. What more could you want? Our society has been so "politically correct" we are hesitant to say anything that might hurt, offend, or upset anyone. Dr. Shaw does not beat around the bush, so the point is clear - change your permissive parenting style now or the life of your child (and others) is at stake. This book has helped to give me the confidence to continue my "strict" parenting style and also how to make it better. It is a must read for any parent or parent-to-be. After reading this book I couldn't help think of the parents I would love to give it to!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disagree with previous reviewer, April 25 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Hardcover)
he says that Shaw thinks that there is only one acceptable parenting style but this is clearly not what he is saying:
page 50: There is no reason to believe that any adviser knows for sure about the best child rearing practices or has more common sense than you innately have yourself. I include in that statement the advice of pediatricians, psychologists, lactation consultants, nannies, early childhood educators, self-annointed or media appruved gurus, family and friends, and even what I say in this book
Shaw repeately suggests that you use common sense and test approaches with your child- although he has strong opinions about ineffective or conterproductive methods
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