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on November 23, 2003
If you read one parenting book your whole life, make it this one. I'll bet eighty percent of those who read it will buy another copy for a friend, and no wonder. It gives you hope, rather than being resolved that the teenage years will be stressful and likely tragic. I'm confident now. Bring 'em on! This books is so good that if arranged marrages were still kosher in this country (I'm not for them, just making a point), I'd require that my future son- or daughter-in-law was raised by parents who read this book and applied its teachings. Seriously,,,,,,,,buy a few. Read it with your spouse. Discuss it. This is one important book.
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on May 19, 2004
I have read Dr. Shaw's wise, wonderful book and wish everyone I know with kids would read it. I have friends whose lives and households are absolutely dominated by their infants or toddlers - who can't eat, shower, wash dishes, have a quiet evening with their spouses or do anything normal because they are so obsessed with gratifying every want expressed by their small children. We need a return to common sense and Dr. Shaw is just reminding us that we have the power to make childrearing an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone involved. Let's stop raising brats!!!
Thank you Dr. Shaw!!!
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on October 29, 2003
I saw Robert Shaw on CNN a few months ago touting this book. Immediately, I knew I wanted to read it. I have friends that make me feel guilty because my children are well behaved and theirs aren't. This book helped me to validate for myself that my sometimes "harsh" or "strict" ways is in fact training them and providing them with "gifts" they can use over and over again during their lifetime. It is a terrific book for parents who need that encouragement that they are doing the right thing for their children, despite the societal pulls that gnaw at you and your family.
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on February 9, 2004
As a soon to be father I found this book very interesting. The advice is straight forward and direct without presenting a "one size fits all" solution.
I've been around a lot a families with young children and it is clear to me exactly which ones need this book. My friends with a troubled 3 yr old who the well meaning father calls "troubled, with issues" really need this book to take a hard look at reality and what they can change.
Don't suffer with a difficult child - try this book. It probably won't help all, but definitely will help most.
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on October 7, 2003
This book is one of the best parenting books I have ever read. It is a key read for anyone about to have children and those who already do. I admire Dr. Shaw's honesty and boldness about each topic. It is about time that someone told it like it is about over indulgent guilt ridden parents who care more about their agendas than the effort it takes to raise healthy, secure, happy children. This book will be the gift I give all new parents or maybe I will give it at wedding showers so they read it before they become parents...
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on October 28, 2003
As a parent I found this 'tough love' approach incredibly helpful. Doctor Shaw has identified an enormous problem, explained the causes and articulated methods and tools and rules towards solving that problem. We are mapping a new course with our kids and feeling confident with the choices we're making, thanks to this book.
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on September 30, 2003
I still recall reading a translation of a Latin text from Rome (around 100AD) bemoaning the sorry state of youth and how kids just don't listen anymore.
Here is a hint: kids have never listened, and never will. At best (with enough threats) they just might be quiet about it.
Knowing that the author is clueless about the long history of behavior variations in children, I read the book anyway. Actually it is not bad. Yes it lacks context (for example the author bemoans youth violence in large cities even though is nothing compared to the 19th Century). However the author is essentially correct in that if you are not around to raise your kid and if you give them material things to make up for your lack of presence your kid will most likely be a twerp. He is also correct in that if your kid is over 15 right now probably smoking dope (that they buy from other kids in their church youth group). Just go look in his closet to see where they are hiding it.
Just don't freak out and decide kids have suddenly all become monsters, because in all likelihood you were a monster.
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on October 20, 2003
I've seen multiple generations in my family, of spoiled, over-indulged, no boundary kids grown up into Adult Monsters. And it was an upper crust family too.
My grandma's brothers and sisters were spoiled, over-indulged, and they drank and partied away their inheritances, didn't persue any education, were spoiled good-ole-boys who never amounted to much beyond being a mooch living off some gal. Where were their parents? Their parents worked like dogs on their huge farm. The ones that were responsible---guess what? they married spoiled, irresponsible leaches that quickly destroyed their spouse's inheritances. When there was a death in this upper-crust family, guess what? Other parts of the family would break in during the funeral to steal coveted family momentos. Oh the fighting that went on for little bits of property, and momentos. Educations were not persued, finances not budgeted, no skills were learned because all people could think about was someday inheriting and not having to work (???). The oldest child in each generation seemed to take over the parenting, but the other kids ran amok.
The next generation had the same mentality, and again, the oldest child became the parent. Again, the parents were working like dogs...but the kids were never made to mind, or to develop discipline. I saw my aunt and uncle, at 65 years old, trying to extort money out of my 92-year-old grandfather for the phone bill, (this bill/that bill/this new money-making scheme ) because my aunt and uncle had never bothered to learn money management, develop education, etc. because they'd never had to, and always counted on landing a big windfall through inheritance. They were so spoiled, that they did not want to take time to bring the 90-year-old grandparents food, even though they lived 15 minutes away, bringing about malnutrition and quickened death through diabetes and cancer.
I saw one aunt use her children as emotional-surrogate lovers, letting them run amok, no rules or boundaries, while her husband ran off. Everytime she needed bailouts for her shop-a-holicism, she'd try to blackmail her parents or her ex, and the kids learned from that and never stopped.
Her kids are in their 40's now, and repeating it all over again, financially bilking their grandparents using extortion and blackmail. One son attached himself to his paternal granma to "help" her, since he can't hold a job, and ran up 10's of thousands of dollars with her charge cards, his preteens were sporting her gold jewelry --"gifts", and cleaned out the house after she died---he's now doing this to the other 92-year-old granma. He got her to buy him a house and she is now supporting him and his family. (We've tried to get the state to step in, but they have her intimidated, as they've got her living with them---they also have a pet attorney.)
I've seen so many people use their children as date/friend-surrogates, instead of parenting them. The child eventually pays for this as they never learn any discipline to build a nice life (do your homework, do chores), instead learning other parenting tools of emotional blackmail and extortion. How can a child turn out right, when they learn to charm or tantrum their way out of chores and responsibilities? That destroys the very tools that will build a great life.
Yes, I have seen single mothers who have parented their sons to be moral, productive, helpful, charismatic, non-manipulative, sane adult men who are now approaching their 40's. These gals should help write a book on how to parent.
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on October 24, 2003
This author would seem to be onto something in their analysis of some of the ways in which our children are being raised to be joyless and selfish. My concern is, that after all the progress that civilisation has made over such a long period to get things where they are now, should we be poking holes in the standards and norms of our society, just when we've got it how we want it, and it's working most smoothly? It's all very well to be saying that we shouldn't be raising joyless, selfish children, but if we don't raise them like this, how are our they going to function in our society? If we raise joyFUL, selfLESS children, who will be the willing lawyers, accountants, factory workers, computer scientists etc. of the future? We all know that joyful, selfless children are unemployable, and fall by the wayside, as the more evolutionarily adapted members of society push them out of the picture. If joyfulness and selflessness were the norm, our society as we know it would crumble. Perhaps we should think about that before we go finding fault with the way things are, because they're like that for a reason.
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