Like beating yourself up? This book may be for you

Do you like having people tell you how horrible your kids are?

Do you enjoy being told that you are a bad parent?

If that is your idea of a good time, this book by Larry Winget may be for you. It reads like the bible of motherblame. From the press release:

ABOUT “YOUR KIDS ARE YOUR OWN FAULT” (Gotham Books; January 2010; Hardcover; $26.00).

This is not a fix-your-kid book. It’s a fix-the-way-you parent book. You owe it to your kids to parent with a plan. As Larry explains, “Why am I writing this book? Look around. Our kids are a mess! They are overmedicated, over-indulged, over-fed, over-weight, over-entertained, under-educated, under-achieving, under-disciplined, disrespectful, illiterate brats with a sense of entitlement that is crippling our society. And it has to change!”

Along with in-depth research and experience from raising his own kids, Winget makes sure you “don’t expect to change your kids’ behavior, unless you are willing to change your own.” He uses the same tough love approach that has made him a bestseller to make sure you are teaching your kids the right values to become productive adults and live a successful life.

WINGET tells you things you don’t necessarily want to hear or admit to, such as:

–You tell your kids they’re special. They’re not!

–You make your kids the most important thing in life. They’re not!

–You turn to medicine to fix everything. Don’t be lazy!

–You set a bad example. Your kids follow it.

Winget forces parents to take a good look at their own behaviors and make a change. He offers five basic principles but suggests it isn’t a matter of just doing them; it is how well you do them that counts.

This Winget guy sounds like a wing nut to me. On his website (not deserving of a link…look him up if you want) he calls himself the “pitbull of personal development” (FWIW I don’t like pitbulls). His other book is called “No Time For Tact”, which he very obviously demonstrated by bringing out this parentblame book. It sounds like it breaks all of the rules of appropriate parenting advice by trying to shame people into whipping their kids into shape. He is also on twitter and predictably is not following anyone and doesn’t reply to anyone…all one way communication. Just the guy I want to teach me to be a good person and a good parent.

I’d love to take my copy of The Nurture Assumption by Judith Rich Harris, which concludes “as for what’s wrong with you: don’t blame it on your parents” and whack him with it.

Thank you to Meagan Francis from The Happiest Mom who called out this idiot on twitter and forwarded the press release to me by e-mail.


8 Responses

  1. Always good to get a book review from someone who hasn’t read the book. And following people on twitter is certainly the way to judge a good author. Try mentioning 4, yep, 4 New York Times/Wall Street Journal Bestsellers as a criteria instead of how many people followed on twitter.

  2. Actually bestsellers are a way to judge a successful writer not necessarily a good one! And not really sure that your comprehension skills are top notch either as the post was referring to your interaction on twitter not the number of followers.

    As for not having read the book – it is the very concept of the book that is being criticised – and you don’t need to read it to come to that conclusion. But the idea that you have to buy it and read it before you’re allowed to have an opinion – your publicist would be proud!!

  3. Hey, pitbulls are very nice dogs when treated with kindness and respect. Not sure there is as much hope for someone who refers to kids as “brats.”

  4. Oh right, a guy with an obviously adolescent persona, judging by his website, clothing, attitude and silly facial hair, sure I’m going to take advice from him as a paragon of maturity ;-/ I know one of these eternal Peter Pans in real life and he also thinks he’s a fount of wisdom on child rearing (he doesn’t have any of course)

  5. In defense of Larry –

    1. There are kids who are brats. You were a kid once, and, chances are, you knew a few once upon a time. Be honest.

    2. Not that people should wallow in blame, but a lot of people – parents, kids, non-parents, etc. – do have an issue about really taking responsibility where they probably should. For example, if a kid becomes a bully, it may not be something the parent had anything to do with, but it is a parent’s responsibility to work on correcting said behavior. That’s kind of the whole point of being a parent – nurturing AND teaching.

    3. I’ve seen Larry’s website, and it’s not “immature.” Michael Savage, on the other hand….

    As someone who’s read a couple of his books, I know this: he has two grown kids. As far as I know, they’re both good guys and productive members of society. So, Helen, your comment is both uninformed and unnecessarily insulting.

    If there is a central point to any of Winget’s books, it is to take responsibility where you should, whether if you’re overweight, underweight, broke, single, what have you.

    • Dunno how I missed this.

      1. So? Some adults are murderers. This doesn’t mean we should imprison all adults.

      2. I don’t know if I can agree that “a lot of people” “have an issue about really taking responsibility”. Some do, yes. Anyway, I don’t think your point makes the parent-blaming tactics advocated by Winget any more acceptable. Teaching is often done by modeling behaviour by parents and others. Surprisingly, I do agree with one thing Winget sad: “don’t expect to change your kids’ behavior, unless you are willing to change your own.” But I don’t mean by being a bossy, controlling parent. I mean by being an example.

      As far as your judging Winget’s advice based on how well his children turned out? I don’t buy the argument that parents should get the credit when children turn out well. Children are their own people. Parents are there to help, but ultimately children raise themselves. Parents can impede this process, they can assist it. Incredible people can have terrible parents and vice versa. So, I don’t see Helen’s comment as being out of line.

      • Incredible people do have terrible parents. I am one of them. But it took me a lot of hard work to get here and I didn’t do it until I was an adult. As a teen, I was awful. You don’t even want to know what I did….it was all terrible and my chances of survival were low.

        I spend a bunch of money on therapy. Why? Because of my mother and her awful parenting. It is her fault. I blame her. But of course I get to make my own choices now and I can see how at this point I own my life. You cannot control children but we are certainly in control of the atmosphere.

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