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.

Where was the mother?

Let’s just do this one really quickly, shall we? So, many of you will have read about the case in which a man repeatedly slapped a toddler in a Walmart store in the US because her behaviour did not please him. Yes, repeated criminal physical assault on a child. Do you know whose fault it was? Well, check out a comment here .

Did you guess? Yes, the mother’s fault.

While I do not advocate what the man did – I’m glad it has sparked debate. What everyone is forgetting is WHERE WAS THE MOTHER?
He said: “If you don’t shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you.” Mom did nothing! Didn’t report the man, making me think this happens to her all the time and she ignores it.

Do you know what? Yes, people do threaten, “jokingly” or otherwise, to physically assault a child for crying, quite often. Any parent of a toddler or former toddler here who’s never had that happen, raise your hand. No, thought there wouldn’t be many of you. And while, yes, it would be nice to think that if you reported it to the authorities every time, it would be taken as seriously as a similar threat to an adult, we all know it wouldn’t, don’t we? “Officer, he threatened to slap my child.” “Well, madam, perhaps if you slapped her more often she wouldn’t behave so badly.”

That aside, making someone other than a violent criminal responsible for his violent crime is… well, we’re all feminists here, right? I think we know when else that happens. Perhaps mothers, as women, shouldn’t be at all surprised that the burden of preventing violent crime is all on our behaviour.

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