This is one of the best books on parenting I've read EXCEPT for the one part (page 136) in which the author states "Accept the fact that you are precisely where you have chosen to be in life. Stop blaming your spouse for your unhappiness, your parents for your lack of motivation, the economy for your financial status, the bakery for your exess weight, your childhood for your phobias, and anything else to with you assign blame points. You are the sum total of the choices you have made in your life. Even if your parents made mistakes with you, accept the fact that they were human beings doing what they knew how to do at the time, given the unique conditions in their lives. How can you ask more of anyone? Forgive them and make peace with everyone in your past..." That's BULL. The author is negating the importance of his book with that statement. Why are there so many parenting books if there weren't so many adults out there with major problems BECAUSE of how they grew up? Why don't we just parent any way we want to--we can abuse our children--and then turn around and say "Don't blame me for your problems". Parents DO have responsibility--BIG responsibility in how their children turn out. How can anyone say of an ABUSIVE parent that he/she was just doing what they knew how to do at the time and that you couldn't ask any more of them??? Children can ask a WHOLE LOT MORE of their parents than to live with abuse. "Forgive them and make peace with your past"--in other words just tell them that all the abuse you suffered through didn't really matter and it was OK and you just weren't important enough to be treated any better? In other words, Dr. Dyer is giving them license to abuse and possibly continue the abuse but take no responsibility for it. WRONG!!! What's the point of this book then? What's the difference if we raise happy children or completely miserable children--how they turn out is going to be completely their responsibility and none of ours. Children do not grow up in a vacuum. People do not make choices in a vacuum. Yes, you are the sum of the choices you made, but your choices are based on what you learned of yourself and of the world THROUGH YOUR PARENTS. How can ANYONE take responsibility off of ABUSIVE parents as this Dr. Dyer has done??? Whether your parents abused you emotionally, physically and/or sexually--THEY have the responsibility, NOT YOU. You could have and you had every right to "ask more of them". Blaming a bakery on your excess weight is absolutely NOTHING like blaming your parents for the effects of their abuse. How can Dr. Dyer even SUGGEST such a thing? Having lived through a lifetime of hell because of abuse, I resent the fact that Dr. Dyer is taking all responsibility away from my parents and putting it on me. I didn't ASK to be abused. I DIDN'T make that choice. My parents have all the responsibility of that on THEIR shoulders. I made choices based on what I believed about myself from what I LEARNED as a child through that ABUSE. I know for a fact that abused children cannot just "forgive" their parents and "make peace" without working through the pain and hell of the past, but I had to learn that after much suffering and years of therapy. Oh yes, I want to be a good parent and I do make mistakes with my children, but ABUSE is not a "mistake". If you have been abused as a child, whether mentally/emotionally, physically and/or sexually, I recommend that you get the book "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward and don't EVER listen to ANYONE who tells you that your parents are not responsible for who you are today. THEY ARE. This is a good book on parenting, but please don't pay any attention to the part that I am referring to--it is simply NOT true. Ask any person who was abused as a child. TOXIC PARENTS BY SUSAN FORWARD is an excellent book for persons who were abused as children. CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. If children live with tolerance, they learn patience. If children live with praise, they learn appreciation. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn generosity. If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If children live with fairness, they learn justice. If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live. ***PARENTS DO PLAY A BIG PART IN HOW THEIR CHILDREN TURN OUT AS ADULTS AND ON THE CHOICES THEIR CHILDREN MAKE***
Until I read this book, I was unaware of how much influence I as a parent make on my child and how much influence my parents were on me. I think it is very helpful to understand why we are the way we are and how we can help our children to become the best they can be. There are a lot of things we just aren't aware of in life that influence our children and this book brings a lot of them to your attention. I am doing a lot of things correct in raising my child, but I also have a lot to learn. This book is terrific! I highly suggest it to parents of children of all ages (even those with adult children)!!
My friend gifted it to me without exactly knowing its real value. I had previously read Dr Dyer's books (Your Erroneous Zones, Ths Sky is the Limit, etc.). Anticipating the same wisdom and guidance, I read the book. It was wonderful. I had always thought on the same line and wished that I personally could have been raised by my parents in the manner described by Dr Dyer. This book is my parenting guide for lifetime. Thank you Dr Dyer.
The point of the book is your own life & behavior as it affects YOU and YOUR children, rather than your parents' lives & behavior and how it affected YOU. If that fact was missed by a reviewer with A Bone to Pick, that reviewer did, indeed, totally miss......the point. The reviewer states: "That's BULL. The author is negating the importance of his book with that statement. Why are there so many parenting books if there weren't so many adults out there with major problems BECAUSE of how they grew up? Why don't we just parent any way we want to--we can abuse our children--and then turn around and say "Don't blame me for your problems". I would have to assume that anyone who was attracted to this book, if only because of its title, would not be of the mindset to abuse his/her children. More importantly, we can't coulda shoulda - we can't redo our own childhoods. The point of the book is to help us find more effective ways to raise our OWN children, in spite of our own childhoods, and to help us see very clearly what we TRULY want for our children. Dr. Dyer is marvelously successful in helping us to do just that. In this book, there is no room for blame, retaliation, recriminations, or lingering hostility. The point of Dr. Dyer's statements is that if we hang on to those negative feelings and long ago reactions, we will damage our own kids as well as continue to damage our ourselves. The name of the book is "What Do You Really Want for your Children," not "How Much Were You Abused as a Child? Let Us Count the Ways." I had these audio tapes about 10 years ago, when my son was just a little fellow, and was truly enlightened by the common sense conveyed by Dr. Dyer's insights. It's time to listen again!