I will be reviewing the original print of this book. I know it has been updated and republished several times over the years (shudder) but my mother read the original, so that is what I will do. I bought this book used for literally 1 cent on Amazon. Upon reading it, I’ve concluded that I paid too much for this drivel. But let’s begin, shall we? The book’s text is centered and bolded; my text is left-aligned and non-bolded, for ease of reading.
Wow. Perhaps it’s naïve of me to be surprised by this, but the first red flag comes in the book’s dedication. The dedication! I reproduce it for you:
“This book is affectionately dedicated to my own mother, who was blessed with a brilliant understanding of children. She intuitively grasped the meaning of discipline and taught me many of the principles which I’ve described on the following pages. And, of course, she did an incredible job of raising me, as everyone can plainly see.”
Whoa, nelly! Look, it’s fine to love your parents, to think they were great, to think they did a great job raising you. But to say “as everyone can plainly see”? I … I … Ego, much? Holy hubris, Batman! Anyway, moving on…
“But I’ve always been puzzled by one troubling question: why did my fearless mother become such a permissive pushover the moment we made her a grandmother?”
I’m sure he means this to be light-hearted and funny, but as someone who was raised on his toxic books and now sees my own mom as a grandmother, I don’t find this funny. I find it triggering. My own mother has the hugest pair of grandma blinders I’ve ever seen in my life. My nieces and nephew can literally do no wrong. She CONSTANTLY makes excuses for them when they misbehave. “He was tired.” “Her asthma was acting up.” And while I want to make it abundantly clear that I would never in a million years wish what I went through as a child on my nieces and nephew, or any other child for that matter, when she gushes over how good they are, when they behave exactly like I did as a child, it really hits a trigger. I was punished in some form for every tiny little thing I did from about nine months onward, and believe me, NOBODY cared if I was tired or sick.