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Customer Review

59 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A C.S.E. in parenting skills, 16 Feb. 2002
This review is from: The Secret of Happy Children: A Guide for Parents (Paperback)
Oh dear. Someone please tell Steve Biddulph to stop trying to write parenting books. I feel embarrassed for the man eveytime he flounders around, mis-matching enlightened, empathic parenting practices with old-school child-rearing approaches. He needs to decide which school of thought he's from. He recommends reading Liedloff's 'Continuum Concept', but if he's taken on board even the spirit of this book, he wouldn't touch his own behaviour modification techniques with a bargepole.
Biddulph writes some perfectly acceptable pieces of wisdom about not smacking (horray!), or 'following through', but then he has this tendency to make some terrible blunders. He aims to be child-centred, but in my estimation falls miserably short, particularly on the subjects of emotions, shyness and tantrums. Infact his misguided advice in these areas made me want to have a tantrum! And if I do I sincerely hope that Steve Biddulph isn't around so that I can express my true feelings without fear of punitive repercussions.
My frustration is that he presents this psuedo-progressive approach, but at the end of the day he still sees children as manipulative, and in need of training, modifying, or controlling, along with the nasty Drs. Ferbers and Greens of this world. If you do not share this viewpoint you need to be reading a different type of book altogether. Our children deserve more respect than this.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Mar 2010 19:52:42 GMT
I think it'd be more fair if you'd inserted an "in my view" before "at the end of the day he still sees children as manipulative, and in need of training, modifying, or controlling, along with the nasty Drs. Ferbers and Greens of this world". Please. Have you ever written a book? It's intended for an audience of more than one. And nowhere in the world does one size fit all. The author is surely subjective - he doesn't even pretend to be otherwise. That's what makes the book so real. And he does write in a very easy to read commonplace way. That's the essence of genius. To be able to tell in plain words what's complicated. Plenty of somewhat intelligent people can use complex words to explain complex phenomena. But only the real good ones can make it sound simple.

In my view, the author is tackling two complex things at the same time, and doing a pretty good job of it. The two complex things being, number one, a majority of parents with amateur skills and self-esteem issues on top, and number two, socializing kids into the world at large, and their cultural peer group in particular - which does, like it or not, mean limiting the full potential of human beings.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2010 15:04:13 BDT
Just my opinion, Maria, but I agree with everything Mary Barnard has written.

In fact it seems, to me, that someone needs to write an antidote to this book.
Thinks .... ;¨)

Posted on 29 Nov 2011 12:06:03 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 27 Feb 2014 18:22:49 GMT]
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Location: Nottingham, Notts United Kingdom

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