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How Not to F*** Them Up

Oliver James: How Not to F*** Them Up

  • Oliver James
  • Nonfiction
  • Out now
  • English English
  • 88 EGP
  • Diwan
reviewed by
Salma Tantawi
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Oliver James: How Not to F*** Them Up

Finally a straightforward
book tells parents the blunt truth about why their naughty kids behave the way they do:
it’s the parents’ fault! Known for his strong opinions on parenting and child
psychology, author Oliver James follows his last book They F*** You
Up with a new release that is bound to incite similar controversy.

How Not to F*** Them
Up presents a new take on how to deal with the
constantly demanding psychosocial drama that is modern parenting. The author has first-hand experience in the topic; and his personal anecdotes make for an insightful read compared to the average parenting book that is heavy on studies and
advice. The author recounts his messed-up childhood, how he would be left crying
on the street for hours unattended, and how his mother blamed him for her inability to return to work.

This brings
the author to the main point of the book; James believes that mothers of
toddlers less than three years old should not work outside their homes, nor
should they hire help to take care of their kids. Not only do the mother’s
choices affect her child; but every mother has a maternal persona that unavoidably
controls how she treats her baby. The book narrows them down to three types
that are thoroughly discussed.

Interestingly, the author attempts to explain his opinion from a
child’s perspective, and describes what children see and expect their parents to
do, and how the parents will have no problem meeting those demands if they alter
their methods. That being said, the author makes a
point of stressing that all families are different, so the same methods may not
work for everyone.

How Not to F*** Them
Up raises some valid points about the effect of a parent’s behaviour
on a child’s development, while providing solutions to make parenting an easier
job. However, as with other similar self-help books, one can’t help but wonder
if such books have all the magical solutions that they promise, wouldn’t raising a
child be an easy process by now?

Like This? Try

They F*** You Up, Affluenza, Toddling to Ten

Author Bio

Oliver James was born in England in 1953. He is a clinical psychologist, journalist and bestselling author, as well as a television documentary producer and presenter. He currently writes a weekly column for the family section of The Guardian.

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