Monday, March 21, 2011

Raising the Perfect Child through Guilt and Manipulation - Elizabeth Beckwith

This guest review comes from my sweet cousin, Kalea Christman, mother of two under two and therefore wholly qualified to write her own parenting guide

Summary: Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation is not one of those traditional, all-too-earnest parenting guides that, for generations, have sucked all the fun out of child rearing. The foundation of Elizabeth Beckwith's Guilt and Manipulation family philosophy is simple: We do things a certain way, and everyone else is an @**#&!$.   Is that something you should put on a bumper sticker and slap on your minivan? Of course not—that would be trashy. But in the privacy of your own home, you can employ the essential components of Guilt and Manipulation to mold the little runts ruthlessly yet effectively into children you won't be embarrassed to admit are yours. (Summary and cover from amazon.com - Image from usedbooks.co.nz ).

My Review:  I originally wanted to read the book based on its title. But as we all know, you can't judge a book by it's cover. What I thought would be a fun parenting book turned out to be a spoof on parenting books.

The author considers herself conservative and says that she gets uncomfortable if anybody brings up the subject of sex. I found that inconsistent with the fact that there is at least one swear word per page (including the “F” word in one story), that she explicitly describes what Las Vegas Show girls do to each other onstage, and brings up sexual topics throughout the whole thing.

It did, however, have a few redeeming qualities. There were times that it was laugh-out-loud funny. It also had some gems of parenting advice, like:
  • Don't tell your kids that if they don't turn off the TV, you'll through it out the window, unless you really intend on doing it. She harped on consistency, which is crucial in parenting.
  • Explain to your kids that the reason why they need to hold your hand when crossing the street is because if they don't, they could get hit by a car and die. So many parents sugarcoat the severity of certain consequences instead of being honest.
  • Make your home into a comfortable haven with good food and team-building activities so that it's a place they want to be.
I've read other reviews on it and it seems as though there are two takes on it. Either you love it, or you wanted to love it, but hated it.

My Rating: 2 stars

Sum it up: A sarcastic spoof on parenting books with some good advice sprinkled here and there.

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