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Publisher's Summary

"A beautifully comprehensive look at what it might mean to be a sane and emotionally intelligent parent...hugely warm, wise, hopeful and encouraging." (Alain de Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life)

Instant number one Sunday Times best seller

Every parent wants their child to be happy, and every parent wants to avoid screwing them up (the way their parents did!). But how do you do that?

In this absorbing, clever, and warm book, renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry tells us what really matters and what behavior it is important to avoid - the vital dos and don'ts of parenting.

Her approach begins with parents themselves and their own psychological make-up and history - and how that in turn influences one's parenting.

Instead of mapping out the "perfect" plan, Perry offers a big-picture look at the elements that lead to good parent-child relationships. This refreshing judgement-free book will help you to:

  • Understand how your own upbringing may affect your parenting
  • Accept that you will make mistakes and learn what you can do about them
  • Break negative cycles and patterns
  • Handle your own and child's feelings
  • Understand what different behaviors communicate

Full of sage and sane advice, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read is one every parent will want to hear and every child will wish their parents had.

A Pamela Dorman Books/Viking Life title

©2020 Philippa Perry (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"[H]onest, warm, and judgment-free...this is essential for all parents, from those first expecting to empty nesters. It's never too early or too late to improve the relationship with your children, and, as the title suggests, they'll be glad you did." (Booklist starred review)

"Healing from, and learning not to perpetuate, difficult upbringings is the linchpin of this practical, self-care-centered parenting guide...Perry’s kind but professional tone results in a helpful manual that will appeal to new parents who want an expert on board as they take the time to be reflective in their parenting." (Publishers Weekly)

"It is hard to read fast, not just because Perry’s text is punctuated by exercises...but because it prompts so many realisations, or insights, or clearly names things that have until now existed just beyond one’s awareness. And it provides tools, straightforward and manageable if not always easy, that can be implemented at once. I am grateful for it." (The Guardian UK)

What listeners say about The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

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Excellent advice overall

The overall message of this book is important and well delivered. Talking children through their emotions rather than distraction and responding to bids for attention and exploring your own childhood is vital information.

However, the sleep section I think is just very outdated and a borderline dangerous narrative. “Sleep training” actually does not always mean “cry it out” as you insist. My baby was “sleep trained” before 6 months and never once did he cry it out. Babies actually thrive on schedules and I don’t think having your child in your bed until 2 is helpful for anyone. You don’t take into account how hard it is to be an effective and PATIENT parent when you don’t get good sleep or intimate time with your partner. My son preferred his own room so we didn’t wake him up, unless you suggest we all head to bed at 7pm?It’s kind of crazy advice, do you hold them for every nap until they are 2? I think with adequate research you would get more educated on the topic and maybe look into studies of EXHAUSTED new moms accidentally suffocating their newborns. This section needs to be updated or amended in another edition. You can sleep train without leaving your baby alone to cry and have them love independent sleep as an infant. I don’t like the thought of this scaring new moms and putting their babies in dangerous sleep situations. Just outdated and well, wrong.

Everything else is a good message. Treat and respond to your child like you would want to be treated. Good listen, but I would honestly fast forward the sleep section and it would be perfect!

21 people found this helpful

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Perfect!

The title says it all! This book is a weapon. Easily can listen to it over and over and every time get something out of it. Thank you Philippa!

11 people found this helpful

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very insightful

I loved the book, I was on the fence when I first saw it but I'm really glad I gave it a shot. when it's a parenting book you never really know if it's going to be a "language" that you can understand and continue with, but this book was so relatable and definitely made me see the things that I may need to work on and work with as I create a bond with my son. maybe eventually mend a bond with my wife.

8 people found this helpful

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Wish I had read this earlier

As a parent of young adult children, I wish this was required reading years ago. However, it is still useful, and was recommended to me for some of my own reparenting and childhood healing. The examples are helpful for finding the voice I realize I didn’t have from my own parents, who were loving, but never developed their own sense of emotional awareness either.

7 people found this helpful

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Life changing

This book forever changed my relationship with my child for better. I wish I had read it earlier but I am so grateful that I came across it. I am able to forgive myself, understand myself and understand my child, I am able not to give up and keep trying to be a better parent to my child and a better person in general. Thank you Philippa Perry for writing this book. It’s a treasure.

5 people found this helpful

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Listening to her read is borderline unbearable

This book has some decent partnering advice for sure but I REALLY wish I had read it instead of listening. Listening to this woman is borderline unbearable. The “voices” she does when she pretends to be a little kid are one of the most cringe worthy things I’ve ever heard in my life. I’ve found myself hating this entire book even though it’s full of good advice because her voice is so extraordinarily irritating. Another irritating thing is that she very clearly makes up stories and anecdotes that did not actually happen. She always has some ridiculous story about a person she knows who just so happens to perfectly align with the point she’s trying to make and the things she claims the people said are so fake and far fetched. Her story would have been much more well received if it didn’t constantly feel like I was being lied to and talked to in some fake idiot baby voice. So so sooo bad.

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This book is AMAZING!!!

This book has been very eye opening and has made me more aware of how much our behavior effects our children. You are reminded that the small things do matter. I love how each chapter has exercises at the end to help your implement some of these tactics at home. This is definitely a audiobook I will be listening to for years to come. Thank you

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Very informative and relatable book

I found the writer to be very knowledgeable and enjoyable to listen to. Seeing things from a wondering parent as well as a wondering child felt like it hit a lot more home then I imagined. My toddler is young and as I learn how to relate to his feelings and emotions and realizing how much my actions related to my childhood was eye opening. I really recommend any new or current parent no matter what age to take a listen and you may be able to discover much more then you realize.

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Just finished and ready to start it again

The relationship and communication advice goes beyond raising a child. From pregnancy through 100 years old. Parents, partners, and children. I found myself immediately putting her words into action.

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Simply beautifully brilliant.

I do wish my parents read this book and I had a pretty good wonderful childhood. this is very helpful. read before and during raising kids.

2 people found this helpful