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Bad Childhood---Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006057786X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060577865
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With her characteristically pointed advice and take-no-prisoners attitude, Dr. Laura's book Bad Childhood – Good Life tackles one of the most basic questions of therapy: How can a person effectively move past the injuries of a bad childhood? Her answer will be familiar to her fans—look at your current behavior and modify what you can change rather than simply venting your anger or allowing yourself to ever be victimized again.

Forget about simply accepting or forgiving your parents for their errors—Dr. Laura extols the virtues of conquering. Through excerpts from her radio show and letters from her listeners, she illustrates her points about guilt, anger and fear in personalized accounts from individuals. Short lists and question/answer sections make for an easy read that allows you to smoothly fast forward and backtrack to the topics you find most relevant at the moment—and numerous references to other chapters and her website provide all the additional information you could want. Faith is a subtle but definite component; some readers will find it the most helpful part of the book while it decidedly won't appeal to others.

Not everyone will agree with—or appreciate--her succinct manner that drives right to the root of issues. Like her show, the book presents absolutes rather than possible alternatives. For readers looking for a definitive method for moving past childhood issues, Dr. Laura might offer the solution. Jill Lightner

From Publishers Weekly

Tis the season, right? For childhood issues to flare up just in time for the trip home for the holidays. Instead of resolving to lose those pesky 10 pounds, 2006 may be the perfect time to stop letting a bad childhood ruin another year, says Schlessinger, author of seven New York Times bestsellers and host of an internationally syndicated radio talk show. Schlessinger uses radio listeners' call-ins, her own stories and a little help from Carly Simon to help adults stuck in the past break free from destructive patterns and move peaceably forward. "The truth is that there is always a battle between the history and the present," she writes. Schlessinger tailors her advice staples (take charge, get tough, be positive, live for something other than yourself) toward securing victory over childhood traumas by admonishing readers against thinking emotionally about emotional subjects, advocating black and white reasoning (one listener's mother is deemed "evil") and proposing an amoeba-brainless and unthinking-constitutes a workable decision making model. Readers already of the Schlessinger school will find much here to appreciate, though it's doubtful this will win her any new fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Dr. Laura Schlessinger received her Ph.D. in physiology from Columbia University and holds a post-doctoral certification from the University of Southern California and licensing in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is the author of nine New York Times bestsellers, including THE PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF MARRIAGE. Her award-winning radio program is internationally syndicated by her Take On The Day company. It's broadcast every day on more than 250 stations, XM Satellite Radio, and the Armed Forces Network, and is stream-linked and podcast on www.drlaura.com.

Customer Reviews

No matter, the book is very helpful and easy to read.
Therese D. Barry
I highly recommend this book to anyone that lived an unhappy childhood.
M. B. Alsop
"Bad Childhood---Good Life" has lots of good messages in it.
Where are my glasses?

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By D. Martin on January 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although I have not always agreed with Dr. Laura, this is the second book of hers I have read and I just loved it! It has set me on the path of freedom from guilt I have carried over the years for my parents (divorced since I was 5)...over my mother's bad childhood (which she NEVER stops talking about), over not contacting my father for several years (even though he never ONCE tried to contact me my entire 20 years in the Navy), over my own blessed life (the one I chose to live instead of following in my mother's footsteps), etc., etc. Since reading this book, which I will read again and take notes the second time around, I am now on the path of a guilt-free life. The bottom line for me is this; I was the child and did not deserve their insults about my weight(father's "fat girl") or neglect (mother's boyfriends). Because I was put second, third, and/or fourth in their lives, I grew up putting people, mainly males, and their needs before my own. No more! This does not mean I have become selfish; it means I include myself when I give to others. I am a very generous and thoughtful person to those who are truly special people in my life. I no longer give to takers!

I also admire Dr. Laura for revealing her childhood as well. not many authors do that. Many folks think she is a hyprocrite; she is not. Instead, she has learned from her childhood and own guilt and, in my opinion, is therefore an authority to write on the subject. She knows from whence she speaks, bless her hard-hitting, no-nonsense, to-the-point heart.

I have recommended this book to my all of my friends, regardless if they had good or bad childhood's. The reason I recommeded it to those who had good childhood's is so that they have a better understanding of those of us who had bad childhoods.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By E. Glennon on September 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Before I purchased and read this book, I was on the fence, "Did I have a bad childhood?" Well the answer is no, I did not, at least not to the extent that others have had bad childhoods, but the lessons taught in this book in fact can help ALL of us to not take things so personally, and to enjoy what life has given us now, as adults. I love Dr. Laura, I don't alway agree with her, but this time she is just trying to help the adults in this country grow up a bit.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Bette VINE VOICE on June 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I know Dr. Laura has her devotees, as well as her detractors. Just for the record, I'm neutral on her. I picked this book off of the library shelf based upon the title alone and decided to read it in spite of all of the bad press the author receives, and not knowing what to expect.

I was pleasantly surprised. There is no propaganda here, just helpful bits of information and advice not only from Dr. Laura, but from her listeners as well.

How much you personally gleen from this book depends on how far along you are in your healing. I'm pretty far along, but I still found several helpful pearls of wisdom. Some subchapters did not apply to me at all, so I simply skimmed them. Others who are just beginning on their healing journey will probably want to read the whole book, though, and might confuse some of the messages herein. For example, Dr. Laura's message in general is NOT "get over it." But she makes a point that, once you have identified your issues and dealt with them for a time, there is no need to dwell on them forever. Actually, her message is that you can transform the negatives into positives and have a good life in spite of even the most horrific childhoods.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By L. Jonsson VINE VOICE on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I love Dr. Laura, and I agree with 85% of what she says and writes. This book is phenominal. I especially loved the afterword in which she speaks about her own dysfunctional family and her poor relationships with her immediate family members. A great book for people who want healing from injustices that they need to get over.
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89 of 110 people found the following review helpful By G. LoPorto on January 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Bad Childhood-Good Life, Dr. Laura encourages her readers to stop letting a bad childhood ruin their lives and their relationships. "There is always a battle between the history and the present," she says.

Dr. Laura uses Carly Simon, her own stories and radio call-ins to help wounded adults, stuck in their past, break free from self-destructive patterns and move on.

Fans of Dr. Laura school will love this book, because it's her best book so far. If you're not a fan, this book probably won't make you one.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Henderson on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I overheard a conversation between two people talking about Bad Childhood Good Life in my grocery stores book section. It appeared they didn't know each other, but one seemed to be recommending it to the other. This prompted me to go look it up online. Although I wasn't really in the market for a self help book, I must say that I'm glad I got it.
Dr. Laura's approach was one that works for me. I can see by some other reviews that it may not work for everyone, but ultimately I felt that it helped me deal with some things. In my case it wasn't early childhood but the high school years and beyond that were tough. Although no book perfectly suits everyone's personality, there is enough good information in this book that if you are really wanting to better yourself emotionally this will most likely help you.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By M. M. Nygard on March 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although I am the product of divorce and an alcoholic parent, I always considered myself as having had a relatively good childhood. Granted, even after 14 years of marriage to a wonderful man, I still feel as if he's going to find someone else and leave me. It wasn't until I read this book on my mother's recommendation and realized that I was quite effected by my parents divorce, much more so that I had previously thought. While I didn't see myself in all the scenerios Dr. Schlessinger wrote about, I was able to see various aspects of my life, aspects that I am quite unhappy about and am now changing. I found this book helpful to a better understanding of myself and my actions towards others, especially my husband and our children.
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