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The Favorite Child Paperback – January 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591027624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591027621
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,487,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"American history is full of great achievers brought down by self-regard, fantasies of invulnerability, and indifference to the truth. Psychologist Ellen Weber Libby has witnessed such personal dramas over three decades of clinical practice in the nation’s capital and in thoughtful observation of the American scene. Now, she distills her insights in an important volume of wide interest not only to her fellow therapists but also to scholars in many fields and to everyone – parents and children – concerned about the quality of our intertwined private and public lives…."
—Robert A. Gross, James L. and Shirley A. Draper Professor
of Early American History, University of Connecticut

"Dr. Libby’s illuminating exploration and her understanding of the profound and complex issues of being a favorite child challenge us all to be more thoughtful and aware of our impact on a child’s eventual character, expectations, and performance in the world. Powerful and provocative, this is a must read."
—Ellen Schiff, PhD, psychologist in private practice, Bethesda, MD

About the Author

Ellen Weber Libby, PhD (Annapolis, MD), is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been in private practice in Washington, DC, for over thirty years. Her professional experience includes the position
of clinical director of a mental health center serving a three-county region and service on the faculty at
the University of Maryland where she had significant responsibility for clinical training
of students. Dr. Libby writes a blog for Psychology Today called "The Favorite Child": http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-favorite-child

More About the Author

Ellen Weber Libby, PhD (Annapolis, MD), is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been in private practice in Washington, DC, for over thirty years. Her professional experience includes the position of clinical director of a mental health center serving a three-county region and service on the faculty at the University of Maryland where she had significant responsibility for clinical training of students.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
I highly recommend this book for any family -- ever if you think it doesn't apply to you.
jeri morones
It provides the reader, in a readable way, a path to understanding leaders of our society, as well as our own place in our original family.
Tena
This book is amazingly insightful about how family dynamics can shape relationships throughout one's life.
Sue Pitchford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jane R. Snider on January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Favorite Child is an amazing explanation of children and family issues that all of us are affected by. Dr. Libby shares stories of families and how so many of us struggle with preferences in a family. Everyone should read this book. I highly recommend it to any parent, any daughter, any son.

Dr. Jane R. Snider
Learning Disabilities Specialist
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By jessadmks on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book would have been SO much better if her hypothesis had a leg to stand on. And if she had a better editor...WE GET IT. FAVORITISM EXISTS AND YOU THINK THAT IT IS UNAVOIDABLE. How about providing us with real data about the impacts of favoritism and real suggestions as to how to deal with your feelings of preference for one child over another? Let me save you $15-20 and hours of wasted reading time...The main messages of this book are that the author is related to Scooter Libby (which she babbles about repeatedly), favoritism happens, there's nothing you can really do about it, and it may or may not screw your kids up in the future. Cool. Thanks, Ellen.

Being that I've always felt very strongly that my younger brother was the favorite child and have very recently come to accept that the favoritism shown him has actually benefited ME more than anyone, I thought reading this book would be very interesting for me. While the author's proclamations confirmed some of my beliefs that favoritism can lead a child to an undue sense of entitlement, a lack of concern for rules and for others, etc, I quickly came to realize that these statements are based on her personal experiences, not on actual research. In fact, I could have written this book with the knowledge I've gleaned from my family life...and I probably would have done a better job. If you're interested in reading actual, factual information, rather than just speculation about favoritism in families, skip the first hundred pages, wherein author repeats herself over and over, making sweeping generalizations without backing them up with firsthand research, and go straight to the presented case studies. Or, yaknow what? Talk to your family and friends. They can probably tell you plenty of tales of favoritism. Sorry, Ellen. Just because you've had a career as a therapist and listened to people's life stories doesn't mean that REAL DATA would support your theories.

What a disappointment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard W. Gilbert on January 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is going to help you. Not only does it provide some answers to why some folks who appear to have it made do some pretty reckless things, but it offers insight into how early childhood experiences shape (read run) our lives. Whether you were the favorite child or not, you're bound to see some familiar stories in these pages. You don't have to be a therapist to read it, Dr Libby makes the case in plain English. I work with a lot of high performing people in close counseling. This book is going into my reference library!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tena on January 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr Libby has taken a topic known to all of us intrinsically, but not dealt with until now. It provides the reader, in a readable way, a path to understanding leaders of our society, as well as our own place in our original family. The book is a treasure, for the everyday reader to the therapy community. I recommend it highly!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C Lee on December 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
not what I expected from the reviews or summery. I thought it terrible actually. It slightly touches on the favored child issue but repeats itself over and over and I know way more about Scooter Libby than I ever wanted to. Seems like it's just a book that name drops and makes excuses for bad behavior while droning on and on.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beverly on February 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Favorite Child" offers insights into a family issue that has never been fully explored. Favortism is brought out from under the carpet and examined for both its positive and negative implications. This book is highly readable and insightful.
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Format: Paperback
No one likes being second best. "The Favorite Child: How a Favorite Impacts Every Family Member for Life" looks into a commonly occurring phenomena in families and how it can have untold effects on the psyches of all involved. Stating how favoritism starts, how it affects the favorite, those who aren't the favorite, and those who are flat out shunned. "The Favorite Child" is a riveting look into the relationships between parents, their children, and the sibling rivalry.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was referred to me by a trusted friend who suggested it might help me in understanding my family, as well as, myself. How right she was! In fact, after much personal searching thru 12 step programs, therapy, reading, education, and whatever I thought might help me in my understanding of my family of origin and my own children, husband, and myself, I feel this is/was the missing link. I had never come across any information on what being "the favoriet child" can do to a person, both negative and positive, as well as their birth family and their own children. I was able to trace my mother's, my husband's, and my own family favoriet children and how it had/has effected us to this day. I am now able to understand why some decision were made and there really was no choice in our making them but the results of each of us holding a position of "favoriet child" in our individual families. I am at peace now and my search is over since I have found the missing piece of my search. I highly recommend this book for any family -- ever if you think it doesn't apply to you. I read it to see if and how it might fit with my family and found my own self, too. While it was written awhile back, I don't think time changes anything with this issue. It is still going on in families.

Jeri Morones
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