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How Not to F*** Them Up Hardcover – June 6, 2011

2.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A book that you can trust with your children" The Independent "In a perfect world every parent would have a parenting masterclass before the baby arrives. This is the next best thing!" Arabella Weir "At last, something for the modern mother! A sane voice amid the shrill cacophony of childcare books" Imogen Edwards-Jones "James is truly on the side of women and creating a society in which parenting and the issues it raises are shared between both partners." -- Louise Carpenter The Times Magazine "I agree with Oliver James. Caring for a baby or toddler is personal, because you have to tune in to the child's changing needs." -- Sue Palmer The Times

About the Author

Oliver James is a former clinical child psychologist, journalist, broadcaster, television documentary producer, and the author of Contented Dementia and They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091923913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091923914
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,973,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Inaccurate with lots of misinformation! Inaccurate with lots of misinformation! Horrible book! As 'the alpha parent' blog author notes, Oliver James maintains that, “While breastfeeding you can’t take aspirin for headaches, you cannot have a glass of wine, not even one of your favourite curries or some garlic with your chicken” (p31). Such falsehoods undermine women’s confidence in breastfeeding and paint the picture of nursing one’s baby as tantamount to living in a straightjacket.

We are also told unquestionably that during breastfeeding “you are acutely aware of the need to move to a bottle so that other carers will be able to discharge this vital role as well as you” (p31), suggesting that anything else would be selfish. Not all breastfeeding mothers chose to combine bottle and breast; in fact, it would be wise not to.

THE MOST OFFENSIVE TO ME:
Finally in a chapter titled “The Causes of Maternal Depression” James maintains that “women who breastfeed are at greater risk of depression, since they get less sleep and producing milk is tiring” (p324). In brackets after this statement James cites three studies from the eighties to act as evidence. Firstly his contention is false. In reality, the opposite is true, breastfeeding mothers get more sleep and their sleep is of higher quality; not to mention the act of nursing releases calming hormones which counteract depressive symptoms. Secondly, his use of outdated studies to bolster his view is out of sync with the rest of the book. All the other references littered throughout the book (and there are hundreds) are bang up to date. It appears that James was scraping barrels trying to find some anti-breastfeeding references and ended up resorting to vintage ones.
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Format: Paperback
I received this book for Christmas 2012, I have a 6 month old.

My first reaction when I started reading was that I wanted to throw the book out the window. I was p***ed off. I was sure I was going to discover that I was a bad mum. That's probably why I kept reading it... Initially. I decided I would keep an open mind.

I finished the book in 3 nights and it was brilliant!

Confronting? Yes! I could see what was missing in my mothering, that I hadn't been able to see before.

I have made subtle changes to how I care for my son that have immediately resulted in a happier baby that goes to sleep in a couple of minutes on his own, rather than the coaxing, rocking, patting, exhausting marathons that it has taken since he was 6 weeks old.

I would only read this book if you
1. Are willing to confront the impact and consequences how you do things or plan to do things
2. Can put aside any concerns and defensiveness that you will discover you are a bad mother

I do think his views are mis-represented and sensationalised in the press.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book and think most parents should read it should even though they may disagree with the author's views. Each parent wants the best for their child and I think its worth reading the author's point of view just in case you learn something new. I loved the hugger section in particular since I fit the author's description of the hugger mom to a T. Reading this book and reading his article in the Guardian made me glad that I made the decision to put my career on hold till my child didn't need me so much any more. His sections on the pitfalls of the different parenting styles and on instilling discipline also were useful and rang true to me. I wish lawmakers would read books such as these and come up with more compassionate family time and allowance policies for parents of young ones.
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Format: Paperback
Three days ago, I finished reading "How Not to F*** Them Up," by Oliver James, and I have been fuming ever since. I didn't want to write this post, as a friend had recommended the book to me and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. But I can't rid myself of that book until I write something about it. I feel it is my duty to warn other mums: DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!

Former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett once described Pauline Hanson to be "so simplistic as to be irresponsible." That sums up my reaction to "How Not to F*** Them Up." The book is presented as based on research. I love a good, popular, non-fiction book. But what I absolutely cannot abide is when someone writes a book, purportedly based on the latest evidence, and then picks and chooses scientific articles to back up their existing opinion. I know that is what we all do, every day in conversation, in written pieces, even in research theses. But it is utterly irresponsible to do so in a book targeted at one of the most vulnerable groups to judgment and advice in the Western world - mothers.

The author makes it fairly clear that his own background has informed his decision to write the book. But what he doesn't seem to realise is that his views are totally coloured by his own experience of growing up. His mother suffered from depression and he attributes many of his own social, developmental issues to this. His No.1 goal is to tell mothers, do what you need to do to avoid getting depressed, because that is the worst thing you can be for your child. Fair enough. But then he proceeds to pretend he is objectively presenting three different types of mothers: Organisers, Huggers and Fleximums, whilst implicit in the text is his favouring the Huggers and second, the Fleximums.
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