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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
If you look at Larry Winget and me, you wouldn't think we are very similar. I don't wear the flashy colored shirts like he does, I don't have earrings, and I do have hair. Well, looks can be deceiving, because we sure think a lot a like. I didn't really know anything about Winget until last summer when I checked out one of his books from the library. I agreed with a lot of it and ended up purchasing a few others. When I learned he had one coming out on raising kids, I looked forward to it. Now, after reading it, I agree with Winget that this is his most important book.

"Your Kids Are Your Own Fault: A Guide For Raising Responsible, Productive Adults" by Larry Winget should be read by anyone and everyone raising kids. Yes, I believe that! Is it because Winget is the be all and end all of parenting advice? Heck no! He'd be the first to agree with me on that. It's because he raises so many important issues in this book that need to be addressed and he provides common sense advice for dealing with these topics. I firmly believe all parents should study being better parents and learn all they can regarding raising their children. My wife and I are far from perfect parents, but we try. We go to parenting classes offered in town and we read various books on parenting. We continue to do so, and that's why I wanted to read "Your Kids Are Your Own Fault." Anything that can help me be a better father is worth the time to me.

So what's so good about this book? A lot! In his direct no-nonsense style, Winget first lays out what he believes is wrong with many kids today. Having seen kids at the mall and local YMCA that have no respect for the facility, equipment, and others; having seen overweight kids stuffing their faces at fast food joints; and having seen many of the statistics Winget provides to illustrate the problems, I agree with him. It's a problem! I hope this book wakes some people up to these alarming trends in today's youth.

Winget then goes on to describe his five basics of parenting: Communication, Involvement, Education, Discipline, and Punishment. Hard to argue those are not extremely important and he provides some good advice regarding all five.

The third section of the book focuses on what Winget believes should be taught to kids. In this section he has short chapters about a lot of important topics such as: Money, Sex, Relationships, Health, Appearance, School, Technology, Cars, Honesty, Integrity, Lying, Religion, Finding Purpose, and Succeeding. He offers straight-forward advice on what to teach kids about these subjects and why.

Now you might not agree with everything he advises, and that's okay. There are a few places where I certainly differ in opinion. You should too! You need to think for yourself and use the book as a guide, not a bible. Winget himself acknowledges some of what he writes will make people mad and some won't agree with him on things, and that's okay with him. But do him and me both a favor. Read what he wrote with an open mind and then take those areas that can help you be a better parent and apply it to your own parenting. I'll bet you'll find a lot here that is helpful.

Throughout the book Winget asks questions and provides a few lines for you to answer them. Even if you don't write out the answers in the book, these questions are worth taking a moment or two and answering. Thinking about your answers to these topics and then applying what you think about can help you be a better parent.

Love him or hate him, you can't deny that Winget loves his kids unconditionally and wants all parents to do the same. He believes this is his most important book because he believes kids are our future and it is a parent's responsibility to raise kids to be responsible, productive adults. I agree with him and recommend this book wholeheartedly to all parents and anyone else who influences the lives of children.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of Hard-Won Wisdom From the School of Hard Knocks.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2010
As with Larry Winget's other books, the finger in pointing right at you in this book. Like he has stated, "Nothing gets better until you get better, and everything gets better when you get better." This time it's not just about you, it's about your kids, your friend's kids, kids you teach and other children in your family. Want better children in your life, be a better adult. It's time that parents start waking up and take a look at a toxic world when the pendulum has swung too far and our children are out of control. This book is that wake up call.
I have taught children for years now and have slowly watched things get out of control. (except now things are rapidly getting out of control). Parents just let their children do whatever they want while they sit on the sidelines and ignore it. With my first child on the way, I was afraid of the world they would be growing up in. How can I prevent the influences of the media, MTV, magazines, and other children (and adults) my daughter will be around to negatively effect her? Larry answered the question. I have to be the parent. I have to be the one who stands up to these influences and says that this is not the way to behave. I have to set the example. If I want my daughter to respect other people, I have to respect other people. If I want my daughter to be smart with her money, I have to be smart with my money. If I want my daughter to read books and not sit in front of the television or computer, I have to read books and not sit in front of the television or computer.
Larry shows that you do not have to be harsh, or threaten or punish your children or put them on the "Time Out Step" in order to make them behave. On the contrary, if you are a good parent and your roll is clear, punishment will be the last thing you have to do.
As the title for this review states, this is not a "How To" raise your child book. It will not give you step by step instructions to guide them through their first years, school years, adolescent years, etc. This book is a "Why To Raise Your Children Properly" book. It's also not just about the child, it's about you. Don't buy this book thinking that it's going to be about how to set your crazy kid straight without doing any work yourself. It's going to require MORE work on your part. Remember, your kids (and your life) are YOUR FAULT. Read this book and start taking personal responsibility for your life and your child's life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2010
As the parent of 4 young children I have read many different books and listened to numerous cd's about raising, caring for and teaching my children. I have never read a book quite like Larry's. In fact I bought the book in spite of the fact that I have never read any of Larry's works and knew nothing about his approach to raising children or as Larry says "adults". From the beginning I was hooked. Here was a man that did not have M.D. or Phd. following his name writing a book about raising children and go figure he knew what he was talking about. I found Larry's writing refreshing and different from any of the other books I have read on this subject. I was relieved that someone had stepped out of the clinical approach to parenting and into the reality of parenting. I was shocked at the things that I realized I was letting my kids see, do and experience that I hadn't even thought about, such as watching evening television with me although the programming was not age appropriate. I figured they didn't know what was going on and weren't picking most of it up anyway. After reading Larry's book and reading that children as young as elementary school were having sex and largely due to the things that they see on TV and all around them; my children will no longer be watching evening TV with me, in fact the TV is going off in the evening. If they can't watch it I won't watch it (until they are in bed!). I was grateful to learn of the things that I was doing wrong as a parent so that I could fix them and I was even more grateful to learn of the things I was doing right as a parent so I can continue to do them. Of course I did not agree with everything that was written I took many valuable lessons from what I did agree with. This book not only showed me what I should be like as a parent but it showed me the good and bad things that my parents did and helped me to set goals to make my kids growing experience better than mine was. My parenting has changed over the last week that I have read this book and it has changed for the better. After I read this book I did the best thing I could think of, I passed it on to a friend and when she is done I hope she will do someone else the same courtesy. Thank you Larry for being honest and letting us have a glimpse into your family.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2009
Let me say just two things about Your Kids Are Your Own Fault...
1. I have two little girls, ages 4 and 8. They are THE most important thing in my life and I want to be the best father I can possibly be. Larry's book has the best parenting advice I've ever seen or heard - EVER!
2. This is the best book Larry has ever written. For those of you who are fans of Larry's previous books, you know that to say that this is the best of the bunch is truly saying something!!! And this IS the best of the bunch.
This book will crawl all over you, make you mad, inspire you, and, most of all, make you want to be a better parent and teach you how. I wish that Amazon had more stars for me to give this book. It is truly OUTSTANDING!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2010
This book is the real deal; Just like Larry. It's for parents who want to step up their role as parents, and people like me who are enroute to parenthood. I needed this book. He avoids the fluff and gets to the meat of what really goes into parenting...responsibility, discipline, integrity and a plan. Having been raised by conservative parents (from Brooklyn) who allowed me to fail (and learn its lessons) and who also fed me the 'brutal truth' about life at an early age, I appreciate Larry's blunt yet powerful style. This book also made me appreciate my parents even more! Thanks Larry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2010
I was very excited to read that Larry Winget was coming out with a book about parenting. I've read a few of his other books, and have always received practical wisdom delivered with straight talk (particularly in "Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life," which is my favorite!) I have three kids, and am always looking for tips to help me help THEM become healthy, happy, responsible adults. Larry's new book, "Your Kids Are Your Own Fault" delivers.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't agree with everything Larry says (or the way in which he says it), in this book or in any other. My style is also very different than his. I am a huge believer in focusing on the positive, and Larry clearly has a style which emphasizes pointing out mistakes we're making. However, this book, like his others, challenged me and made me THINK about why I believe what I do, and even showed me places in my life (and parenting style) where changes are necessary. He doesn't pull any punches and -- while his in-your-face style may seem harsh to some -- I APPRECIATE a strong voice pointing out areas where I can improve how I do things. And ESPECIALLY how I parent, because the stakes are so high!

The thing I liked most about this book (which, again, mirrors his philosophy in his other books) is the emphasis on personal responsibility and accountability. Certainly, there are things in the outside world that are going to influence my children. But I KNOW (and I think everyone knows this, deep in their hearts) that what it comes down to in the end is that the buck stops with ME. I am the main influence on my children, especially in their early years. What I do (or don't do) consistently, on a daily basis over time, is the biggest message they are going to absorb. If I want my kids to be kind, I need to model kindness -- both in my whole life and especially in how I treat them. If I want them to have integrity, I need to model integrity -- again, in my whole life and especially how I treat them. The same goes for every virtue that I hope they grow up to have. On the flip side, if I model laziness, irresponsibility, and disrespect, how do I expect they're going to behave?

Larry's advice is sound because it's based on common sense and logic. Even though he speaks harshly (and, really, some of it is for entertainment value -- it's a very engaging book), he never advocates parenting your kids harshly. It's all about treating them how you'd want to be treated, and doing what's best for them even when it's HARD. Because it IS hard to do the right thing with kids sometimes when it means being the "bad guy." We love them so much and just want them to be happy, and it can be heartbreaking sometimes to make them unhappy in the short term so that they'll be happy in the long run. This book is going to be great to have on hand during those times when I have to do just that -- to remind me why it's so important to do the hard stuff. Because it's my kids' future that is at stake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2010
I just finished reading a book called "Your Kids Are Your Own Fault - A guide to raising responsible, productive adults" by my friend Larry Winget.

I don't know if you have ever heard of Larry but...he is a no non-sense, in your face kind of guy. And...I can appreciate that style. I might not always agree with what he says and I would rather have someone state the opinion they believe in!

I don't know about you but I have said, "My children didn't come with an owner's manual."

As parents, we have all done our best figuring it out along the way asking friends and relatives for advice and help. You have probably even bought a book or two on parenting. I certainly have!

Until now, I have not read a book like this which covers the basics of raising productive adults. I know when my sons were small I couldn't even imagine them in the next grade. I could hardly even think about them as the adults they have become today! I know I have done a lot of things right with them and there are topics I wish I had covered better with them growing up.

Early last year, Larry asked some of his friends to send him comments about what information we had wished our parents had shared with us. I told him that I wished my parents had taught me more about money, finances and investing. And...I don't feel like I did a very good job of teaching these skilsl to my sons either.

There are so many good points in this book. It is good to read even if your children are grown. It would be a good gift for you as a grandparent to give your children to help them to think about raising your grandchildren.

I also think it is never too late to have the conversation with your children about topics that they might have wished you had taught them in life. kids are teaching me about some of the topics that are covered in this book because topics like technology weren't really weren't a part of the parenting issues of my generation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2010
Larry Winget has written one of the most important books on parenting for our society in our time.

Yes, that Larry Winget; the bald, brash, controversial and I dare say at times engagingly abrasive speaker and author whose trademark Western shirts and cowboy boots make it seem more likely that he'd be Kinky Friedman's next running mate than America's next Dr. Spock.

Don't expect the typical "how to" guide to successful parenting; Larry has not written a cookbook here. This is a direct call to action that slaps us in the face with the truth and consequences of parenting, good and bad.

I've read dozens of books on parenting, teaching and coaching to help me become a better teacher and more important to make me a better resource to the young people and parents I serve. Too many of these are academic studies. Many approach the subject from a clinical psychological perspective or from a medical point of view. Way too many simply lack humanness and accessibility.

As he's done with his other subjects, Larry goes for the pressure point and delivers an insightful and practical guide for becoming an effective parent. He does it with wit and a wry sense of humor that entertains, sometimes instigates, sometimes aggravates, once in a while provokes and always hits a nerve. There's also the warm side as he shares plenty of stories from his own experience, and that of his kids, to make "Your Kids..." just a fantastic read.

If you're struggling with parenting your children; this book is essential. To paraphrase Larry, stop whining and start reading. He probably won't solve all your problems but you'll realize you're not alone and you'll either find the inspiration or instigation to make some changes.

Jim Bouchard
Author of THINK Like a BLACK BELT
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2010
If you're looking for a book on how it takes a village to raise a kid, look elsewhere. Winget delivers a strong, powerful focus on family connection that places responsibility for childhood development squarely with the parents. He subjugates media, education and other influences as secondary at best.

Larry places responsibility in communication, involvement, education, discipline and punishment. Throughout, his statistics and commentary about what happens when parents abdicate responsibility is scathing. Ethics, values and attitudes are set in the home. When they are left to others, bad things happen.

Having worked as a school psychologist, it's hard to argue with Winget's logic. When the responsibility for children belongs to everyone, it really belongs to no one.

Rather than offering general platitudes, this work focuses on specific, down to earth, functional advice. Separate rights from privileges. Let young people know their duties and responsibilities. Have time to talk. Offer respect. Develop affection and trust. Not only does this advice serve to make children more functional and generate a foundation for maturity, but it creates a framework for young people to develop lasting family ties and values. Want to enjoy having your children grow into adults rather than struggle through the process? Ready to take the challenge of being a responsible parent? This is the core text.

As a parent, counselor, university professor, and speaker, I recommend this book for anyone even considering having children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2010
As a mother of 3 elementary age children I encourage you to buy this book! You may not agree with all of Larry's editorial comments because they are frank and in your face, which is why I love Larry's books. We must all take responsibility for the decisions and the actions we make as parents and people. This book provokes thought and common sense into the real world of parenting kids. It made me feel accountable and step back to consciously think about how I am raising my children and the values I am promoting to them. You may not agree with all of the advice because it will hit you in the face but I guarantee you will think about it and make a conscious decision about the way in which you decide to parent on that issue. We as parents must address issues and make conscious decisions on how to handle them or our children will grow up and be gone before it ever occurs to us that we had choices. This book helps you to stop being lazy with your parenting and motivates you to THINK about how our parenting can a difference. We all pretty much want the BEST for our children for them to grow up to be happy, productive, and healthy adults, some of us want even more than that for our kids, but passive parenting will not get most of our children there. Buy this book, start thinking about it and implement the life lessons you desire for your children. There are no BAD children, they are CHILDREN! However all children need guidance and love and GOOD PARENTING!
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