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For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence Paperback – November 14, 2002
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“This is a book of extraordinary importance, for it makes as clear as a beacon light the root causes of violence as a consequence of our misguided child-rearing practices. For Your Own Good should be read by all who are troubled by what has happened to our world and to our children. I cannot sufficiently stress the importance and urgency of reading [this book].” ―Ashley Montagu
“A shattering, frightening [book], and eventually one of the most illuminating and life-view-changing works I have ever read . . . I challenge any thinking and feeling person to read this book [and] not in turn be changed or altered.” ―Church World
Top Customer Reviews
While the entire book is horrifying in it's illumination of sanctioned, morally enshrined cruelty to children in society, it was Ms Miller's chapter on Adolf Hitler that struck the most powerful epiphany. How often in my life had I heard Hitler described as an "unnatural monster," as "sent by the Devil," as someone not human? Miller's analysis of not only Hitler but of his father's and mother's lives, how their damaged characters intersected to create the totalitarian regime that was Adolf's childhood home, sent absolute chills of knowing through me as I read: in a less virulent form, his childhood had been my own.Read more ›
Alice Miller's words have given me a context in which to understand my childhood experience, and to begin to look at it honestly as well as the effect it's had on my life. While I know have a better understanding of why I adopted various personal characteristics and made certain choices as an adult, her book has helped strengthen a resolve I formed as a child: that if I ever had children of my own, I would never use physical punishment on them; I would never deny them their feelings as I'd been denied mine.
Today I have a three year old son who at least doesn't know what it's like to be beaten by the parents who are supposed to love and protect him, or to have his feelings and his personhood denied. I decided a long time ago that if I could help it, my children would know that there's a better way. Alice Miller's words give me hope that there is such a way, and that I might find it if I continue to pay attention.
Boom! This book has invaded my soul and my heart. Alice Miller has touched on one of the greatest 'family secrets' in the world as she describes the devastating effect of 'child rearing.' (If you like John Bradshaw, Miller will touch the same raw nerve.) The hurt we pass on to our children, that I have passed on to my children, will haunt me for the rest of my days. It is so clear and so obvious once we step back and look at how we parents treat our children. I can see clearly how I dumped my frustration, hurt and pain on my kids...minute by minute, day by day. As they grow into adolescence I see all of this more clearly. While Miller's ideas, and this book, are uncomfortable for adults, she has empowered me to proceed more consciously for the rest of my life in all my dealings with my kids. For that I feel blessed.
What is a mystery, as others have noted, is why Miller's simple and direct ideas have received so little welcome in our world. Instead we build more prisons, hire more police, pass more laws, and express total bewilderment at the behaviour of the children whom we have tried to manipulate, mold, and control since their births. Who is accountable here? Let any person with guts and the desire to know the real truth about who he/she is tackle this book. It WILL be painful...and it WILL be liberating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book, a must read for all parents, teachers and anyone doing inner work!Published 5 months ago by Om Mani Padme Hung
Would be more helpful if case studies were related to more run-of-the-mill situations.Published 8 months ago by Scott Radcliffe
This book is dated, as it was written in the 1970s, and with a focus on Swiss and German parenting, but the material in the book is universal. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Robin
Incredible book that so vividely depicts the relationship between violence of adults and abuse/violence sustained in childhood. Read morePublished 11 months ago by my child's parent
It's not an easy read, because the true stories described in the book are appalling, but at the same time it's one of the strongest anti-war manifests I have ever come across. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Medgeniva