Regan Books / HarperCollins
Date: September 23, 2003
it at Amazon
Parenting / Self-Help
Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and
the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children
By Robert Shaw M.D.
with Stephanie Wood
many times have you heard someone complain, "I don't know what's
the matter with kids today?" In his book The Epidemic, Dr.
Robert Shaw puts the blame for the current crop of seemingly narcissistic
children squarely back on the permissive parenting styles advocated
in many other books. By citing specific conflict situations between
parent and child and showing two very different results of the possible
reaction by parents, he manages to drive his point home.
all too often seen parents surrender control of their households
and lives to their children in the same way Shaw describes, although
I think it’s often for different reasons than he cites. He
also addresses problems in a broad sense, not allowing for parents
who have children who suffer from genuine learning and emotional
difficulties, nor varying circumstances. In his chapter on childcare,
he always makes it seem as if it’s an option for parents,
not a situation where some people really have no choice. One example
he gives is of a woman who chooses to stay home while her husband,
a retail clerk, works and they cut back on their lifestyle. In our
part of the country they would not be able to afford to live on
a retail clerk’s salary.
Shaw has many valid points and I felt his voice advocating more
discipline and parents taking back control of their households is
one not often heard in today’s world. There are enough examples
of how parents who have already lost control of their children can
take it back that the book is definitely helpful, even if you don’t
want to follow each and every one of his suggestions.