How to Traumatize Your ChildrenHow to Traumatize Your Children: 7 Proven Methods to Help You Screw Up Your Kids Deliberately and with Skill
Year: 2007
Author: Knock Knock
Length: 144 pages

A friend of mine loaned me this book to help prepare me for the joys of parenting by using a slightly humorous slant on the standard parenting books that hand out helpful advice for parents to be. While I chuckled at some of the pages as I flipped through the book, once I sat down to read it, I almost immediately became depressed. Sure, How to Traumatize Your Children is tongue-in-cheek, but that only lasts through the first few chapters. Overall, it’s virtually a traumatizing look into actual bad parenting instead of a comedic take on it.

The moment that it hit me how real these “methods” are was when I started to realize many parents inadvertently use them to their children’s disadvantage. From my own experience, and observing the experiences of others, this book presents each one of these methods in somewhat horrifying detail. The only way this book gets away with it is by humorously implying that these parents and parents-to-be are purposely choosing to pursue these paths for rearing their children. It was amusing at first, but the effect quickly wore off. Perhaps if the suggested actions in this book were more extreme—so as to be considered ridiculous—then the humor might have lasted.

In the end, this book is still useful in the sense that it paints a cautionary tale for parents to heed in raising their children. As a kind of “opposite guidebook,” this book manages to highlight the ways that we can do a disservice to our children. Parents can fail their children in numerous ways, but being aware of these methods can certainly help stave off some of the needed therapy in the child’s future. So, while this book’s humor might fall flat in the first few pages, it still contains relatively relevant information for parents.

Surprisingly useful information, even if the humor doesn’t last, I give How to Traumatize Your Children 3.0 stars out of 5.

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