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Bad Childhood, Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood
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Bad Childhood, Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood

3.7 34
by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
 

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In this important book, Dr. Laura Schlessinger shows men and women that they can have a Good Life no matter how Bad their Childhood.

For each of us, there is a connection between our early family dynamics and experiences and our current attitudes and decisions. Many of the people Dr. Laura has helped did not realize how their histories impacted their adult lives,

Overview

In this important book, Dr. Laura Schlessinger shows men and women that they can have a Good Life no matter how Bad their Childhood.

For each of us, there is a connection between our early family dynamics and experiences and our current attitudes and decisions. Many of the people Dr. Laura has helped did not realize how their histories impacted their adult lives, or how their choices in people, repetitive situations, and decisions — even their emotional reactions — were connected to those early negative experiences, playing a major role in their current unhappiness.

For these people and millions like them, too much time is dedicated to repeating the ugly dynamics of childhood in a vain attempt to repair or cope with deep hurt and longings. Too often they use their emotional pain to control others or excuse their own inappropriate and destructive behaviors. Some turn to therapy, only to find themselves trapped in their self-pitying victim mode, robbed of optimism, confidence, and growth.

Dr. Laura will help you realize that no matter what circumstances you came from or currently live in, you are ultimately responsible for how you react to them. The acceptance of this basic truth is the source of your power to secure the Good Life you long for. In her signature straightforward style, with real-life examples, Dr. Laura shows you what you will gain by not being satisfied with an identity as a victim, or even as a survivor — but striving to be a victor!

In Bad Childhood — Good Life, Dr. Laura will guide you to accept the truth of the assaults on your psyche and soul, understand your unique coping style and how it impacts your daily thoughts and actions, and help you embrace a life of more peace and happiness.

Bad Childhood — Good Life comes from a compassionate and personal place. Dr. Laura also reveals some of her own experiences with a difficult childhood and what efforts it took to attain a Good Life. She writes, "My resilience has paid off, and I'm doing the best I can with what I've got." Now you can, too.

Editorial Reviews

An unhappy childhood can be a damaging experience, but no one needs to be afflicted forever by an unhappy past. Dr. Laura Schlessinger's Bad Childhood, Good Life teaches readers to go beyond ugly childhood dynamics to build a life of optimism, confidence, and growth. With real-life cases, radio's "Dr. Laura" shows how family history can negatively impact adult lives in ways that are often more apparent to outsiders than to ourselves. Therapeutic advice for people stuck in a self-pitying victim mode.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060577872
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/29/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
70,967
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)

Read an Excerpt

Bad Childhood---Good Life
How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood

Chapter One

To Be or Not to Be . . . a Victim

Even flowers have to grow through dirt.
-Nancy, a listener

Unfortunately, a lot of people are made to suffer as children: beatings, rapes, torture, abandonment, neglect, parental divorce and subsequent remarriage with new or stepchildren to compete with, alcoholic or drug-addicted parent(s), erratic and even dangerous consequences of parental mental illness, browbeatings, parental insensitivity, psychological and emotional assaults, parental affairs, constant family turmoil, molestations, familial violence, single parent by choice or irresponsibility, and so forth. They are definitely victims of self-centered, evil, ignorant, and/or weak adults; and, for me, weakness or ignorance do not excuse the resultant harm.

In the Beginning . . .

More and more, the calls to my radio program are coming from children, children being victimized by their parents. I try, in the short time available to me in a live radio phone conversation, to do something to align that hurting child with something positive to hold onto. Samantha, for example, is a nine-year-old child who called wanting to know how to deal with a mother who won't take care of her and a father who is in and out of jail.

Dr. Laura: Where are you living?

Samantha: I'm living with my grandma.

Dr. Laura: Your grandma? Is your grandpa there, too?

Samantha: Uh-huh.

Dr. Laura: Are you a religious girl?

Samantha: Yes.

Dr.Laura: This is what I suggest you do to deal with it. I suggest that every now and then you pray to God, and say, "God, thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me a grandma and grandpa to take care of me."

Samantha: Okay.

Dr. Laura: Do you understand why I said that?

Samantha: Sort of.

Dr. Laura: In our lives, we are going to have many disappointments. That goes for everybody, Samantha. Everybody. Some disappointments are bigger than others. Having two parents you can't count on is a huge disappointment. Huge. Huge. I understand you being hurt and disappointed and upset and angry and all kinds of stuff. Now, there are two kinds of people in this world. There are the people who have those big disappointments and they spend their lives being sad. And then there are the other people, who go, "It is sad that I have these disappointments, but I am sooo lucky because I have . . ." Samantha, which do you think are the happier people?

Samantha: The people who are sad-but still happy.

Dr. Laura: Yup. That's going to be you, Samantha. That's how you are going to deal with it. You are going to be sad that you can't count on your mommy and daddy, but you are going to be happy because there are people you can count on. And you are going to make a happy life.

Samantha: Okay. Bye. Thank you.

Getting calls like Samantha's, and there are too many, is the worst and best of all worlds. I ache that these children are hurting. I rejoice that they call me and that I can give them a perspective that will hopefully detour them from a life of a victimhood mentality.

Connor, an eleven-year-old boy, is "having a little dad problem." It seems that his mom and dad have been divorced for as long as he could remember (since he was four), and every time he sees his dad and then has to leave, it causes him so much pain.

Connor: I just can't bear to see him leave anymore. Even if that means I can't even see him again.

Dr. Laura: Connor, do you like spaghetti?

Connor: What does that have to do with the topic? [Good question, actually.]

Dr. Laura: Well, do you like spaghetti?

Connor: Yeah, why?

Dr. Laura: Do you like spaghetti and meatballs?

Connor: [getting impatient] Yeah.

Dr. Laura. I love spaghetti and meatballs. It's probably one of my favorite meals. What you are telling me, Connor, is that since I can only have two meatballs, and I can't have the three that I want, that I might just as well not eat any spaghetti and meatballs at all!

Connor: But I just can't take seeing him leave anymore.

Dr. Laura: It's the price you pay. And everything has a price attached to it, Connor. You want to see your dad? The price you have to pay is that it hurts when he goes. But the good part is that you get to see him. I pump iron. I can't say I love to do it, but I do it because it is the price to pay to be healthy and look good. I like having muscles! Everything has a price. For everything you really want, there's something you have to put up with.

Connor: Thank you, Dr. Laura

In speaking to Samantha and Connor, I had the opportunity to reframe a bad situation into a life lesson. Samantha learned about not ignoring the blessings (loving, caretaking grandparents) because of the curses (parental abandonment). Connor learned that life generally exacts a price (like painful goodbyes) for those things that are desired and meaningful (visitation with Dad).

Children need to learn at an early age that these lessons are universal experiences, not just their personal, unique, horrible cross to bear. It is easier for children to cope with difficult, even horrendous situations when they understand and accept that the advice they are getting is truths about life for all time and all people-not just an attempt to manipulate them out of justified hurt or angry feelings. While these are truths about a good life for all people, they are essential lessons for these victimized children.

As children get older, their ability to act out their hurt and anger with drugs, sex, truancy, and violence toward themselves or others becomes a serious concern. That is why it is so desperately important that these youngsters have someone they can turn to and count on. A mentor, family friend . . .

Bad Childhood---Good Life
How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood
. Copyright (c) by Dr. Laura Schlessinger . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is one of the most popular talk-show hosts in radio history and the only woman to win the prestigious Marconi Award for syndicated radio. She is the author of twelve New York Times bestsellers, writes a daily blog, and is a regular Newsmax columnist. She is heard daily on Sirius/XM Channel 155 live, and her program is streamed and podcast on www.drlaura.com. Dr. Schlessinger has her own YouTube Channel (YouTube.com/drlaura). She is also the skipper and driver of a racing sailboat program that won the 2010 international race from Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas. She and her husband live in Southern California.

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Bad Childhood, Good Life 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
melanie555 More than 1 year ago
Dr. Laura, has a wonderful way to smack a hardheaded person, such as myself right upside the head to see exactly how thing are. this book i have recommended to many of my friends because she taught me you create what you know and if you have had a bad childhood, then somehow if you don't recognize that has formed you as a person, then you carry it on and create the same atmosphere in your grown up family and YOU don't have too. You can stop the madness yourself and let it go. i didn't realize the man i hated the most growing up (my dad) i had started to become - hence, i started to really hate myself and brought on depression. After reading this book my eyes were open (but i must say you have to be ready to open your eyes) and i have made enormous changes in my life and my family sees it as well.
ThankfulReader More than 1 year ago
Very useful book that helps you to put past history into perspective and to take the approach of responsibility for your own actions and behaviours. This book helped me to let go of some things that I had been holding on to for many years and to really understand how hurtful (to myself) that displaced anger can be. It's one that I plan to read again in about 6 months to remind myself of the powerful message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I wish that I would have read this book years ago.I recommend this book for  all therapist and individuals with bad childhoods. It was a confirmation that I am on the right track. At some point in one's life, you must take responsibility for your own actions. Change happens when we own what is ours and move on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a read once book ... I've listened to it four times and am now going through the book and highlighting the lessons I need to practice and live. I hesitated reading this book for years because I felt bad that I would be saying my parents did a crappy job raising me when in fact they both did the best they could with what they new to do. My issues now are mine, not theirs; not my wonderful husbands, not my step children and certainly not my new and old friends. The best thing Dr. Laura said was a bad childhood is not limited to the physically abused, children of addicted parents or victims of sexual assault. It gave me permission for my anger HOWEVER, and most importantly, taught me that my behavior now is my choice and my responsibility to change to make my life as happy as I expected it to be. Thank you Dr. Laura for this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was the victim of abuse from the ages of 8 to 13. There is not even one present day friend of mine who knows this. Only my family. I have had counseling, and have read various books to heal some wounds that still need healing. Now in my thirties, things are finally getting better. Bad Childhood - Good Life is a book worth reading, and offered some helpful advice. But... In hopes of helping some others who, for one reason or another need help in getting past the past, I am sharing the best book I've read in two years. I 'gambled' last month and purchased a book from a new author. I must say it has helped me more than any of the others. Passengers Side, by John Michael Forosisky. Chapter 11 is called 'letting go'. Something I needed to do. This book showed me how to do it. So buy both, but I think you'll get more from the latter. I've already emailed the author to thank him. But I thought the least I could do would be to give him a plug here, and hopefully help others like me (who may read this) that need an amazing book like Passenger's Side, to help them.
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I'm not a fan of Dr. Laura. I think that she has a lot right but also some wrong. However, this book rang with a lot of truth! I know this from dealing with those that have had bad childhoods and her advice was pratical, helpful and stright forward. I would highly recommend it.
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