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Bad Childhood---Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in spite of an

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  462 ratings  ·  74 reviews
In her most important book yet, Dr. Laura Schlessinger shows men and women that they can have a Good Life no matter how Bad their Childhood was.

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
ebook, 272 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2006)
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I'm somewhat embarrassed to like this book so much due to Laura's history of homophobic B.S. while she was doing her 5-year stint as an Orthodox Jew, her "family values" empahsis, and that she also wrote a book called "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands". Blech. Plus on her show she comes across as kinda mean.

But it's a good book. It's straightforward and contains a lot of good examples from people who called or wrote in about what it takes to basically "grow up" - to accept that while you
My extended family has been invited to gather for a four hour therapy session at the request of one family member who blames sixty years of woes on family. I knew the universe was conspiring in my favor when it dropped this book in my lap! Dr. Laura Schlessinger opened my eyes to see the anger, aggression, sadness, blame, and child-like whining we have been subjected to is a result of our family member being stuck in a victim mode. Manipulative excuses have allowed our loved one to place the bla ...more
Huma Rashid
I basically can't stand Dr. Laura. Aside from her homophobia and slut-shaming "family values" and ignorant, baseless, misinformed rants against "evil feminism," her tone in general - and in this book, too - is sanctimonious and self-righteous, and I just ... no. Not here for that. (Also, her transcript excerpts just had me rolling my eyes.

But despite all of that, I found this book and read it because I like bad self-help books. And there's actually a lot of good advice in this thing, if you can
This book really hit home for me. I don't consider myself to have had a bad childhood, but I think we all carry attitudes or traits, or hurts that we wish we could rid ourselves of. There is a tendency in our society to point the finger if blame at our "bad childhood," or to blame parents for our bad character traits, or inability to make good decisions. Whatever the case, this book is excellent at showing us how important it is to live deliberately, no longer acting as a victim of whatever, and ...more
Michelle Llewellyn
My biological father divorced my mom when I was thirteen. Mom has been happily remarried for over twenty years but won't let go of her bitterness while I've struggled to find my place in this world. What about me? Where do I belong? If only there was someone out there who truly loved me. Bio-dad sent me this book after my attempted suicide so I could read it and "find peace."
He still believes THE DIVORCE was entirely to blame. It wasn't. I attempted suicide because, unlike every single scenario
Amanda Grace
I just started listening to this book on my commutes to/from work. I am so impressed with her blunt "conquerer versus survivor" approach! It has opened my eyes to something I have been working on in my present life - not letting my past define me! & reprogramming my mind to see the positive in life and to make the best out of my life! "Dr. Laura says she was aware of the incredible impact her parents had on her life, as "I had difficulties being happy, building trusting friendships, being op ...more
We had this as a bookclub read (not sure who recommended it) and it was geared more towards people who had an abusive and destructive childhood. I was only able to read the first couple chapters . . . it did help me appreciate my childhood more, even if it wasn't perfect.
Astrid Adityawarman
Oct 19, 2007 Astrid Adityawarman added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults who have an unhappy childhood
In this important book, Dr. Laura Schlessinger shows men and women that they can have a Good Life not 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 nega
Sep 21, 2008 Naomi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has some hang-ups from their childhood that is preventing them from enjoying life now
Recommended to Naomi by: Dr. Laura on her radio program
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
I don't necessarily think I had a "classic bad childhood," whatever that means. I actually think overall I had an excellent childhood. There are, however, some things I am having a hard time "letting go of" and thriving in spite of or even because of, so I thought this book might have some helpful hints in it. Dr. Laura is extremely conservative and I don't agree with everything she says, but she also has some really good points, in my opinion. So far, from the examples I have read in the book, ...more
I never listened to Dr. Laura's radio show and I don't know that much about her. I picked up this book at a book fair and I figured for 50 cents it couldn't hurt to give it a try. Dr. Laura has some good ideas and thoughts even though she comes off harsh at times. However, I think this is a sometimes necessary approach to get people to realize how their behavior and thought patterns are negatively affecting them(or others). Overall, I found some of her examples and ideas interesting, true, and t ...more
Upon reading this book I was pleased to find that the work I have done and things I am committed to are much in line with the philosophy outlined in this book. I found a lot of new insight too, however, which I am very grateful for. I am excited to take my life to the next level, and anticipate utilizing these principles as reference points throughout the rest of my journey. I will never be able to completely eradicate the past, but I am responsible for my life outside of my toxic upbringing. I ...more
Bad Writing: Famous Author.

Anyone with a bad childhood doesn't need to be further punished by reading this bag of fluff. It was dry and didn't maintain my interest. I really tried to force myself to get through it, but it was one of these books you read and then ask yourself, "What did I read?"

I used to try to force myself to finish books after I purchased them, but this book cured me of it-so I did get that out of it.
Robyn Wheeler
No one will ever have the perfect childhood. We all suffer embarassment, humiliation, bullying and some form of abuse. But in order to have a peaceful and happy adulthood you need to move past the painful childhood memories, forgive whatever wrongs have been commited and ditch the blame. The current state of your adult life is not your parents is up to your to take the bad and turn it into something good. Dr. Laura can help you do that. I did not have a devastating childhood but I di ...more
I read this book because my parents divored when I was young, not that I thought I had a "bad childhood" but because it was hard growing up with a single parent and I'm sure it was very difficult for my mom raising three kids. From this book I've taken away to keep my thoughts to myself if what I have to say is not going to make the past situations any better or in fact make them worse with hurt feelings and so on. I gave this book a three star because not everything Laura talked about spoke to ...more
There were some good things in there, but I did have problems with the fact that she encourages NOT forgiving others and emphasizes that some people aren't worthy of love. As a Christian I know that Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your strength, and all your mind and the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. God wants us to love ALL people, not pick and choose, just like Jesus died for ALL of us and he didn ...more
I think this is one of Dr. Laura's best books. Instead of focusing on the "whys" of why you had a not go great childhood, she tells you strategies on how to live the rest of your life in a positive way. Recommended for anyone who seems haunted by events of their childhoods.
Dr. Laura has a talent of identifying the obvious for the oblivious. As a fellow oblivion, I would have benefited from this book much earlier in my life, but have sense, through the good guidance of the best of friends and natural progression of healthy choices I began making, I went through the stages outlined within this book without much needing Dr. Laura. However, this has been an invaluable tool for me to give to other friends whom can benefit from the sound advice and tough love Dr. Laura ...more
This book came at just the right time in my life. Or rather, I was ready for the principles taught and eagerly applied them. I skipped over one chapter, as it didn't apply as much as the rest.

I'm happy to report that in conjunction with this book and renewing my own faith my life has taken a 180. Sometimes I start to react based on my early experiences. Then I remember I can have a better life and then I exercise faith that God will help me make the right choices and will comfort me. And He doe
I listened to this on audio cd on my way to work. I was put off by Dr. Laura's tone at first, but she really grew on me, and I learned to appreciate her and the good that she is trying to do. This book was really good with very good points and ideas to know how to move forward despite a trying past. Her main point seems to be to act like you are worth having a good life and make decisions accordingly. I love her no nonsense approach to life. If you want to be happy, then why do you make dumb cho ...more
As usual, Dr. Laura gets to the point and slams the thought process into another realm. Learning to modify your present life from the life you've been living molded by a less than perfect/happy childhood. Forgive those who have harmed you. Get past the negativity. Only YOU can make your life what you desire it to be. Mind altering, many questions and voids answered and what a difference in my outlook on life.
Oct 12, 2007 Allyson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone with a bad childhood
Dr. Laura tells it like it is, and sometimes you just need a good kick to the head -- you know, like a shakabuku! This is a good book for analyzing some of the 'why I do what I do' things and 'how you can stop doing them' in order to feel better about your life. I like Dr. Laura's sassy attitude and 'stop being an idiot and change the way you're doing things if you don't like your life' style of therapy.
I really enjoyed Dr. Schlessinger's no-nonsense approach to overcoming a not-so-great childhood and moving toward living a great life now. She challenges the reader to let go of their victim status - and the 'perks' that go along with it - by reshaping their perspective and redefining their life through the eyes of a conquerer rather than a person determined to remain stuck in their past.
Okay...Dr.L..drives me crazy at times on her talk show, yet as I opened this book and noticed I couldn't put it down..I bought it. After reading helped me realize now where she's coming from but most of all...she wants us all to thrive. The writing is not as direct and abrupt as she is on radio...but is heartfelt directed in a different a caring sister. Enjoy!
So I have never been big on self-help. I would rather read about a ficticous character then how to fix my life, but I thought that I would try this one. I listen to Laura's radio show and she is straight to the point and fast to tell you like it is, but this book was nothing but clips from her radio show. It was no help at all and I have a hard time even giving it one star.
As usual, I agree with most of what Dr. Laura says, though I don't always agree on the delivery. This book was pretty light on the info, I felt, though the recommendations are sound. Basically, if you had a bad childhood, "GET OVER IT." This may be helpful to some who haven't moved on and continue dwelling on the past, but I'm not sure it took a whole book to say that.

While I had a wonderful childhood and have a loving family, I believe the principals in this book apply to life's difficult events as they occur at any age or stage. Also, if you have a person in your life that you love or care about that had a Bad Childhood I think reading this book may help you relate to them and help them have a Good Life.
Kristie J.
Another good book from Dr. Laura--well worth reading. The transcripts of calls to her radio show and letters from readers make the book easier to read and digest. I like Dr. Laura's straight-talking, get-right-to-the-point, you-can-make-better-choices style. I also appreciated how she shared about her own childhood at the end of the book.
I would recommend this book to anyone struggling mentally, emotionally or spiritually with how to move forward from childhood hurts. The tough, no-nonsense approach is extraordinarily helpful in creating clarity about how the past affects the present, and how a change in perspective is oftentimes the key to creating a better future.
This book was so encouraging and gave great insight in not only dealing with parents, but other relationships that are holding you back from living the Good Life. There is a healthy way to move on and no long fell guilt! I also loved the brief postscript at the end about Dr. Laura's own parents.
I really like Dr. Laura. She is very open and honest about life and isn't afraid to tell you that you may be in denial. This is especially a good book for those who blame events in their past for their current actions. Your past should not dictate the choices you make today. Very good.
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