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The Epidemic

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  29 reviews
From an esteemed child psychiatrist: a bold, fresh, and controversial look at the faddish child-rearing practices that have created a nation of children who are depressed, alienated, often amoral, and all too often violent. The shock of the Columbine shootings and other school violence has generated a national debate, and there's a dawning realization that something incomp ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2003)
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Shauna
My family doctor recommended this book to my husband and I at our child's first doctor appointment. The introduction and first two chapters are all doom and gloom. After that, the writing is interspersed with parenting advice on how you can raise your children right to avoid them becoming empathy-less serial killers. I will probably finish it at some point. But I'm finding my own way of raising my child, and I seem to prefer advice from my friends and family, not from strangers in a book.
Wendy Copley
This is a book that changed the way we viewed parenting and very much helped change the behaviors of our mildly autistic son. We have given several copies away to friends, it's that important!
Cassandra McCall
I enjoyed this book, and feel I have have a few more items for my parenting tool bet. It is a good read for anyone with kids who does not want them to be assholes.
Donald
This is an excellent if slightly dour account of how the American middle and upper middle classes have raised a generation of self indulgent, whining, sullen, rude and self absorbed brats.

I went to an election campaign house party recently in California and witnessed precisely what the author was describing: a house filled with the staggeringly poorly behaved children from two to 15 years old of parents ranging in age from 30 something to late boomer generation. There was no misbehavior that was
...more
Legacy Dad
Next to Grace Based Parenting, this is one of the best parenting books I’ve read in the past 5 years. Shaw points out the failures in many of popular, modern parenting fads and further examines that many of the problems children face today are results of their parental environment.

Shaw starts from birth and illustrates how parenting style, life choices and the ways of bonding with children not only effect temperament, learning and psychological disorders but also affects their empathy and produ
...more
Brooke Castleberry
Every single parent needs to read this, and read it now. I think about this book daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Soo good. I don't have kids but work as a caseworker for child protective services. Trust me, this book can apply to every kind of kid and family dynamic. I also love that he keeps things simple, nothing too complicated or weird like some parenting advice/techniques can be. As the reviews on the back cover say "I hope this becomes the child raising bible"
Kelly Hazel
I found this book pretty informative thought it would have been a lot more beneficial had I found it when my child was younger. (He's 9 years) I liked the perspective, and I could have used a few more books telling me to be confident in my own intuitions. I actually spent the first few years of motherhood thinking I had no maternal instinct....

The author did take on a preachy tone at times, and if I had been a mother who was unable to stay at home with her child, I might have gotten frustrated a
...more
Courtney
This book is geared toward parents with younger kids, though it does talk about teenagers to some extent, it mostly discusses things parents should be doing when their kids are babies, toddlers and preschoolers so they don't turn into terrible kids. Lots of good info, but nothing I felt was new or eye-opening.

A couple of good quotes:
"Despite the good intentions of their parents, many children today are inadvertently being raised to take and never give back, to accumulate but never share, to own
...more
Sofia
Well written, easy to read book about what's wrong with parenting practices today. Gives simple solutions that people should already be using but are too lazy or afraid to. The most useful thing about the book is that it gives concise time tables concerning the development of different behaviors. Although I don't agree with everything Shaw says (he seems to assume his readers will be predominantly white middle to upper class traditional families living in the suburbs), he has very good points ab ...more
Emily
I think there is a vast amount of great advice for parents. It was a very insightful and open-minded piece of literature, and that is saying something when you look at the other options for advice on child rearing. The authors were quick to admit that some of the advice given will not work.

I found it fascinating considering that I a grew up at the same time as this epidemic was spreading. I was on the brink and I know what other kids younger than me missed out on.



If you are interested in child d
...more
Carol
I agree whole-heartedly with Dr. Shaw's message. I particularly liked his clear presention of milestones, not just for behavior, but also for social and moral expectations as well. He does offer specific ideas for achieving these goals with our children. Many of them may not new, but they are tried and true. Based on the behavior of so many of the kids that I see in restaurants & stores, these ideas need to be repeated because they obviously aren't reaching enough parents. Dr. Shaw's writing ...more
Kristina Parčetić-Cigić
The book is aimed toward the American society, which is far more influenced by this type of raising children than is the case in my country (Serbia). However, this trend of permissive parenting is slowly but surely gaining a foothold here as well. I have two girls, one is 4 and a half and the other is only four months old. The authors of this book have given me the strength and reassurance to be more decisive in parenting, to set clearer boundaries and become more authorative. I wholeheartedly r ...more
Paula
Its pretty common sense. Don't spoil them rotten and they wont grow up to be rotten.

Handy as a return ticket for guilt trips about not satisfying every whim if you are a parent who tends that way. I imagine having expert reinforcement that the right way and the easy way aren't always the same would be beneficial.

I don't have children and read the book because I thought it might be an interesting psychological study, and in that sense I was disappointed.




Ray
Shaw talks about joyless, sulking children...but he ended up writing a joyless, sulking book. It's 90% griping, 10% advice. We get it: society's messed up, parents are tired/lazy/incompetent, mass media is powerful. The book could stand to offer more suggestions. Ultimately it was a chore to read.

John Rosemond's New Parenting Power rang far truer to me in this genre. It had effectively the same message with far less browbeating, a far more positive message, and was fun to read -- no mean feat fo
...more
Jennifer
I read this book about five years ago. It helped me to understand a lot of things that I do as a parent that are detrimental to my children's upbringing as well as those things I do that are good. It also helped me to see how, as a society, we are handicapping our kids in a lot of ways. I have changed many of my parenting techniques and highly reccomend that nay parent who loves their kid should read this book. You may not agree with everything in it, but it is an eye opener.
Belinda Leatham
Wish I'd read this years ago but still some great practical ideas for my kids. Lots of no nonsense advice backed up by examples of children he sees around him in restaurants and public places and not just in his consulting rooms. Hoping it helps me guide my children to be caring, unselfish and happy teenagers.
Lupine
Fascinating. Not so much a parenting book but an examination of what's going on with the current generation. I quibbled with a couple things otherwise I was found that he was saying what I was thinking much of the time. Caveat: those who practice attachment parenting probably won't like it much at all.
Susan
Excellent book on how modern permissive parenting has created joyless, selfish children who grow into violent, delinquent teenagers. Offers a comprehensive strategy for avoiding these results at each stage of the child's life, from infancy through teen years. Written from a secular perspective.
Bree
Notes:
wanted to read it because of the title and sarcastic list on back cover
hate the author's tone -- condescending and preachy
contradicts himself repeatedly
would never recommend when there are so many better parenting books
Ann
This book had some interesting information, but nothing new. It works well for parents who believe in an "old fashioned" parenting style.
Annette
Read it quite a while ago and I remember finding the information interesting, but he presentation dry.
Cary
It's about child rearing. I'm rereading the infant/toddler chapters
Jeff Finley
Great commentary on permissive parenting and add kids
Celsa Perales
Wonderful insights on ideas of society and culture.
Kristin
A must for anyone with kids or planning on having kids
C
This is a super book. Surprisingly forthcoming.
Anthony
Anthony marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2015
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