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

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  515 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
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 the
...more
Hardcover, 257 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 907)
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Emma
Jan 22, 2009 Emma rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Janice
Mar 26, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 19, 2013 Huma Rashid rated it liked it
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
...more
Sarah
Jan 12, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
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
Mar 11, 2015 Michelle Llewellyn rated it it was ok
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
...more
Shari
Jan 16, 2015 Shari rated it did not like it
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.
Amanda Grace
Mar 04, 2015 Amanda Grace rated it it was amazing
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
Myria
Jul 28, 2015 Myria rated it did not like it
In my honest opinion, this book was BS. I did not like her writing style. Most of it is segments from her radio show. And, it leaves you with more questions than answers or reassurance (For me anyways).What was this woman's childhood like? I want to know because she doesn't seem to get it. Her attitude towards the whole thing is too in your face- just get over it, basically. There is a difference in honesty that helps to motivate and honesty that victim blames. Guess which one she came off as? I ...more
Jami
Apr 03, 2011 Jami rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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.
Michael
Aug 11, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
...more
Naomi
Sep 21, 2008 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Sandy
Dec 04, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
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
Celestalis
Jul 28, 2014 Celestalis rated it really liked it
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
Abena
Jul 04, 2015 Abena rated it it was amazing
i am at a place where I know that i finally realize that my bad childhood has had a major effect on the way that i behave as an adult. i have spent many months in deep introspection and doing my inner work. this book is confirming [as I am still reading] to me what my bad behaviors had been and why i acted the way i did and also providing solutions to solving my problems. i am looking forward to starting therapy!!
Kimberlee
Apr 13, 2015 Kimberlee rated it really liked it
This is typical Dr. Laura, and I enjoy her straight talk and honesty. She does not mince words. What I especially liked about this novel was her personal disclosures about her own parents and her own upbringing. I don't know that I agree with all she says, but usually her books give me pause and remind me to focus on what I can control and change. Even as a mental health professional, sometimes this reviews are needed.
Robyn Wheeler
Aug 07, 2011 Robyn Wheeler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 faul.....it 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
Cassie
Feb 18, 2009 Cassie rated it liked it
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
Kimberly
Jul 25, 2015 Kimberly rated it did not like it
This author's message: Stop being such a pussy and suck it up. Obviously this person had never been victimized or brutalized by her parents. This person has no business writing a "self-help" book. My opinion of this book? Toxic waste.
Tari
Aug 04, 2014 Tari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alysia
Jul 16, 2014 Alysia rated it really liked it
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.
Danielle Yevsa
May 31, 2011 Danielle Yevsa rated it really liked it
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
Rachelle
Apr 18, 2011 Rachelle rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Amber
Aug 15, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer
Jan 13, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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.
Allyson
Oct 12, 2007 Allyson rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Rick
Dec 16, 2009 Rick rated it liked it
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.
Nancy
Oct 28, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing
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 it..it 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 manner...like a caring sister. Enjoy!
Brooks
Aug 24, 2008 Brooks rated it did not like it
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.
Lain
Dec 01, 2007 Lain rated it liked it
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.
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“Sadly, hurting feelings has risen in our society to the status of a high crime, and that’s too bad, because temporary hurt feelings that lead to an awakening of positive possibilities are a small price to pay to literally save a life from wasted misery.” 1 likes
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