Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself” as Want to Read:
Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  15 reviews
“We are different—white moms and me. Very different. More or less kindred as women, but as mothers we are disparate souls. Snaps and cusses of Twitter-trending ‘Stuff black moms say’ don’t even scratch the surface.” —from Child, Please
In this wise and funny memoir, Ylonda Gault Caviness describes her journey to the realization that all the parenting advice she was obse
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by TarcherPerigee (first published April 14th 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Child, Please, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Child, Please

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  15 reviews

Sort order
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
A good, quick, easy read. I was expecting a “parenting manual,” but it was actually an enjoyable memoir about being both a mother and a daughter.
Rebecca Thieme-baeseman
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really wanted this book to be good. I enjoyed the first couple chapters and then it got rambly and long-winded. I couldn't even finish it.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it liked it
A collection of essays about parenting, what's changed about it over time, and what hasn't, as seen through the lens of the author's own experience.

When Caviness has her first child, a lot of old baggage between herself and her mother comes to light, prompting her to examine how she was parented, how her mom was parented, and how all that affects her as she raises her own children (by the end of the book there are 3, all of whom have unusual birth stories that are described in what is hilarious
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone willing to read some quite different from what they normally read
Recommended to Lily by: I have been trying to remember -- and don't.
Okay, this messy, sprawling book doesn't deserve five stars when I compare it with many that I have ranked as three star books. But five stars is what it is going to get from me. Child, Please happened to come along at the right time and right place. I don't remember the last book that had me laughing out loud so often. That alone has earned the book this rating in my scheme of things at the moment.

I also enjoyed the peek Ms. Caviness gave me into a black family and a culture very different th
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a pretty good read...
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
There were times I enjoyed this collection of essays from family and parenting columnist and blogger Ylonda Gault Caviness. Her personal and funny perspective on being a black American woman, wife and mother is interesting. But as a whole the collection is weakened by meandering, sort of pointless anecdotes about past conversations or family members' personalties. For instance, blow by blow of a conversation she had with her hair stylist...complete with the "hilarious" songs they would just bust ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a hilarious look at pop culture, "black" African-American culture, and parenting. I laughed out loud at some parts, and could not stop smiling while reading this book. I could "hear" the dialect and accent in my mind, and it was great. What a wonderful book! I really enjoyed the light-hearted look at parenting and dealing with children and other issues mothers have. I especially liked reading the author's opinions on "Mommy groups." Hilarious!
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it
It was not what I expected. I wanted a book with childrearing tips. ironically, the very thing she warns against. instead I got more of a biography. that being said, I still really enjoyed the book. it made me laugh out loud several times. kindof reminded me of an erma bombeck style of writing. I didn't feel like I wasted my time.
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Rated PG-13 for language. I disagreed with the author on most issues, except that mothers should make themselves a priority rather than giving all of themselves all the time to their children (take time to workout, dress in something other than sweats, etc.) and that mothers know best (they should follow their own intuition rather than stressing about what all the latest experts say).
Susan Walker
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! The Author decides to raise her first child based on everything she has researched by current standards. By the time she has her third child she decides to go back to raising children the way her mother said to. The personal stories and down to earth writing make for a great read.
Carrie Ford-jones
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Caviness had me at her article in the New York Times and I knew I had to read this book. It was a breath of fresh air. More of a memoir than an 'advice' book, which made it that much more enjoyable to read.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just hilarious! Even though I am obviously not an African American mother, I appreciated Ylonda's writing and her perspective on motherhood. I loved her phrase "mothersuckers" and I appreciated that she grew up in Buffalo.
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Very funny and very true. Ylonda pushes back against the over parenting some feel is necessary.
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Refreshing and tough, if a bit rambling and disorganized at times.
Aimee Owen
rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2016
Lynda Hild
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2015
Ellen Pilch
rated it liked it
Jun 10, 2017
Kristi Mcduffie
rated it liked it
Apr 26, 2016
rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2019
rated it liked it
May 28, 2016
Carrie Muxlow
rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2015
Tiffany T
rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2015
Miriam Samet
rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2016
rated it liked it
Mar 07, 2018
rated it liked it
May 23, 2015
rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2015
Lydia Owens
rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2015
Alea Teeters
rated it really liked it
May 30, 2015
rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Free at Last: The Sudbury Valley School
  • Understanding the Human Being: The Importance of the First Three Years of Life
  • Baby Meets World: Suck, Smile, Touch, Toddle: A Journey Through Infancy
  • The Sibling Society
  • Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven
  • Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children
  • The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year
  • Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It
  • Money Girl's Smart Moves to Grow Rich
  • A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development
  • Radical Reflections: Passionate Opinions on Teaching, Learning, and Living
  • Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do
  • The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth
  • Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know
  • Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding, and Teaching Children with Asperger's Syndrome
  • Three Famines
  • Things You Need To Be Told
  • The Tao Of Writing: Imagine. Create. Flow.