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For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,346 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews

For Your Own Good, the contemporary classic exploring the serious if not gravely dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere, is one of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst.

With her typically lucid, strong, and poetic language, Miller investigates the personal stories and case histories of various self-d

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Paperback, 284 pages
Published January 1st 1985 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1980)
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Aimee J Martin
Apr 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is an older book written in 1980 that I came across sitting on the floor of a dusty, old used book store. I snagged it for $3 and it was $3 well spent.

This book focuses on the origins of violence and hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence.

Amazingly, this book was written in 1980 and expresses that 'everyone should read this book who is troubled by what is happening to our world and to our children..' Wow.. I would love to hear what Alice Miller has to say now in 2010.
Katrina Dreamer
Jun 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this for a class on ancestry. My teacher recommended it because I have German ancestry, and this book was one of the most illuminating I've read in a long time. It helped me understand my upbringing in the light of German culture, and the culture my great-grandparents, grandparents, and even ancestors earlier, were raised in.

I highly recommend this book for anyone with German, or even Scandanavian or European roots.
Larry Strattner
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My mother used to say,"We are all victims of victims." If you reflect on this continuum, as Alice Miller does, you realize that many of her case study examples are as immediate today as they ever were since violence is a trait passed down through experience and it is so unerringly inserted deep in the mind of an abused child that it remains almost invisible until an opportunity presents itself for it to blossom horribly within its unwitting host.

Ms. Miller's logic and her view of the roots of vi
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Heather
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
On recommendation from my therapist. Luckily for me, this copy was heavily marked up so it was easy to skip around to the juicy bits.

Quote:
"A child conditioned to be well-behaved must not notice what she is feeling, but asks herself what she ought to feel."

Rita
May 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
After having it on my shelf for years, I finally read this book, truly amazing. Psychoanalyst Alice Miller explains clearly [even in translation:] what it does to a person's psyche to have been routinely punished by a caregiver for any reason and for no reason. This is her explanation for Hitler and those who collaborated with him and it is convincing. She quotes extensively from 19c [German:] child-rearing manuals warning the parent to establish his/her dominance over the child in the very firs ...more
Cara
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although this book was written in the historical context of an older generation of parents and children, Miller intuits important psychological insights that are supported by current research. The writing and choice of case studies sometimes seems overwrought, and a large section is devoted to Adolf Hitler's childhood and the impact of Nazism (which came as a surprise to me), yet many of Miller's insights can be applied to a more general population. A worthwhile read for those interested in psyc ...more
Sue Lyle
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion the best of Alice Miller's writing, it provides a well researched analysis of child rearing manuals over the centuries and their impact on our attitudes and behaviour towards children. It shows us that values change and that we can change if we want to. I would make this compulsory reading for all would-be teachers.
Gea
Sep 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents, those interested in history
So far the entire first third of the book is excerpts from writings about 'parenting' from Germany around 1770-1800. Shows how horrible parents were supposed to raise their kids. I am having a hard time getting through reading all of it - not only because it is sickening - but because Miller hasn't begun writing herself or getting to the point yet. The second half should get better and to the point (I would expect!), but I am not there yet.

After skipping some of the graphic part in the beginning
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Bethtub
Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, especially anti-oppression folks
Recommended to Bethtub by: Billy Keniston
This is 'must read' material for anyone looking to quell oppressive dynamics. It changed my life and capacity to see various oppressions stemming from personal experiences, as well as how they model each other (i.e. how men relate to women, adults to children, white people to people of color, so on)
Cynthia
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love Alice Miller's books. Her psychoanalytic perspective along with her anecdotal analysis of famous historical people makes for great reading.
Diana
Jan 11, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
100+ страници, почти половината книга, са прекалено много като възможност, която търпеливо давах на тази книга, за да ми хареса. Не мога да си позволя разкоша (поради липса на излишно време и нерви) да се боря с четенето на нещо, само защото всеки трябва да го прочете или само заради положителните мнения на хора, в чиито преценки има(х)м доверие. Не мога да дочакам и обещаваните грабващи вниманието моменти. Не намирам смисъл в чистата загуба на време без никаква полза. Това, че травмите и грешно ...more
Adelina 'Змей' Genova
"В началото бе възпитанието" не е книга за всекиго и все пак належащо трябва да бъде прочетена от всички ни.
Защото без значение как и от кого сме отгледани ние неминуемо сме продукт на възпитанието, което (не) ни е дадено. И ще плащаме за това не само като единици, но и като част от обществото. Защото никое дете не се ражда престъпник или убиец.
Всяко действие си има причина и всеки зъл акт е бил продиктуван от нещо преди него. Вероятно от нещо много преди това.

Възпитанието не е лесен процес. Осъ
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Rhonda Rae Baker
This should be required reading for everyone...I am overwhelmed with how much truth is spoken on these pages!

I've been around long enough to realize and to witness that so much of what is said here is how circumstances unfold for many lives.

Oh that we, as a society, will wake up and look around us. This type of abuse is everywhere and we much look into our past and that of our parents to see what pattern have been unconsciously repeated.

This could save your life and that of your children...but m
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Victoria
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read passages of this several years ago... can't quite remember why, although I do remember it hanging around my bedroom with a bookmark in it for a long time - and that I found the parts I did read... well, maybe not enjoyable, but certainly illuminating.
Patricia
Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
All I Need To Know I learned In Kindergarten (And How To Undo It).
David Steele
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read it.
Thom
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those in guided counseling
Good book to stir up suppressed issues, however it is at high risk for facilitating inaccurate memories.
Tom
Sep 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was the book that started my journey to adulthood. I healed tremendously while reading and pondering this book's message.
Summer
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
So far this is an amazing book with great helpful incite about what I am working on and dealing with in my life. Thank you Anne for your recommendation
Vertigo
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psych
This book should be required reading for everyone.
Jenn
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my child rearing bibles. I am opposed to spanking, I don't just choose not to do it myself. I am apalled by the entire concept, and this book explains why better than I can.
Nameless
Apr 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This is so painful to read... I keep having to put it down.
Kenneth
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mind blowing -- amazing insight into trauma
Julie
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Those that most need to read it...won't
Viktoria
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating idea on how child abuse and later aggression and criminality are related. The psychoanalytical angle is really well presented and argued for, combined with a shining empathy for the people concerned.
The writer partly takes on the challenge coming from a more scientific approach of data collection and statistical analysis, and I felt that although she didn't dismiss these points, she more or less escaped giving a full account. (I.e. why do some abused children not turn into murdere
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Bob Galinsky
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book explains Donald Trump, who had an abusive father, and why so many people follow him and other abusive leaders. The key insight is that some people believe their parents that abuse is "for their own good", and they associate abuse with love, because to admit that their parents don't love them would be devastating.
Ila*
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Altro libro rilevante e di spessore letto per supportare un argomento di pedagogia. Trovo sia un'ottima lettura per chi lavora nel campo educativo-formativo. La Miller prende in esame alcuni casi più o meno noti di pedagogia nera molto interessanti.
Nancy
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
On the drama of being a child and how much it impacts us through the generations with particular focus on Hitler. A bit overwrought sometimes but glimmers of an important truth.
Kevin Alexander
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Terrifying and uplifting. A strong case for the unvarnished history of all violence - the debasement and destruction of the child. Most enlightening study of human evil (including that of the demonic Führer) I've encountered, and required material for any parent who considers their child's malleability.
Lisa
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Die Philosophin, Soziologin und Psychologin Alice Miller macht auf bemerkenswerte Art und Weise auf die Wichtigkeit der frühkindlichen Entwicklung aufmerksam. Drei verschiedene Schicksale bzw. die Kindheit von drei verschiedenen Menschen werden von ihr anhand von Zitaten und unterschiedlichen Quellen dargestellt: Adolf Hitler, Jürgen Bartsch (ein Kindes-Massenmörder) und Christiane F. (eine Drogenabhängige).
Weiterhin kritisiert sie die sogenannte "Schwarze Pädagogik", die hauptsächlich zur NS-Ze
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Eliminating guilt for your childhood experiences 1 10 Jul 04, 2010 12:25PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Psychologist and world renowned author, who is noted for her books on child abuse, translated in several languages. In her books she departed from psychoanalysis charging it with being similar to the poisonous pedagogies, which she described in For Your Own Good.

Miller was born in Poland and as young woman lived
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More about Alice Miller...

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“Theoretically, I can imagine that someday we will regard or children not add creatures to manipulate or to change but rather as messengers from a world we once deeply knew, but which we have long since forgotten, who can reveal to us more about the true secrets of life, and also our own lives, than our parents were ever able to.” 2 likes
“The more we idealized the past, however, and refuse to acknowledge or childhood sufferings, the more we pass them on unconsciously to the next generation.” 0 likes
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