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The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read {and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did}
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The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read {and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did}

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  6,801 ratings  ·  729 reviews

This book is about how we have relationships with our children, what gets in the way of a good connection and what can enhance it


The most influential relationships are between parents and children. Yet for so many families, these relationships go can wrong and it may be difficult to get back on track.

In The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will B

...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Penguin (first published March 7th 2019)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  6,801 ratings  ·  729 reviews


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Woollythinker
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really hated this book. I can't relate at all to the author's assumptions that everything you find difficult about looking after a kid (even a baby) goes back to the way you yourself were neglected as a child. Honestly, babies are just a LOT of work, and it's completely reasonable to get fed up, even if you had a perfect upbringing! So that background irritation made it a lot harder to sift the text for possibly useful advice on how to handle those frustrations. There was some, of course, henc ...more
Paromjit
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Psychotherapist Phillipa Perry provides sound common sense advice for parents on how to improve their relationships with their children, much of which will be familiar to professionals that work with children. It is easy to understand, with highly accessible material and ideas on how to improve home life and make it a significantly happier environment. Perry puts a necessarily strong emphasis on parents putting in the effort to understand themselves and the nature of how they themselves were rai ...more
Hilary
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those starting a family
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
This is a lovely book for anyone starting a family. I skimmed some as my children are virtually adults and from what I've read I completely agree with Philipa. Give your children loads of patience, attention, be there for them whenever they need you and they should grow into happy independent individuals. In short, the more time, attention and care you give them when they are small the less time you will have to spend sorting out problems when they are older. I agree with Philipa, I think it's h ...more
Laura
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read insofar as it pushes the boundaries of how useful a parenting guide can be without considering patriarchal power. Unlike the vast majority of parenting guides, Philippa Perry's The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read gives mostly sensible, empathetic advice for how to relate to people (most of the things she says could apply to relationships with anybody, although are especially relevant to your own children because of how much time you spend with them and how much i ...more
Sarah Watt
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Has some sensible but not earth-shattering advice about listening to and validating feelings. Overall it advocates a very intensive parenting style that in my view we can't possibly have evolved to need (it's telling that the author only had one child). It comes across as more opinion than evidence-based psychology, steeped in a particular sub-culture, and some of the assertions border on the ridiculous. ...more
Philippa
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
I am not a parent and I got SO much out of this book. Philippa Perry is one of my favourite psychotherapy writers and frankly I'd read a book about paint drying if it had her name on the front cover.

I feel like I understand the children in my life - and myself when I was a child - better after reading this. On the whole, society doesn't encourage us to see things from a child's point of view - we are quick to dismiss their feelings as "being silly" and so on. I will never do that again after re
...more
Amy Alice
Fantastic. I'm going to listen to this every year. My strong and personal belief is that relationships rule all. Parenting, teaching, being a good friend...and this bottles that idea and gave me all the reasons why the author think this too, and the science to back it up. It's therapy heavy, it's probably going to make a lot of people mad or guilty, but I loved it. ...more
Carolin
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Absolutely brilliant and I don’t think you need to have children to take something away from this book.
H.A. Leuschel
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a good read with some very useful tips to think about for anyone who either is a parent or questions the way they have been brought up, written in a compassionate and clear style.
Caroline
DNF 50%. I don’t like parenting books that focus on what not to do and use extreme examples of “when things go wrong!” This was clearly written by a privileged, middle class mum with just one child. Some working class families, both parents have to work to pay the bills! Some of her examples made me cry. The example of the ten year old trying to kill himself by jumping out the window because both his parents were working full time and he felt ignored reallly disturbed me. I don’t need that in my ...more
Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books
3.5 stars

I often try to read books on parenting, more for insight really, but if I can take some tips from it - great! This relatively short book is broken into sections, each detailing how to engage with your child and approach various situations. I found it to be both interesting and practical, and I really appreciated Perry's approach of trying to understand things from your child's perspective before you act.

I particularly enjoyed the section on socialisation and the qualities children (and
...more
Negin Hdzdh
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it
It was thoughtful, but the title was much more interesting than the book.
Rachel H
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I saw so many five star reviews for The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read that I had to see what all the hype was about. I had high expectations and I was disappointed.

The book starts well with a section about your parenting legacy. This encourages the reader to unpack one's childhood experiences and traumas and see how they can affect one's parenting. I found this fascinating and it would be good to see this topic expanded into a full book.

The following chapters went downhill. Perry starts
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Victoria
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Argghh! What an infuriating book. Perry has some really useful insights and practical advice that make a lot of sense (some of which I'll no doubt do...or at least consider). Unfortunately it's presented in such a black and white, patronising, judgemental (although everything is suffixed 'I'm not judging but...') way, I wanted to hurl it across the room. Some of the propositions border on the absurd - Perry's own mea culpa (if you can even call it that) was that her adult daughter has a bad post ...more
Claire Hennighan
I don't normally read self-help books, but I'd recently had a training session about the use of psychotherapy in schools, a lot of which spoke to me as a parent, and I was keen to find out more. This book is a game-changer. I'm glad that I've read it now, as a parent of a 10 and 7-year-old, but I really wish I'd read it earlier. I'll be buying it for pregnant friends in future!

This is not a book providing quick fixes and solutions, but rather one which will increase your understanding of what yo
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Paul
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2019
Parenting is never easy. There is no right way to do it, but there are plenty of wrong ways and for those that are interested there are a plethora of books out there that claim to provide all the advice that you will ever need in raising your genetic heritage. This, however, comes with the by-line, this is a parenting book for people who don’t buy parenting books, which is quite a bold claim. Psychotherapist Philippa Perry is well placed to make this claim with two decades of experience of case ...more
Lauren Beckett
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: being-a-parent
This is perhaps the most important and life-changing book I've ever read. The first half felt like therapy for me to work through how I was parented and for me to realise the generational patterns I have been repeating when raising my little girl that are not innate, accidental or just the way I am (as I thought) but can be changed and worked on. It has made me much more mindful of my words and behaviour with my daughter and indeed everyone. Since reading this I'm now an avid listener of Janet L ...more
Rachel
Jun 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Update: NO STARS. The more I reflect on this book the more fed up I actually get, because even though I skim-read the baby and toddler chapters since they don’t apply, the tone was disparaging and critical of any parenting method that contradicted the woman’s opinion. The woman causes self-doubt. Avoid.
Kim Plowright
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was worried about reading this book, because I’m still sorting grieving my parents, whilst coming to terms with being childless and perimenopausal. Thought it might be a bit... well, triggery. But it was honest, straightforward, gently funny and kind, and helped me think about some stuff in my own upbringing in a useful way. The simple advice about how relating to people actually works in the real world feels slightly like magic, and the idea that honest attempts at repairing problems is more ...more
Kirsty Connell-Skinner
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The antidote to Philip Larkin’s This Be The Verse
Annie Cole
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Prepare to face the skeletons in your closet. This is a giant therapy session, brushing cobwebs from the hidden-most corners of your childhood. It induced quite a few nightmares in me! But it’s all part of the process. I now feel cleansed and revived.

Philippa Perry uses the wisdom of many years as a psychotherapist, agony aunt, wife and mother to guide us through the frankly intimidating role of “parent”, with a focus on the early years. Her sage theories are interspersed with case studies from
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June
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ng, psychology, parenting
First of all, I'm not a parent, but I work with kids. If neither of those are true for you, there's not enough here to make it worth your while--get a book on attachment theory instead if you want to understand your latent anger at your lousy parents.

I found myself muttering, "OK Boomer" at all the anecdata and groundless assertions. Seriously, there's a dramatized argument between a 60-year-old man and his 22-year-old son over a leather jacket that is the most Boomer-vs.-Gen Z thing ever. And o
...more
Molly
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baby
There is some good stuff is here but it’s largely philosophy you can find in any gentle parenting/positive discipline book. I loved the image of being a container for your child’s emotion—it’s evocative and it honestly works. But the junk outweighs the good stuff. So...the stuff I hated: Perry reiterates “the ruptures don’t matter, it’s what you do to mend that matters” but her tone is so patronizing and condescending that you know she’s not so secretly judging you. God help the woman who happen ...more
Abdul Rehman Sharif
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A brilliant read to understand your own self - highlights quite a few traits, whether it's trusting, sharing your emotions, how you deal with stress, general day to day behaviour .. and how it's linked to your childhood upbringing.

It's very well written and has quite a few examples on how to deal with certain situations, for example when your kid is throwing a tantrum, or how you can build trust, or how a parent should tackle difficult conversations/topics. This book challenged quite a few of my
...more
Caroline Finlay
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
While there is some good advice here (hence 2stars)- particularly around validating your children’s feelings and conversations with teenagers, the book is patronising. Perry makes huge claims, with no data to back them up. Another book that piles on the Mum guilt (when your baby is not getting your attention they are “abandoned in a desert”). Perry approaches parenting from a very privileged perspective- suggesting hotel stays, grandparents covering a year’s rent to “help out” and not putting ki ...more
Elizabeth
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you read one parenting book make it this one.

Firstly, it’s so easy to read, meaning difficult concepts are explained throughly and great examples used.

Secondly, good to read for all ages, pregnancy to adulthood.

Thirdly, great advice.
Jimena
Oct 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Use your common sense in your parenting journey and save the money.
Gabriela
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was given to me by a really good friend of mine. Now, after finishing the book, I realised it was a remedy for my soul.

It does not matter whether you are expecting a child or not, Philippa Perry helps you to understand your own feelings and behaviours, which are so deeply rooted in the relationship with our parents. And why, eventually, we tend to copy the same behaviour with our own children.

This book shaped my point of view on how I want to behave not only as a parent but also as a
...more
Mauro Camara Escudero
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written, a bit repetitive at times. I loved the stress of the author on valuing the connection and relationship between parents and kids, as opposed to a more “functional” and manipulative way of parenting.

The main takeaways, in my opinion, are
- When you get distressed about your child, look for triggers in your past. Does that situation resonate with your childhood? You need to open yourself up to someone (even yourself) about your childhood. Decide what you want to learn from your parents
...more
Michael
To sum up the advice:
Look back on and reappraise your own (childhood) traumas.
Try to understand the feelings of the other person.
Always argue with your feelings instead of facts, because feelings are always authentic and right and can't be argued with.
Also Attachment theory
What was missing from my point of view:
How to deal with the phase of defiance and how to elicit intrinsic motivation.
...more
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Philippa Perry, author of How to Stay Sane, is a psychotherapist and writer who has written pieces for The Guardian, The Observer, Time Out, and Healthy Living magazine and has a column in Psychologies Magazine. In 2010, she wrote the graphic novel Couch Fiction, in an attempt to demystify psychotherapy. She lives in London and Sussex with her husband, the artist Grayson Perry, and enjoys gardenin ...more

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“If you treat your child's sadness, anger and fears not as negatives to be corrected but as opportunities to learn more about them and to connect with them, then you will deepen your bond with them.” 3 likes
“Quite often, when we think we are listening, all we are doing is waiting for a gap for an opportunity to speak back; we use our energy to compose our responses or our reply rather than to try to understand what the other person is trying to communicate,” 2 likes
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