Written to equip every parent to be a master at creating the perfect messed up kid, granting each parent the ability to destroy their child mind, body and soul. Olivia and Kurt Bruner's book How To Mess Up Your Child's Life is an intensely humours book on how to create and perfect the kid who we've all seen, the one we've wished was our own: the one who constantly feels entitled to all his birthday gifts and does not know the words 'thank you', the little girl who throws a fit to get her way and her parents happily give in, the grown man who pushes an elderly woman out of his way because he needs to get there first. Yes, we have all seen and admired these people, and wished for them in our own lives and now with the genius help of Oliver and Kurt Bruner you too can have children who are the envy of messed up!
Not really, no. Well you could...but I am guessing you got the sarcasm in those above lines (you did right??) So, this book is genius, but because it is funny, filled with truth and very insightful, on what NOT to do just as much as on what TO do. I have read Doctor Dobson, and other such gurus before, but this book is by far my favourite parenting book to date. It really is displayed and explained in a way that makes sense! Olivia and Kurt break down the chapters into "the seven deadly sins" of which they explain all other sins stem out of. At the end of each chapter there is are activities to reinforce the attitudes in your children, movies to watch to help them understand, and goofy games and things to do as a family to help you all grasp the darkness of each sin.
Personally I got more out of this book in understanding kids, and myself than any other book. I loved the style and thought it was really funny. How To Mess Up Your Child's Life is written in a way that really made sense to me and to which I could relate to. It wasn't all about creating the perfect child, making him perfect in all aspects. It is more a molding and modeling and allowing the growth to be the fruit rather than what was demanded. I feel it attacks the key issues and leaves the rest. As a parent I am constantly working on choosing the battles that are actually important (versus the fact that a child is just really getting on my nerves) and Olivia and Kent really hit it home in this one. Highly recommended.