Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com

Dan Neuharth's book - If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World

ISBN 0060929324

Amazon link

Reviews by Amazon readers....


Author emphasizes working through our issues as adults, not playing "blame games." Interviews with people from all walks of life are liberally quoted throughout each chapter.
What makes this book exceptional is that the author is advocating education and change, not revenge. He shows how examining your parents' history in detail can help you heal and move forward as a fully functioning adult free to make decisions based on something else than what your parents' would say.

Controlling parents don't have to be outwardly abusive nor do they always have malevolent intentions towards their children. However, trauma stays with a person and its after-effects can be passed on to the next generation.

The author clearly contrasts unhealthy with healthy parenting and offers checklists to help the reader. He explores why people overcontrol, and he provides exercises to help the reader work through his or her feelings. Most helpfully, he reiterates that it was not the reader's fault, and it is not required that the reader change - but if he or she begins to explore that possibility, it can lead to great rewards.


A spark of hope has entered my life........

This book is one of the best self help books I have read in a long time. It dealt more with the emotional than the physical abuse in childhood. I have always had a hard time because to me emotional abuse specially when mixed with religion can be so easily justified in your mind. You can feel like "something is really wrong here", but then in the same breath say "well they love me so much and are just obeying God and what he requires of parents". I have been eaten up with guilt for the rebellion against my parents that I displayed as a teenager. Now though I realize I rebelled against their control, not against them inorder to hurt them or make them miserable. I read this book, started seeing a therapist and confronted my parents and let me tell you how much freedom I feel for the first time in life. I actually feel happy, and a great sense of hope. What do I owe my parents? Why am I so fearful of hurting their feelings? Why can't I just do what is healthy for me? The book answered these questions and the exercises were wonderful. We need more books like this one because obviously there is a problem in parenting that needs to be looked at and changed fast! Kids are becoming more violent, less respectful of authority, and completely losing any conscience what-so-ever. So if I can break the generation sin that has been passed down for generations, then I am thankful I was put in the home I was put in and strong enough to SURVIVE!

Even if you are advanced in your recovery, this is a fantastic book to read to see the subtleties in the way an unhealthy upbringing affects your current realtionships. The author lists all the different types of controlling parents and the way they leave us feeling. He offers stories of several other people that may have similar experiences to your own.

Very easy to read, and a way to escape the hold of a controlling & abusive parent.


The stories in the book are touching and I believe everybody with psychological or self-esteem matters can find in it something he/she can relate to. Its biggest virtue is that it provides the first systemization of psychological cruelty and thoughtlessness in parent-child relationships which can also be applied to all, even adult relations where physical coercion and reality corruption is involved. You can go through the extensive checklists and find a lot to reflect upon your past, analyze it, and finally let it go.