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Last edited by Charles Horn
January 13, 2016 | History

For your own good: hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence 9 editions

Cover of: For your own good | Alice Miller
About the Book

Miller proposed here that German traumatic childrearing produced heroin addict Christiane F., serial killer of children Jürgen Bartsch and dictator Adolf Hitler. Children learn to accept their parents' often abusive behaviour against themselves as being "for their own good." In the case of Hitler, it led to displacement against the Jews and other minority groups. For Miller, the traditional pedagogic process was manipulative, resulting in grown-up adults deferring excessively to authorities, even to tyrannical leaders or dictators, like Hitler. Miller even argued for abandoning the term "pedagogy" in favor of the word "support," something akin to what psychohistorians call the helping mode of parenting.

In the Poisonous Pedagogy section of the book, Miller does a thorough survey of 19th century child-rearing literature in the book, citing texts which recommend practices such as exposing children to dead bodies in order to teach them about the sexual functions of human anatomy (45–46), resisting the temptation to comfort screaming infants (41–43), and beating children who haven't committed any specific offense as a kind of conditioning would help them to understand their own evil and fallen nature.

The key element that Miller elucidated in this book was the understanding of why the German nation, the "good Germans," were compliant with Hitler's abusive regime, which Miller asserted was a direct result of how the society in general treated its children. She raised fundamental questions about current, worldwide child-rearing practices and issued a stern warning.

9 editions First published in 1983

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: For Your Own Good
Cover of: For Your Own Good
For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
January 1, 1990, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
in English
Cover of: For your own good
Cover of: For Your Own Good
For Your Own Good
December 12, 1987, Random House, Inc.
Hardcover in English - New Ed edition
Cover of: For Your Own Good
For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
January 1, 1985, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
in English
Cover of: For your own good
For your own good
1983, Farrar,Straus, and Giroux
Cover of: For your own good
Cover of: For your own good
Cover of: For your own good

History

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January 13, 2016 Edited by Charles Horn reverted to revision 13
January 11, 2016 Edited by Charles Horn Reverted Spam
September 15, 2015 Edited by ShutTheFrontDoor! added description
November 28, 2012 Edited by AnandBot Fixed spam edits.
December 11, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page