If You Had Controlling Parents

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-23
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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Do you sometimes feel as if you are living your life to please others? Do you give other people the benefit of the doubt but second-guess yourself? Do you struggle with perfectionism, anxiety, lack of confidence, emotional emptiness, or eating disorders? In your intimate relationships, have you found it difficult to get close without losing your sense of self? If so, you may be among the fifteen million adults in the United States who were raised with unhealthy parental control. In this groundbreaking bestseller by accomplished family therapist Dan Neuharth, Ph.D., you'll discover whether your parents controlled eating, appearance, speech, decisions, feelings, social life, and other aspects of your childhood-and whether that control may underlie problems you still struggle with in adulthood. Packed with inspiring case studies and dozens of practical suggestions, this book shows you how to leave home emotionally so you can improve assertiveness, boundaries, and confidence, quiet you "inner critics," and bring more balance to your moods and relationships. Offering compassion, not blame, Dr. Neuharth helps you make peace with your past and avoid overcontrolling your children and other loved ones.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
To the Readerp. xiii
Introduction: Did You Grow Up With Unhealthy Control?p. xv
Naming the Problemp. 1
Healthier Parenting Versus Controlling Parentingp. 3
Smothering Parenting: Life Under a Microscopep. 16
Depriving Parenting: Playing "Take Away"p. 23
Perfectionistic Parenting: A Place for Everything (and Everything Had Better Be in Place)p. 30
Cultlike Parenting: Obedience with a Missionary Zealp. 37
Chaotic Parenting: Life in the Quicksand Lanep. 44
Using Parenting: "Me First" Child Raisingp. 50
Abusing Parenting: "Do It or Else" Child Raisingp. 58
Childlike Parenting: "Can't Do" Child Raisingp. 66
Summary of the Eight Stylesp. 71
Understanding the Problemp. 77
How Overcontrol Worksp. 79
Putting It All Together: Meet Your Internalized Parentsp. 103
The Adult-Life Legacies of Growing up Controlledp. 110
Letting Go of the Legacies: Giving up the Distortions of the Internalized Parentsp. 123
Why Parents Overcontrolp. 130
Controllers' Fearsp. 147
Solving the Problemp. 155
Emotionally Leaving Homep. 157
Separating from Unhealthy Family Tiesp. 159
Bringing Balance to Your Relationship with Your Parentsp. 171
How Can I Set Healthier Boundaries with My Parents?p. 172
Should I Confront My Parents?p. 180
Can I Forgive My Parents?p. 188
Can I Accept My Parents?p. 195
Should I Reduce or Break Contact with My Parents?p. 200
Family Quandariesp. 204
Redefining Your Lifep. 210
Nine Powerful Paths for Growth and Healingp. 211
Making Meaningp. 231
The Book in a Nutshellp. 235
Works Citedp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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