How to Be a Happy Parent...in Spite of Your: Children!
It is hard to quibble with the commonsense principles underlying this back-to-basics guide: be firm, trust your instincts, demand that your kids be responsible, don't try to buy their love, etc. But readers will know that the advice comes coated in treacle as Gosman (Spoiled Rotten: Today's Children and How to Change Them) claims authority in the introduction not for any fancy academic degree but as a C.F.R.H.-Concerned Father with a Receding Hairline. Sixteen chapters of recommendations are offered in homespun prose liberally sprinkled with the word heck and aphorisms like ``They shouldn't call it `Toys `R' Us'. They should call it `Torture Us.'"" Gosman, who lectures on parent-child relations, dispenses parenting strategies gleaned from talking with ``a Florida father,'' ``a New Mexico mom'' or ``a Missouri family,'' who, reduced to props for this folksy spiel, fail to generate credibility or interest. Gosman seems to aim for a kind of Erma Bombeck approach to parenting, but, lacking her frank wit, he falls far short of that mark here. Author tour. (June)