Family First: Your Step-By-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family

Phillip C. McGraw, Author Free Press $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7432-6493-8
In the jacket copy for his latest work, the author and Oprah spin-off phenomenon Dr. Phil is presented not merely as an exceptional family psychologist but as ""one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human functioning."" This sweeping term sounds about right given a 2.3 million first printing. Even more than his previous self-help offering, The Ultimate Weight Solution, this book reads as if it is meant to be the guidebook to a national movement. ""When I say 'phenomenal family,' I'm talking about a family where each member is a star in their own right,"" he writes. In his trademark, just-folks speaking style (all his work reads as if it is spoken rather than written), Dr. Phil isolates five factors that define such a family: a nurturing and abuse-free environment, stable daily routines and the ability to celebrate meaningful family rituals, communicate and manage crises. The ultimate measure of success of any family, according to McGraw, is the ability of each member to live according to their ""authenticity."" Comparing our innate individuality to a pair of brand new sneakers that gets scuffed up in the course of bearing witness to parental fighting, being bullied at school or ignored at home, the author proceeds to give us a tool belt full of power tools designed to help kids and families be all they are meant to be. Based on the very sound principle that parents must be willing to really parent, each tool of talking and listening, disciplining, and guiding by example (for purposes of book structuring, they are divided into seven), is backed by McGraw's rock-bottom, no-two-ways-about-it confidence that nurturing our children and strengthening our families is the most important work that any of us can be doing. This plain-spoken guide will convince millions that this is so.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-3830-5
Paperback - 286 pages - 978-0-7432-7377-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-5530-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-8994-4
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-7432-6788-5
Daily - 978-0-7407-5304-6
Book - 978-1-4193-3454-2
Compact Disc - 6 pages
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-7432-7360-2
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