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A controversial follow-up to the bestselling They F*** You Up by leading psychologist and author of Affluenza, Oliver James

In the bestselling They F*** You Up, leading clinical child psychologist Oliver James showed that it is the way we were cared for in the first six years of life that has a crucial effect on who we are and how we behave. Now, James is ready to offer practical strategies and techniques to ensure, as parents, we don’t f*** up our children.

Working on the premise that the needs of small children must be met if they are to grow up mentally healthy and self-motivated, How Not to F*** Them Up shows that parents need to analyse what happened to them in their own childhood in order to relate well to their baby.

By identifying three basic types of parent – The Hugger (stays at home as much as possible in the baby’s early years), The Scheduler (gets the baby into a routine early on and returns to work full-time) and The Pragmatist (a mixture of the two) – and highlighting the potential problems that go with each one, Oliver James offers practical strategies for parents to enable them to change their innate behaviour and raise their child in the best possible way.


Easily readable, liberating ... a book you can trust.

The Independent

In a perfect world every parent would have a parenting masterclass before the baby arrives. This is the next best thing!

Arabella Weir

At last, something for the modern mother! A sane voice amid the shrill cacophony of childcare books

Imogen Edwards-Jones

I agree with Oliver James. Caring for a baby or toddler is personal, because you have to tune in to the child's changing needs.

Sue Palmer, The Times

Unlike other books of this sort, How Not to F*** Them Up focuses on the wellbeing of the parent as a starting point for meeting the needs of the child... This is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, and is not afraid to admit his own frailties. As a result his theories come across not as condescension, but as advice from one fucked-up-person to another.

Jake Wallis Simons, The Independent on Sunday

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 1, 2011


    384 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    August 2, 2010

    Ebury Digital

    384 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ

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