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Book Jacket

288 pages
Aug 2006
Howard Books

Pinocchio Parenting: 21 Outrageous Lies We Tell Our Kids

by Chuck Borsellino

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


In the introduction to Pinocchio Parenting, Dr. Borsellino says that "Smart people believe half of what they hear. Really smart people know which half to believe." Remember Gepetto's Pinocchio, the puppet which became a little boy? The more lies he told, the longer his nose grew. Well, the author is suggesting that each time we verbalize certain "outrageous lies," we take on the aspects of this storybook character.

Perhaps we as parents have not looked at Dr. Borsellino's listings as lies, but he presents a strong discourse on each one. He and his wife Jenni wrote How To Raise Totally Awesome Kids, and he has a nationally syndicated television program called At Home Live! with Chuck and Jenni, so his credentials seem to underlie his talking points.

The author lists the 21 different lies in chapter form, relating examples and giving his truths at the end. I have chosen a few of the most familiar chapter headings and revealing truths as enticements for reading this book.

The number 1 lie is: "You can be anything you want to be," with his truth being: "You may not be able to be anything you want to be in life, but you can do the most you can with what you have and do it in a way nobody has ever seen before."

Number 5 in the listing is: "It Doesn't Matter Whether You Win or Lose--It's How You Play the Game," with his truth listed as: "Winning isn't everything--but it does matter. People keep score for a reason."

Number 11: "It's Not What You Know but Who You Know That Counts," with the truth being: "It's not about what you know--or who you know. It's what you do with what you know that matters most."

Number 14: "It Doesn't Matter What You Do in Life, as Long as You're Happy," with the truth listed as: "Happiness isn't a right. It's a by-product of chasing your dreams and living your purpose."

Number 19: "The Best Things in Life Are Free," with his truth listed as: "Some things in life are free, but most things are valued proportionate to their cost--especially relationships."

And, in listing a number 22, Dr. Borsellino lists "The Most Damaging Lie of all--The Lie We Tell Ourselves," and that being that we don't matter. His truth statement is: "Your life matters. You're not insignificant, irrelevant, or inadequate. God believes in you. God values you and has a dream for you."

The author has demonstrated his knowledge of psychological factors that play in the perpetuation of clichés that we have heard over the years, but he also shows the spiritual side. I had never thought of these statements as "outrageous lies," when I had repeated some to my own children, so I believe this is a strong assessment. But, I would invite people to read this book and determine for themselves how "outrageous" their statements might have been. – Sharon I. Rideout, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Are you a Pinocchio Parent?

You may be asking yourself these very questions: What lies, clichés, and half-truths do I tell my children? How do these lies hurt my children and my relationship with them? Clinical psychologist and author Chuck Borsellino claims that our culture condones all sorts of lies -- from "tiny fibs" to calloused misrepresentations. Though well-intentioned in our unintentional lies, we set our children up for failure and disappointment and undercut our credibility.

In the pages of this book, Dr. Chuck Borsellino helps you sort out fact from fiction, intention from outcome. Most important, you'll learn a better way -- a way to help your children live life within the bounds of reality while fully exploring the dreams of their heart.