Is How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, written because there was no book of its type in existence. A case of write the book you want to read, I suppose.
I don’t think he set out to write a manual for raising children, he wrote a book on winning friends and influencing people. If you have kids, you know that winning their friendship is the last thing you want to do.
No, seriously, the last thing you want to do when raising your children is to win their friendship. For two decades, you are parent, mentor, teacher, disciplinarian. You are the dictator of your home, and they are your subjects.
I’ve seen parents trying to be friends with their children. What a bloody disaster.
Children are manipulative little sociopaths. Wild animals. It is our job as parents to raise them, to civilize them. Befriending them gets in the way of that. At least until they’re getting close to leaving home, then, hells yes, befriend them.
As the literal last act you perform as parent, before setting them into the wild.
But, raising them? Yeah, that’s your job, your duty, and how better to do that than to influence them?
At the moment, I’m reading Win Friends for (I think) the fourth time. Every time, I learn more about how I should be influencing my children to become the good men I know they can be. The principles Carnegie espouses for business relationships, for friendships, for success at work? They all apply to turning the little animals into civilized, functional beings.
Even over the last week, as I’ve been relearning, and reapplying the lessons, I’m already seeing the positive influence of the greatest child rearing manual ever written, How to Win Friends and Influence People.