The Winning Family is back in print, with a fresh new energy and a fresh new voice: mine! I am now the narrator of my mom’s memoir/self-help book. After 35 years, it finally felt safe to put myself into a book about my family.
My mother built her career around this book. It helped shape the national narrative around parenting, teaching people how to create families where joy and satisfaction are the norm. They were in mine, for the most part. But the thing I could not say in previous editions, where I put my stories in third person as a ghost writer, was that they also were not. After my parents divorced I had, like so many people of my generation and the next ones, two families. In one, I felt like I couldn’t win. I the other, I felt like I couldn’t lose.
That’s why, when we brought this book back into print after a decade or more (read our rollercoaster publishing story here), we changed the subtitle from “Building Self-Esteem in Your Children—and Yourself” (which was a vitally hot topic back in the 1980s), to “Where No One Has to Lose.” “So much winning” became an ugly term out of Trump’s mouth. Implying dominion. Implying “losers.” Which also came out of his mouth, over and over, in such an un-presidential tone. This is a book of healing.
This book is about leadership. Parents are leaders, and we need to take our roles seriously. We need to understand what leadership means, and we need to know how to make leaders out of our children. Because, in democracy, we are all leaders, we are all sovereign beings, we are all parts of a greater whole.
I am so honored to have been able to work with my mom on this beautiful book. She’s my mom, and we do all the family things you do—quarrel and cook and listen and love, share stories and clothes and look out for each other. But she’s also an inspired and inspiring author, a respected thought leader, and a family leader.
I’m grateful to her, and to so many people for helping to bring this book back to life: Lynn Meinhardt, our picky, masked editor (who was on the team for the 1995 version), Jane of Ryder Author Resources, Lily my high school superhero, Keri Rae of NewShelves, and Jill Lublin, who made me do it. I’m so grateful to my family members who pulled together during this year of rewrite to help mom move through some of the hard things that happen to an 84-year-old body, and who cheered every step of the way. And to my stepmom who cared for my beloved dad through the end of his life; he died 3 months before publication. The struggles we all faced along the way were things that happen to many families. We learned, and we found grace, and peace.
35th Anniversary Edition Available now!
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Scenes from our book launch: