Excerpt from Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads by Rosalind Wiseman, Elizabeth Rapoport, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads

Coping with the Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Counselors Who Can Rule -- or Ruin --Your Child's Life

By Rosalind Wiseman, Elizabeth Rapoport

Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Mar 2006,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2007,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


As parents, we understand that the culture has great power over our children; they see the latest ad campaign for jeans and are convinced that their lives would be better if they bought them. However, we may not realize that we're no less immune. If you have a car, ask yourself what it says about you. In full, embarrassing disclosure, I bought an SUV because I couldn't tolerate the image of driving a minivan--which would have been a much better choice because they're cheaper and more fuel-efficient.

We also belong to microcultures where there are similar unwritten rules we "just know" we have to follow. Your children's school, your religious institution, your family--all have unwritten rules you must follow to be accepted, and there are penalties for the people who break those rules.

Cultural rule breakers can make others extremely uncomfortable, so most people don't want them around. These people are seen as "other," possibly tolerated but rarely accepted. Very often, rule breakers aren't respected, their opinions and experiences are easily dismissed, and other people don't want to be seen as associated with them, even when they think the rule breakers are right. If we grow up without learning to question the culture, we take a few lessons with us from our youth:

  1. You should please the person who has the most power.
  2. You should maintain relationships with the people in power.
  3. The result of all this pleasing and maintenance will be that you won't say what you need or want.
  4. Loyalty is defined as backing up your friends by saying nothing, laughing, or even joining in when their actions are unethical or cruel.
  5. You should be silent in the face of cruelty so that the cruelty isn't turned on you.

So how does this affect parents? I think there is a parent culture that takes its cues from the overall culture, tricking us into thinking there is one best, most desirable way to be a parent. I call it Perfect Parent World.


Welcome to Perfect Parent World

In Perfect Parent World, the kids are perfect. They do their homework without nagging, effortlessly get into all the honors classes, get elected to class offices, and give their parents a steady stream of bragging rights based on their scholastic and athletic accomplishments. In this mythical kingdom, the parents are perfect, too. They're financially stable, wear the right clothes, drive the right cars, never crack under the strain of car pool, offer our peers excellent parenting advice, and have great kids whose pockets are never filled with bad report cards, cigarettes, or Ecstasy.

Our family doesn't do average. Tammy, mother of a five-year-old, complaining because her son got an E for "excellent" instead of an O for "outstanding"

No one I know actually resides in Perfect Parent World, but most parents I've met--myself included--measure themselves against this impossible standard, and we imagine that the moms and dads with the most power and highest social status occupy that cherished real estate. But who decides who personifies perfection?

One of the primary ways both boys and girls and men and women define who has power and social status is by how our culture defines masculinity and femininity. Girls and boys are introduced to these cultural constructions very early in life. In middle school and high school they build groups based on how closely they perceive their fit into those cultural constructions, which I call Girl World and Boy World.

Excerpted from Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads by Rosalind Wiseman with Elizabeth Rapoport Copyright © 2006 by Rosalind Wiseman. Excerpted by permission of Crown, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.