Parents Under The Influence is a book I wish I’d had when I began raising my children: an empirical guide to parenting, supplementing my own experiences with concrete examples drawn from friends and acquaintances, as well as from case studies by therapists who trusted me with delicate information, and from works of fiction and pop cultural phenomena relating to the topic of parenthood.

This book is aimed at all parents who find themselves under the influence—as I myself was, and sometimes still am. Indeed, I believe we are all under the influence when we don’t acknowledge the impact our childhood has on our parenting style, and when we haven’t developed the habit of questioning ourselves and setting constructive priorities for our children. My hope is that this book will help parents reflect upon their own unconscious assumptions and enable them to do the right thing for their children. After all, our parenting sets a template that, for better or for worse, stays with them for the rest of their lives.

Parents Under the Influence
Words of Wisdom from a Former Bad Mother
Other Press– January 2020

Photo by Sari Goodfriend

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Cécile David-Weill, author

Cécile David-Weill is a French American author who is born and based in New York. She published her first novel Crush (Grove Press, 1997) under the name of Cécile de la Baume. Her next two novels are wickedly funny comedies of manners set in glamorous French locales.

The first, Femme de… ( in French, Grasset), follows three senior executives and their wives on a weekend corporate retreat in a luxurious hotel off season in La Baule, a beach resort in West of France, and offers a satirical take on both professional ambition and married life.

The Suitors (Other Press, 2012), which takes place in a grand country house in the South of France, provides a wry, irreverent insiders’ look at French high society.

In 2014, Cécile David-Weill published Chroniques de New York (in French, Grasset), a hilarious collection of tips for surviving in the Big Apple, gathered from her regular contribution to the French news magazine Le Point. Her most recent work is Parents under the Influence, Words of Wisdom from a Former Bad Mother (Other Press, January 2020).

Part memoir part guide, this book offers both understanding and remedy to those parents who are unknowingly under the influence of their childhood experience, and unwittingly repeat their parents’ mistakes while believing they are doing the right thing. Cécile David-Weill draws on her own parenting blunders and successes as well as concrete examples, case studies, and works of fiction to guide readers, helping us heal from the past and become effective, nurturing parents.