There are No Good Families became a national best-seller in the category of psychology within months of its publication and continues to be hotly debated in Turkey. Being the most controversial book by Kaya, it draws diverse reactions, including fury and admiration, along with her book There are No Good Societies (2019). The book is actually talking about the child archetype or the child within, to show that real-life parenting is only a result of the way we parent our inner child, and questions the taboo around the family as an institution and especially the taboo of motherhood, with all values attributed to them traditionally.
There are no good families. Or, paradoxically, only the families who can act by the principle that “There are no good families” can be good. Even the best parents -or, caregivers- harm the child. It is not possible to be a good parent without accepting the fact that harming an infant whilst s/he is growing up is inevitable.
Parenthood is made sacred and institutionalized to legitimatize the harm given to the child by the parent.
Respect is not obedience. What we are taught under the name of “respect” has little to do with real respect. Only something that can be mutual and that is not subject to hierarchy can be called “respect”. In our culture, the word is often misused; patterns such as “respecting the parent”, “respecting the teacher”, “respecting adults”, “respecting the government” function to disguise the disrespect for the child or the individual. Moreover, the word “respect” is used to commit acts of disrespect. The one who needs respect most is not parents, teachers, or adults, but the child. It is only by giving the child the respect s/he deserves -which means, also, the inner child- that we can respect the individual and best reach our potential.
Family, in the way it is organized today in our country, is the smallest unit of organized evil.
This book is for people who have had a childhood or who are going through it.
There are No Good Families is studied in departments of Psychology, Psychological Counseling, Developmental Psychology at about a dozen of universities in Turkey, and sometimes along with There are No Good Societies.
In Turkey, it is not difficult to write a book like There are No Good Families: it is simply impossible. It is also very unlikely for a psychologist or a psychiatrist to be able to write such a book. First of all, a fearless heart is a must. And then, a sharp intelligence and crystal clear style. The book is wonderful in terms of the messages it conveys.
Cengiz Avcı, Psychological Counselor
Nihan Kaya critically studies the practices through which the society sacrifices the individual in order to maintain its patterns under the disguise of so-called “parenting”, institutions, lies that are told “for our own good” and the hypocritical bases of relationships. The strongest points of her literature are her thoughtful choice of words, scientific references that are aptly put, and also, not leaving us all alone and helpless whilst we are going back to our lost childhood with the help of the insightful questions she asks. Her insightful point of view displays sympathy and helps us feel that we are not alone.
Assist. Prof. Melike Acar, Developmental Psychologist, MEF University Department of Guidance & Psychological Counseling
There are No Good Families is a multi-dimensional and multi-layered book in which almost every sentence is worth being underlined. Nihan Kaya invites people who are in positions of all sorts of authority in all layers of society -mothers, parents, teachers, schools, psychotherapists, all executives within a wide range, from those who lead institutions to the ones who govern countries- to look “in the mirror”. She explains how and why one’s transformation lies in his/her courage to encounter the “other” within his/her self.
All that are held “sacred”, beginning from the mother and the parent -school, teacher, society, government, religious or ideological beliefs etc- are descended onto the earth through Kaya’s questioning. As we read, it becomes clear that our belief in the “sacred” serves the system and provides its continuance.
The book begins with Kaya’s sentence “I will write till the day there are no more hurt children left on the planet” and ends with “As long as the child’s sufferings remain invisible to the mass, our society will never change.”. Many thanks, Nihan Kaya, for your “Courage to Write” and for the awareness and insight you provide.
Dr. Nezaket Kaya, Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Psychodramatist
I recommend There are No Good Families to every one of my clients and every one of my students at university. I have observed the therapeutic effect of the book on my clients. It helps you to discover a lot about yourself and your family whilst drawing attention to a very difficult area without making the reader feel lonely. As a book written with good intention, I am sure it will shed light upon all minds it reaches in case it is read with good intention.
Dr. Ilke Kadioglu Sienkiewicz, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, CA #26324