I recently finished reading The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy, by Edward Hallowell. I disliked it very much.The information contained in the book, while not groundbreaking or new in any way, is accurate enough.
What I really hated was his glamorizing of parenting. He goes on (for pages) about how parenting is the world's greatest source of joy and recounts how a half hour he spent on the floor with a group of babies was "as close as I had come to finding heaven on earth in quite some time." But Hallowell never stayed at home with his children full time, and the jobs that he's held are intense, time consuming ones (like being the director of several treatment centers, a Harvard professor, and an internationally traveling speaker who commits "half his professional time to lecturing"=traveling extensively). There is no way he has ever been anything more than a strictly part time parent. I suspect that his wife does almost all of the actual work of parenting (especially because she has a far lower profile career). Sure, spending half an hour with babies is fun, if you aren't the one who has to feed them, change them, and wake up every 2-3 hours with them, every single day without fail.
If he really thought parenting was as much fun as he writes it is, then he would quit his jobs and dedicate his time and most of his effort to doing just that (after all, he has three children!). He doesn't do this, because he doesn't want to: because parenting, while gratifying and interesting, is mostly drudgery and frequently exceedingly stressful.
A big problem with the parenting genre is that many of its authors are just like Hallowell: parents, yes, but not the ones doing the actual work of childrearing. Dr. Sears (the attachment parenting guru), for example, has eight children. But during their childhoods he was working full time as a doctor: and not just as a doctor, but as ward chief of a large hospital and a professor (meaning he would have been working very long hours indeed). So his advocacy of attachment parenting is just for other people (women): he himself has more interesting/important things to do!
This doesn't matter if an author's recommendations are based primarily on scientific research, as then personal experience is irrelevant. However, this is very rarely the case (for instance, there isn't really any evidence that attachment parenting is either helpful or harmful, but that doesn't stop authors from writing large tomes on its use). Parenting books almost never provide any kind of evidence for their assertions, beyond the ubiquitous "Studies say..." (without naming the studies, their authors, or explaining the results: Hallowell does this constantly, even though he should know better as an academic).
I always wonder how the parenting authors' children actually turn out, because for the most part I don't have much confidence in them (the ideas usually sound good, but after all so do Communism, self-regulating industries and living off the land). But there's no real way to know (since even if I could discover what sort of careers/education they had, it doesn't answer the more important questions about their character and psychological well-being).