101 standalone lessons link through common themes of parenting, being parented, or knowing someone who was. Taken together, several storylines emerge: the author’s relationship with his mother, his crumbling marriage, his wrestling with his Chinese heritage, his love for his kids, and the decades-old death of his father.
Brad Yung intends to teach his kids these lessons in a roundabout, backwards, overly-complicated fashion, after they would actually be of any use. From bullying to discipline, democracy to old friends, ice cream to newsradio, and grandmothers to first love, these reminiscences cover topics that we all experience in our lives, and some we hope we won’t, all from a rather unique point of view.
The author drew heavily from his own life writing this book, mining his past and speculating on his kids’ futures, alternately reaching out for help and lashing out, but saving his sharpest criticisms and considerations for his mother, the universe, and himself.
Understatedly funny, tragic and sad, wistfully longing and steeped in regret, but ultimately hopeful, uplifting, and insightful, Lessons I’m Going To Teach My Kids Too Late almost succeeds in not being a self-help parenting book, but not for lack of trying.