Skip to main content

Bringing Up Girls

James Dobson has been an influential and powerful purveyor of the issues facing families for many years now and this book is just another example of his influence. I gladly received this book from Tyndale for review with both an excited and uneasy feeling. My reaction after reading the book was a combination of being bitterly disappointed with it while also feeling like it will be a great resource in raising my young girl. In order to comment fairly concerning the book, I will offer a brief few words the content and then add my reception of the main points of the books.




Dobson begins the first chapter by stating the great responsibility of parents to not only oversee their children but also raise them 'purposely' (2). The chapter on Girls in Peril is Dobson exerting his effort in explaining the dangerous world girls find themselves in today, with everything from binge drinking to infidelity to eating disorders (6-9). I think in some ways Dobson goes to great links to bring out the worst possible examples of pop culture's view of women to warn parents as to the corrosive effects that can stain their girls. One of the illuminating parts of this chapter was Dobson's point that "..the culture has our children in its crosshairs, and either we can go with the flow or we can fight back with all our resources. Heaven help our kids if we remain passive and disconnected" (11). Dobson is wise to point out that parents must be engaged in every facet of their children's lives or in due time children will succumb to some type of temptation, for culture is relentless in its temptations to young ones.



In the chapter on Fair Sex Dobson points out specific ways that fathers can build up their daughters self-esteem through praise, time together and affection (21). As a young father, I see the extraordinary gift of showering my daughter with encouragment and taking the time to be interested in what she is connected to. Not only does this time and effort build a strong father/daughter relationship, but it creates lasting memories for both of you. In the chapter on Teaching Girls to Be Ladies, Dobson points out that females radically pursuing guys is a turnoff and should be the guys responsibility. Although I think this is a wise word for men, I don't think Dobson give a specific basis for why this should be the norm.



Some of the later chapters deal with fathers relating to daughters and the importance of a male presence at the house, the place of bullies at school, and the role of parents in the life of girls. Lastly, I think the last few sections on eating disorders and the way Dobson addresses cutting are both timely and go a long way in helping us as parents deal with some of the root causes of these harmful actions.



The positive benefits of the book are many: one, Dobson helps us understand that cultural influences are not neutral and are aimed at our young girls, second, the way to parent girls might look different than parenting boys but includes the same loving initiative, third, parents have to be willing to let go of just being friends with their children and take responsibility in all areas of their child's life.



Part of my critique of the book is that while Dobson is quick to point out the sex saturated world we live in, he fails to provide a robust biblical and theological paradigm for understanding sexuality. At times you almost get the picture that certain activities are evil in and of themselves and have no redeeming value. In other words, there is a strong pietistic strain in the book that pushes us to remove ourselves from culture rather than seek to change culture by the power of the gospel. I believe part of his critique of culture, however, is due to his experience in seeing the destructive nature of sin in girls' lives.



Overall, I think this book will greatly help parents navigate the murky waters of parenting in a culture that often teachings things that degrade our young girls. I also think this book is up to date in its engaging issues of cutting, bullying, and eating disorders.



Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book to review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…