Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bringing Up Boys – James Dobson

The guru of Christian family life, psychologist James Dobson, gives advice on raising boys in a modern society. This book was a gift to me when my son was born and provided some insight as we began to tackle the task of raising a boy when our only experience had been with a girl.

Most of the material is reminder-type fare. We’re told that boys and girls are different, that sometimes the reason that boys behave the way they do is that they are boys, and that parents, while being firm must be fair, and fairness is often based on the child and not the society.

In the course of the book we discover that boys do not require tutoring to develop a game of war or cowboys. Turning things into guns for pretend battles is natural. Boys, Dobson contends, who are kept from this aggressive type play, will act it out later in life, much to the disappointment of the unwitting parent. Dobson also cautions that boys need a positive male influence in their lives, and he provides suggestions for those whose sons have absent fathers as to how to find for them this necessary part of life.

Overall, Bringing Up Boys is a helpful work. While you may find yourself disagreeing from time to time with Dr. Dobson in his assessment, you will find that the book is well worth the purchase price if you are raising boys.

—Benjamin Potter, March 2007

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