From Library Journal
As he has in past books (Life on the Edge, LJ 5/1/95), Dobson advises parents from his overtly conservative, Christian stance. A notable Christian activist, powerfully connected right-winger, and founder and president of Focus on the Family, he has written a work with seemingly good intentions: "If you are honest, trustworthy, caring, loving, self-disciplined, and God-fearing, your boys will be influenced by those traits as they age.... So much depends on what they observe in you." True enough. His underlying arguments, however, are peculiarly mean-spirited. Any outsider who threatens traditional family values comes under fierce attack. Most early feminists, for example, "were never married, didn't like children, and deeply resented men, yet they advised millions of women about how to raise their children and, especially, how to produce healthy boys." Dobson also avows that gays suffer from a "disorder." Clearly, the titular advice and encouragement serve Dobson's agenda. While this book is appropriate for certain religious collections, public librarians should exercise caution; there are Christian parenting titles (e.g., William Sears, M.D., & Martha Sears's The Complete Book of Christian Parenting and Child Care, Broadman & Holman, 1997) that don't polemicize and defame as does this. Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Dobson, a psychologist and family counselor, takes a decidedly conservative approach to the "special challenge of raising boys." Celebrating the natural differences between boys and girls, Dobson outlines biological differences, particular issues in disciplining boys, and the different roles of mothers and fathers. He scoffs at those who attribute differences to social factors. Dobson is particularly critical of feminists and their influence on American culture, for example, the advent of nonsexist toys. Dobson sees the "future of Western civilization" dependent on how we handle the "crisis" of raising the next generation of men. Much of his advice on boy-rearing issues, from discipline to attention deficit disorder to coping with divorce, is biblically based. Each chapter ends with a question-and-answer format. The most controversial chapter examines the origins of homosexuality, calling it a "disorder" that can be cured. Conservative and Christian readers may enjoy Dobson's book; other readers are likely to take issue with some of his observations. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved