116 of 126 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Dr. Dobson's, so I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed. It seemed that there was little practical advice. Instead, there were pages upon pages of warning about how depraved our culture has become and how toxic it is to girls. It was filled with discouraging statistics. There is a place for such warnings and such statistics, but I thought that this book focused on them without providing the counterbalance--the advice of how to help our daughters grow strong and healthy, avoiding becoming one of those statistics. Despite this, there were a few gems in the book. The one that stands out the most for me was the early emphasis on the role of the father--too many fathers do not realize how important they are in their daughters' lives, right from the beginning. The early part of this book did a good job in pointing that out. After those couple of chapters, however, it was all negatives and no advice for how to avoid them. I hoped for better from Dr. Dobson.
92 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Several years ago I read Dr. Dobson's book Bringing Up Boys. As the mother of a boy and the wife of a man who used to be a boy, I was thrilled to learn what made them tick. So, I was very excited to have the chance to review Bringing Up Girls through the Tyndale Blag Network!
Dr. Dobson, in Bringing up Girls, first relates the physiological and psychological differences between boys and girls answering the question: What makes girls unique? Everything he writes is well backed up with current research. He goes on to talk about the importance of mothers and then fathers in a girl's life. He broaches some discussion of discipline. He looks at modesty and why this is such an issue with girls today. He sites research related to our current culture and technological trends that affect girls particularly. He attempts to give parents a better understanding of why their little girls (and big girls) are the way they are are and to equip parents to raise these girls to be the young women God wants them to be.
I was very impressed with Bringing Up Girls (as I was with Bringing up Boys). I find the physiological differences between boys and girls very interesting- especially as our culture has tried for so long to tell us boys and girls really aren't all that different. I think Dr. Dobson does an excellent job of bringing in a wide array of statistical research as well as writings form other learned people on the topic. He also provides real life interviews with girls and parents to give practical examples.
Dr. Dobson is very opinionated about such issues as stay-at-home moms, abstinence, and modesty. Some readers may not appreciate this "political incorrectness", but , as I happen to agree with most of what he says, I do appreciate his candidness. I also appreciate the fact that he is willing to be counter-cultural to address some of these important truths that parents need to know.
I will definitely recommend Bringing Up Girls and plan to pass my copy on to other moms who are raising these young woman of the future.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me a free copy of this book for review purposes.
71 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was very disappointed by this book. I really enjoyed "Bringing Up Boys" and found lots of insights and practical advice in it. "Bringing Up Girls", however, offered very little, if any, practical advice. I was hoping for insights on things like good vs. bad friendships, gossip, effective methods of disciplining girls, attitudes, and all I got out of the book was "make sure she has a good relationship with dad". We've already heard that from a hundred different sources.He even took it to a Freudian level, making a weird comment about dads being attracted to their developing daughters' bodies. That one point seemed to be repeated over...and over...and over...until I was ready to scream "OK! I get it, but what else should I do?!" It seems to focus entirely on the teen years and offers little help for moms of younger girls other than "encourage them to play princesses". I almost got the feeling he never met a real little girl. He seems to assume they are all sweetness and light until puberty and then they are going to cut themselves and have sex. I have a seven year old and I wanted to know how to handle bossiness and know-it-all attitudes and bad influences. Maybe the book was helpful to mothers of teens, but not to me.
I should ad here that I really like Dr. Dobson and his other books. I just can't believe he didn't have more to put in this one.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
When it comes to family psychology, there is perhaps no other name more well known among conservative evangelicals than Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. Ten years after publishing his popular book on parenting boys, Dobson has penned the companion book, Bringing Up Girls. In it, Dobson offers advice and insight from a clearly conservative viewpoint. Speaking mainly to fathers, Dobson addresses issues such as femininity, beauty, sex, bullying, education and purity. Much of the book addresses the physiological and psychological make up of "the fairer sex."
The chapters that I appreciated the most were, oddly enough, the ones in which Dobson does relatively little talking. One such chapter is devoted to young women talking about the things they remember - whether good or bad - about the fathers. Reading about the profound impact of even the smallest things that their fathers had done impressed on me the importance of fathers in the lives of their daughters. It is to this point that Dobson returns continually throughout the book and with good reason. He quotes many statistical studies that emphasis the importance of fathers.
Another such chapter that was helpful and very practical was the contribution by Bob Waliszewski, director of Focus on the Family's Plugged In department in which he offers advice on "protecting your daughter from invasive technology." He encourages parents to be involved in and aware of the media activity that their daughters are involved in (including but certainly not limited to the Internet). He lists "Ten practical steps every parent should take" in how to "train up your daughter to plot a safe course through today's entertainment and technological land mines." These steps include "teach the WWJD [what would Jesus do?] principle," "instill media-related biblical principles," "model it", "develop a written family media covenant," and encouraging accountability with a friend.
While most of the book was somewhat informative on the psychological level, I found it to be lacking in practicality. Additionally, Dobson's conservatism constantly came across as overblown hype, decrying the decadent culture in which we live. While our modern culture is most assuredly headed in the wrong direction, it seems that Dobson can't help but highlight the most discouraging and depressing aspects of it, even while attempting to point out "the good news." He often seems to go overboard in denouncing things that aren't necessarily wrong, but that he simply doesn't like.
Lastly, it should be pointed out that while Dobson dedicates his last chapter to teaching the gospel and Scriptures, this addition seems almost like an afterthought or just an extra safeguard to help parents. The emphasis of the power of the gospel in all our lives including parenting is missing, but I'm not sure whether I should have expected more in this area from Dobson. This book should not be read as coming from the standpoint of Scripture, but rather from the standpoint of moral and social conservativism.
While the book has some merits to it especially for dads, I feel like there are other books that are more worthwhile to read on this subject.
(Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing a review copy of this book.)
70 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Upon awaiting anxiously for a couple of years for this much anticipated book, I'd have to give it a very high rating! Similar to Dobson's book, Bringing Up Boys, this book offers outstanding advice based on the current culture in raising up daughters.
Whoever said that boys and girls were the same was wrong. Scientifically, Dobson has shown the difference of the two genders. They are wired so differently. In a culture where we are self-obsessed, girls are growing up at a young age feeling "fat" and insecure. Girls as young as nine are dieting. Sixty percent of girls at age 15 will have eating disorders. So what's a parent to do?
Thankfully, we have the guidance of people like Dobson who has thoroughly analyzed the female gender and has given us great perspective on what to do. There has been insurmountable evidence that points to the importance of fathers in a daughter's life. There are chapters devoted to both mothers and fathers in this book.
I like the examples from families like the Wilsons who started the Father-Daugther Purity Ball. Included in the book is an interview from them and how they raised their seven children. Knowing one of them personally, I can tell you that their emphasis on purity in their daughter's lives has truly made a difference.
There is a chapter on bullies and buddies. From the news, we hear of more incidents where girls have been harmed or have even committed suicide because of bullies. As I think back on my youth, I was also harmed by bullies who made for a difficult teenage experience. Dobson stresses the importance of parents talking with their teenagers about these issues.
What I also enjoyed was the questions and answers sections in this book. Real parents sent in their questions with common themes and Dobson answers them with great advice.
My advice to all parents of girls is to pick up a copy of this book! It would probably be better to own it then check it out at the library. That way you can refer to it from time to time! I am so happy that I waited for this book and could receive it so quickly! It'll be worth your money spent! Thank you, Dobson, for another great book!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
I cant write this as someone who read the whole book because somewhere around chapter 5 I chucked it out the back door. I think the squirrels are pillaging it for nesting materials as I type this.
I knew from chapter 1 it was going to be an "interesting" read when he quotes, not well respected psychologists or doctors, but conservative pundit Michelle Malkin. Who needs a medical degree anyways?
I know the guy is old, but I was equally astonished to see him referring to girls as "the gentle sex" on numerous occasions.... I think he spent a whole chapter on reinforcing stereotypes and roles for women. Oh and he made sure we know that all the problems facing our youth today is due to moms working. Yipes.
I think the worst travesty is that a person might walk away from this book thinking his views are the only Christian way to parent. If you do buy this book, know that not all Christians feel this way about family and raising girls.
If you want to raise a daughter who will be courteous, stay in her "place", and have no aspirations other than to procreate and cook, this is a great book to read. If you want to raise a daughter that has a mind of her own, wants to change the world, and has ambitions beyond being a homemaker (nothing wrong with homemakers if a woman chooses this for herself, but no one should be forced one way or another by outdated conventions), run away from this book.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
Awful! Very negative and prejudiced. Doesn't encourage girls to be strong. Not scientific. All advice is anecdotal and focused on religion. He blames liberal ideas for any problems. Supports punishment for his solutions. Makes irrelevant assumptions based on superstitious beliefs. This book can be more harmful if used as a tool to raise any children.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
The challenge of raising children is as old as humanity, and this challenge is acutely felt as we begin the twenty-first century. While there are many challenges and issues with raising children of both genders, boys and girls remain very different creatures with different biology, strengths, and weaknesses.
Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family fame has, after three years of work, completed Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Women. As the subtitle suggests, the book is designed to provide information and advice for handling all kinds of issues relating to the raising of young girls.
Dobson begins with birth and proceeds through various issues all the way through the teenage years. At times he delves into the science of girls and maturity-- the physiological, hormonal, psychological, and physical matters behind femininity and how girls mature. At other times he provides transcripts of interviews he held with various people both about raising girls and with the girls themselves about their experiences as children. Other chapters represent questions and answers about miscellaneous subjects relating to raising girls.
Dobson's primary focuses are the challenges of raising girls in a feminist and sex-saturated society and the role of fathers in the healthy development of girls. Many chapters are devoted to both of these focuses. Relationships with mothers are pretty much accepted as a given; Dobson also discusses matters of being ladylike, childcare, handling puberty and the desire for relationships, the challenges of bullying and matters of self-esteem, and the plagues of young women-- self-image difficulties, sexual conduct, drug use, cutting, and the like.
There is very little that is earth-shattering in the book but most of the advice has merit. Most of Dobson's warnings are worth heeding-- it is important that girls are raised to have proper respect for themselves, properly handling intimacy, and equipped to handle the challenges and temptations of modern life. The scientific background is very illuminating, especially for the men who generally have very little understanding of the hormones working underneath the surface of the women in their lives. Fathers especially should well consider what is written about the importance of his role in the empowerment of his daughter(s). Both parents should consider the role of peer and societal influence in their daughter(s), and the impact that childcare and the modern rat race has on children in general.
While I can understand Dobson's emphases on the depravity of culture, he often becomes too sensationalistic and proves willing to stretch the truth at times in order to achieve maximum effect. Yes, the influence of the 1960s and the 1970s have led to many societal challenges, especially as they relate to the roles of the two genders and sexual conduct. But, as Ecclesiastes 7:10 indicates, it is not as if the former days were really better. They were different. I noticed with interest how Dobson lamented how fewer than half of Americans believed premarital sex was sinful, but passed over the fact that three-quarters believed racism was. While it is no doubt true that more people in the 1950s would agree that premarital sex was sinful than do now, would three-quarters have admitted that racism was sinful then? Other "conclusions" of Dobson will not square with the experiences of many, especially in his connections regarding sexual misconduct and other consequences. I would hate to see people write Dobson off for the times when he stretches the truth and thus discredit many of the valuable warnings he does provide. He also provides enthusiastic support for the "purity ball" concept, which I personally find rather off-putting. We cannot condemn dancing as lascivious and be known in society as condemning dancing as lascivious and then promote a dance between fathers and daughters without wondering why people find it creepy. One can achieve the merits of the "purity ball" without the dancing and the facade.
On the whole, however, parents of girls, especially fathers, will benefit greatly from considering Dobson's advice. The book is worth having and reading!
*received as part of an early reviewer program.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2010
I read Dr Dobsons Bringing up boys 10 years ago and wondered if he would ever follow up with a good book for girls. It is finally here and I must say it is exciting to read something based not on someones personal opinions but on solid medical and statistical findings that give strentgh to the directives he gives parents of these little young ladies! I am on Amazon to see if I can buy multiple copies to give to my friends... I want it to be accessible to anyone who will take the time to read it. It is something I would encourage parents not to put on a future to read list - sit down and read it as soon as possible, especially if your daughter is over the age of six... don't wait - it will be time VERY well spent.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2010
When my daughter was approaching toddler-hood I asked around about good discipline books I could use with her. The book that was recommend to me the most was The Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson. I'm ashamed to say I actually haven't read that book yet, but was super excited to read and review Bringing Up Girls when I was offered the chance from the Tyndale House Publishers.
I liked the book and thought it was full of good, useful information. It's definitely not one you can sit down and read through in one sitting, however! It took me several weeks to get through, reading and digesting a little bit at a time. I did feel that I couldn't apply a whole lot of the information to my life right now, as pretty much the only chapters devoted to early childhood mostly just focused on the importance of bonding and staying at home with your daughter-both of which I already know about and do.
It seemed to me that the majority of the book was geared towards Dads and parents of teens and girls who are about to go through puberty, and I would mostly recommend the book to people in those stages of life. I plan on keeping the book to refer back to once my daughter reaches that stage, I'm sure it will be here before I'm ready!