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Secure Daughters, Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity Paperback – January 18, 2011
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Praise for Secure Daughters, Confident Sons
"Excellent! Timeless wisdom is dispensed with clarity and refreshing lightness. If you are serious about raising great kids, you must read this book."
-Meg Meeker, MD, pediatrician and author of the best-selling Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters
"Secure Daughters, Confident Sons provides a powerful vision of raising girls and boys in an ever-changing world. Combining brain science with a Christian perspective, Glenn Stanton inspires parents and teachers to be at once visionary and practical. This book is inspiring and far reaching."
-Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls
"In this delightful book, Glenn Stanton lovingly reveals the secrets of raising healthy sons and daughters."
-Louann Brizendine, MD, author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain
"Secure Daughters, Confident Sons will help you become a secure, confident parent in raising gender-healthy children. It offers rich insight and highly practical applications for empowering your children to be all God intended when He made them male or female."
-Robert Lewis, founder of Men's Fraternity and author of Raising a Modern-Day Knight
"The culture tells us that the lines separating male and female are meaningless, but Glenn Stanton has tapped into the critical importance of recognizing and cultivating the distinct qualities of boys and girls. His book gives parents practical tools to help them appreciate and develop the femininity of their dauthers and the masculinity of their sons. Glenn's work demonstrates that each gender is uniquely gifted by God for a purpose, and by celebrating these gender-specific behaviors and attitudes, we strengthen families and help men and women find purpose and fulfillment."
-Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Famliy
"Every parent is raising a boy or girl into manhood or womanhood. There is no third option. Glenn Stanton has done parents and grandparents a noble service in helping us understand-based on insights of emerging science and the ancient wisdom of Christianity-how mothers and fathers both guide their children into healthy, balanced, and authentic masculinity and femininity. I know moms and dads-as well as those who want to understand how and why gender matters-will be helped by this important book."
-John Rosemond, family psychologist and author of The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline That Really Works!
"Glenn Stanton has courageously addressed one of the most challenging and rarely discussed aspects of parenting: what is the essence of your child's gender? His observations are not only insightful, but also practical. In a world steeped in gender confusion, this resource is invaluable."
-Dr. Juli Slattery, author and psychologist, Focus on the Family
"We live in a time of almost breathtaking confusion over things that should be basic, like the difference between boys and girls. Parents need good guidance in the midst of such confusion, and Glenn Stanton offers this kind of advice in Secure Daughters, Confident Sons. The secular world tells us that masculinity and femininity are merely social constructs that we must learn to leave behind, but Stanton believes that a proper understanding of manhood and womanhood is essential to Christian faithfulness and human happiness. I am thankful for his conviction and his courage."
-Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theology Seminary
About the Author
GLENN T. STANTON is the director for family formation studies at Focus on the Family. He debates and lectures extensively around the country on issues related to gender, sexuality, marriage, and parenting. Often sought out by national media to speak to these issues, Glenn is the author of several books and numerous articles. Glenn and his wife have five children.
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But thank God, with knowledge, redemption and transformation are possible.
how such attempt is hypocritical as such is not being practiced by those who preach. Thus in first two
chapters, Stanton describe the universal understanding of male and female qualities boys and girls possess,
and answered questions of doubts of apparent out of the norm behavioral symptoms. In chapters 3 and 4,
Stanton explored how parents can reinforce gender traits. In chapters 5 and 6 Stanton explored how parents
might bring out gender-distinct qualities, walking with them as they turn into men and women, what parents
might do to get them there. In chapters 7–13, Stanton examined the expression of gender-specific attributes in
parents might contribute necessary processes for the healthy development of children’s security, compassion,
confidence, intellect, and maturity. Finally, in chapter 14 the author suggested that gender differences affect
marriages and how such effect can be used to make a difference in raising healthy children.
Universal attributes of gender
Dealing with this in the first two chapters Stanton spoke about male and female universal traits which
characterized them. Concerning male, he suggested traits such a goal driven, strategist, opportunists, chance
takers, initiators, aggressive, competitive and dominant. In bringing out the best in one’s son, the author
suggested threefold approach of modelling, molding and mindful of God’s unique will for their son. This list
was very helpful personally to the critic as it insightful in understanding her fiancé and men around her and
though the list is surely not comprehensive in defining a man, however it does bring out some prominent
characteristics that are universally found in men. Also what can easily misunderstood as lack of spirituality,
might be just men being men and not make them unspiritual. As for women, in chapter 2, Stanton brings out
some of the universal traits of women, such as drawing the people she feels safe with to herself, modesty,
relational, discriminate, wise, safe, caring, loves to submit to one who loves and respects her, communicative,
etc. Through this what was very freeing for the critic was the fact that her feeling of fear in unsafe situation
was not because of her lack of faith, but a natural feminine trait. Further modesty which seem to be a
diminishing as a fad in the culture is highlighted and gloried by the author is an interesting stand to take,
BOOK REVIEW ON SECURE DAUGHTERS, CONFIDENT SONS 3
however modesty being defined by the culture, is the iffy part, since our culture which is changing is
becoming more open to promiscuity and feminism being abused by both male and female. In a society where
men and women are being held to same standard and behavioral response, lack of which is perceived as a
weakness, Stanton’s message is very reassuring to a confused world. In closing this point, I want to quote
Stanton (p. 36), “to raise good, strong, caring women, we must know what the qualities of women are.
Without that, we have no clear objective or destination”. This is what the author seem to have attempted to do,
to sketch a model of a healthy men and women in first two chapters followed by means of raising children to
Nudging children to know the right image of men and women
In this section, Stanton dives into practical ways in which parents can steer their children into
developing healthy gender identity. By directing the yearning of boys to make a difference, in taking up their
natural roles of leading, providing and protecting, male longing for approval from their father is needful (p.
63), challenging age appropriate ways and learn to progress, etc. He dealt with important topics such as body
changes (p. 66-68), image of body, encouragement of healthy ways of sexual drive, etc. These topics are
rarely discussed in the family and hence though nothing new, but very crucial reminder is worth the read. Life
lessons on being honorable, accepting and respectful of others who don’t share their strengths are also listed
as important life lessons. Acting according to knowledge in correct response to right or wrong thing, not
shrinking from what needs to be done, self-sacrificing. Though very basic, these things are often missed out in
practice which leads to men who are not well groomed for society. Such men are the what is in dearth in the
world today, which is something characterize Christians, but is sadly not.
Concerning girls, Stanton’s points are very close to heart as often in Indian society women are
considered lower and portraying a Biblical image of woman as image bearers is very glorifying. Later in
chapter 6, “how powerful womanhood is” Stanton stated how the world controlled by women, as they are
healthily “influence” environment around them. Strength of a women is soft (p. 134), Stanton points out in
contrast to the show of power in male and even falsely in Eastern religious stories of goddesses. In contrast to
what Stanton states in chapter 4, women are often seen as and made to be victims in Eastern society, is in
BOOK REVIEW ON SECURE DAUGHTERS, CONFIDENT SONS 4
stark contrast with the image that Stanton project to be taught to be girls and would truly be empowering.
Stanton proposes proper teaching on dealing with the needs intimacy, relationship, mothering, etc. in using
her “power of feminity” well to bring positive change in the society and lives of others (p.91) without
misusing this power for selfish temporary gains. In chapter 6, continuing to talk of the power of woman, in
able to create God’s image bearers, relational nature that reflects God’s relational and creational attribute, as
they transform others, reflecting God’s heart in caring, and then need of parents to appreciate the beauty, their
needs for security and demand of respect, need to be guided to strengthening the personality that God had
created in her. This point is very important as it brings out how parents can work with their children and treat
them to bring out the God endowed personality and guided strengths of their gender in a God honoring way,
something which seems to be almost in the verge of extinction. In all this the author was trying to cue the
parents in channeling the needs of boys and girls to a healthy outlook and use of their powers and needs.
The books concluded with the author reminding the readers of the need of a heterogeneous healthy
family for the development of healthy children and how in their difference of perspective can be a blessing.
The author in carrying through the theme of need for difference in gender, brought out how such a difference
is necessary and how their complementary roles and natures are actually part of God’s plans and needful in
bringing out healthy gender identity of their children developed in observing difference in perspective in
parents and modeling them in their development of healthy identity and family.
My big takeaways from this comes from the fact that what I understand now is that many attributes of
male and females are part of God’s design and as future parents, we need to steer them and model them to a
healthy gender identity. But most importantly the theological implication, where God said “He created them,
male and female” (v.26-27 of Gen. 1), the question was why am I not as a girl strategic like God, or why is
my fiancé not so much relational as God is, even though we are made in God’s image? In God’s perfect plan,
the two (man and woman) becomes one at marriage and as male, male and female shares certain attributes of
God in limited state, and at marriage they have all the attributes of God as “one” unit. Thus man and woman
in their difference project the image of God best being together to complement each other.
I wholeheartedly agree with Stanton on this point. As a parent myself I find myself longing to provide my children with an environment in which I can raise them in the "admonition of the Lord". Not only do I try to provide my children with an environment in which they can grow, I also try to provide them with teaching that allows them to struggle with the truths found in God's word.
I found in this book a lacking of biblical basis for raising our children. I have read other parenting books and found them a little more biblically based than this one. There is a heavy emphasis on the biology and psychology that belongs to each gender specifically. I was saddened by the fact that the author, well versed in study, chose not to lean heavily on God's word for examples on great parenting. Having said that, I recommend this book for parents who may be confused on how to correctly raise their children without being ignorant on gender neutrality. I believe that it is very important to have our children know what makes them a boy and what makes them a girl. I certainly worry about this with my children, not so much in a way that I am confused about gender roles, but in a way that false teachings of the world may reach the ears of my children.
One section I did learn from in this book was chapter twelve, which was about sexuality in our children. "Perhaps the biggest contributor to either good or bad stories for our own kids regarding their future sexual relationships isn't whether they become masters of the Kama Sutra but how they view and value their own sex and sexuality as well as that of their future spouses. Sex is much less about technique and ability than it is about beliefs and the nature of the relationship in which the sexual exchanges take place".
If you are unsure on how to raise your children in this "crooked and depraved generation", then you should pick this book up. If nothing more, you will learn the psychology of how our male and female minds work very differently and how our body functions differ. I commend this book to those who are thinking of going into the fields of science, it is a very informative book and you will definitely learn from a well versed author in Glenn Stanton.
I received a copy of this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah publishers in exchange for writing this review.
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah (2011)
Author: Glenn T. Stanton
Book Title: Secure Daughters Confident Sons - How parents guide their children into authentic masculinity and femininity.
Chapter One: [...]
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You know that already. Some believe men and women are different because of social constructs that are left over residue from mindless and...Read more