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3. Book Review -- Bringing Up Boys

Author: Dr. James Dobson

Year of Publication: 2001

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois

Pages: 257

Author’s Web-site:

Languages: English, Czech

You should read this book if you…

Are the parent of a boy raising them in today’s fast paced and postmodern society.

“In a nut shell”…

Dr. Dobson writes this book with the perspective that boys are in “serious trouble today” due to several different factors in today’s fast paced and postmodern society.

He attributes the main factors to be the feminist movement, the breakdown of the family, absent and disengaged fathers, coupled with the frantic pace of life that today’s society has fostered.

In less than 20 chapters, Dr. Dobson will address the following topics: boys and girls are different; the roles of father and mother in the lives of their sons; competition; issues of homosexuality; single parenting; harried life styles; discipline; predators of boys; and boys in school.

Key Ideas…

Today’s parents of boys are shaping the next generation of men.

Boys and girls are very different and as parents we should understand those differences in relation to boys (especially three physical and biological features and processes that operate from within).

Boys are “men-in-training” and their aggressive nature prepares them for the “provision and protection” roles to come.

Fathers are essential to the life of boys especially during particularly vulnerable periods in the boys life (puberty and just after 3-5 yrs. of age).

Our objective as parents is to “transform our sons from immature youngsters to honest, caring men, respectful of women, faithful in marriage, strong leaders and men secure in their masculinity.” Pg 245

As difficult as this objective may seem, Dr. Dobson encourages parents that this can be accomplished, with the wisdom and guidance from the ultimate Father, God.

Action Steps…

Boys have the same ability to ignore their moms (as their dads do) so reach out physically and touch your boys to get their attention and give your message in short bursts.

Help boys release their excess energy by getting them involved in activities where fighting, laughing, running, tumbling, and yelling are acceptable.

Protect family mealtimes; make them a priority.

Don’t let a harried life styles take over your family life, stay close.


“As these stories illustrate, one of the scariest aspects of raising boys is their tendency to risk life and limb for no good reason.” Pg 4

“It is far easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Pg 60

“Your boys and girls need to see you doing what is right, even when it is inconvenient to do so.” Pg 70

“‘Letting go’ works best as a gradual process. It’s time to get started.” Pg 110

“Rules without relationships lead to rebellion.” Pg 217

“Cherish every moment and hug your kids while you can.” Pg 257

Statistics and Interesting Facts…

Prison minister Bill Glass found that among thousands of prisoners not one of them genuinely loved his dad, and 95% of those on death row hated their fathers. In 1998, statistics showed that 98.6% of prisoners are male.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health research found in preventing harmful behavior: The presence of parents is very beneficial at four key times of the day – early morning, after school, dinnertime, and bedtime.

Harvard Graduate School of Education professor, Dr. Catherine Snow found that dinner time was of more value to child development than playtime, school, or story time.

Note: These are all American-based studies


Each chapter includes questions asked by real parents and answers (by Dr. Dobson) relevant to the topic at hand. Such as:

Are boys really fundamentally different from girls? If so, how?

What role does competition play in a boy’s development?

What is a father’s unique contribution to parenting a son?

What effect does today’s harried lifestyle have on boys?

What are the effects of divorce on boys?

What’s the best way to educate boys?

And many more questions….

How this has changed my parenting…

I have learned to let go and let my boys “be boys” and celebrate their differences!

© 2014 The Family Resource Library

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