Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bringing Up Girls: Book Review

I couldn't wait to read this book. I have a daughter and was expecting to gain some valuable insight to raising her. What I didn't expect was how much insight I would gain about myself, as a female! The book covers a lot of information; female emotional development, media influence, peer pressure, the importance of parental influence, to name a few topics covered.

The main thing was how innately insecure females can be and how much reassurance they need and desire. Dr. Dobson touches on the importance of the father and mother's role in their daughter's life, their influence on her and how they each can offer the reassurance their daughter needs. Each relationship offers the daughter something unique and different from the other and both are significant and imporant. He emphasizes how important a mother is, especially during the earliest developmental years. Wow! If ever there was an argument for being a stay-at-home-mother, the early years is the one! Dr. Dobson discusses how children learn to bond and gain their lifetime feelings of stability and security through the attachment that is formed during their early years with their mother.

What I found most encouraging as a parent, was the emphasis on maintaining a healthy marital relationship and example. Dr. Dobson doesn't hold back when he shares the influence mothers and fathers have on their daughters, with regards to how they treat each other. Also, how important a strong family structure is. He includes how devastating divorce is on daughters. He encourages couples to not give up on their marriages, because of the devastating and undeniable negative affects it can have on children, especially daughters.  Of course, this doesn't mean all hope is lost for the single parent home and family, but if you are married, it is wise to heed his words and put your children first beyond your own desire to give up and give in. Better to work to maintain the marriage than to fail the daughters you are responsible for nurturing, guiding and protecting. Dr. Dobson actually writes, "This might mean staying married when your impulse is to divorce." and "What I am saying is that from where I sit today, children are worth everything they cost us." This will be very validating for the couples who are working their hardest to maintain that solid family structure that they know their children need.

Trust me, it's heavy stuff, right out of the gate. Dr. Dobson doesn't sugar-coat it at all. He acknowledges that parenting takes sacrifice.

He also goes on to share interviews with young women who share their hurt over missing parental influences in their lives. It's not just being there--but being actively involved. Many daughters shared their loneliness over parents who shared a home but not their hearts due to being too busy, making the daughters feel as if their parents never really cared about them at all, and weren't there when the daughters felt they needed them the most. Heartbreaking.

There are quite a few chapters of questions and answers about various topics that may arise when parenting daughters. Dr. Dobson shares his answers and advice. Dr. Dobson also strongly emphasizes the media influence on daughters and their emotional, mental and physical well being. It's almost over-kill and I think that was intentional on Dobson's part.

The book is based on Dr. Dobson's moral and Biblical values but any parent would benefit from reading this book, regardless of their religious or moral beliefs. I strongly urge every parent of a daughter to read this book and take it seriously.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must mention that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book

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