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Bringing Up Boys

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  4,162 ratings  ·  454 reviews
2002 Gold Medallion Award winner! Sensible advice and caring encouragement on raising boys from the nation's most trusted parenting expert, Dr.James Dobson. With so much confusion about the role of men in our society, it's no wonder so many parents and teachers are at a loss about how to bring up boys. Our culture has vilified masculinity and, as a result, boys are sufferi ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 22nd 2005 by Tyndale Momentum (first published September 18th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat Kennedy
This book was loaned to me by a friend who had purchased it, but not read it. I only finished this book so that I could do a comparative review to Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different-And How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men but after reading it, I realized that this book is far more comparable to I Am America than any serious or informative text on raising boys.

Despite the fact that Raising Boys is vague on details, out of date and amateurish in the more intimate areas of brain f
...more
Jane Leacock
I am raising three boys. I received this as a gift and was appalled at the anti-feminist, homophobic, religious morality rhetoric contained within this book. It is a dangerous misrepresentation of imperical psychological data to formulate correlations that are not only incorrect but also insulting. The level of chauvinism and bigotry are astounding. The author includes amusing antecdotes and a few remedial suggestions for raising boys. However, this only hides the fact that he wants you to raise ...more
Kelly
We got this as a gift -- it isn't a book I would have sought out. It's kind of funny -- I brought up this book at Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws and my ultra-Conservative right wing SIL scoffed at it! Anyhow, Dobson's views on parenting are way too colored by his political views. If I listen to him my sons are going to grow up to be homosexual because my husband is out of town too much and I take on the lion's share of the parenting. Yeah, I'll make a note about that. (Hey -- by that view, a ...more
Beth
Oct 29, 2007 Beth rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: TO NO ONE!!!
This is a very dangerous book for mothers and fathers of boys. There is puntitive parenting tactics and worse there are scare tactics and unproven theories used to promote detaching of young children from their mother's. PLEASE, if you do read this book, read it as an opportunity to educate yourself against the Christian movement towards puntitive discipline, control and breaking of a child's spirit. I have lost all respect for Dr. Dobson after reading this book. Parts of it are so disgusting to ...more
Randi S
I'm reading "Bringing Up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson (founder of Focus on the Family). I LOVE it! It has just affirmed what I know to be true: that my husband is a MAN, a REAL man (who I love to death), and that raising a boy is so important (not that raising a girl is unimportant, but if you read the book, you'll understand that it's just really different).

This is not my point to this post. It is actually about why we feel disconnected to others. I'm sure if we dig deep down, we all know that it
...more
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
This book assumes that all boys are the same and that they are all stereotypical. It also assumes that if your son plays with dolls, likes pink, wears his mother's shoes when he's like 3 he will grow up and be GAY.

Yes, folks, let your son do girly, girl things and he'll be out in some gay club wearing chaps with his butt hanging out looking to score.

NO THAT'S NOT EVEN GOING TO HAPPEN! Do NOT take child rearing advice from a man who thinks it's OK to go after dogs with belts and to torment small
...more
Kimberly
I was given this book as a gift as well. I saw this other comment written by Jane Leacock "I am raising three boys. I received this as a gift and was appalled at the anti-feminist, homophobic, religious morality rhetoric contained within this book. It is a dangerous misrepresentation of imperical psychological data to formulate correlations that are not only incorrect but also insulting. The level of chauvinism and bigotry are astounding. The author includes amusing antecdotes and a few remedial ...more
Sandra
As a mother of two boys myself, any book that advises me to ensure that they grow up to be more masculine (as if that is desirable) goes straight to the DNR pile. I want my children to become loving and kind men, not misogynistic assholes who wouldn't recognize an emotion if it hit them over the head with a four by four.

Raising boys in a loving environment and letting them play with non-gender specific toys doesn't make them gay, Dr. Dobson.
Dave Johnson
before I talk about my thoughts of this books, let me suggest that this book is not for the average parent, though if the average parent would read with an open mind, it would help. no, this book is primarily for Christian parents--and there's nothing wrong with that. I mention this truism because most of the criticism of this book is on the spiritual content (stemming from non-Christians, seemingly), and not on the ACTUAL apparent content of the book, e.g., bringing up boys. if you are someone ...more
Jessica
Jun 26, 2007 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents of young boys - duh
Shelves: readthisyear
I wanted to be turned off by this book by a very conservative author, but Dobson raised so many important points about raising a strong, confident, secure, creative little dude that I reluctantly learned a lot. However, stereotypes abound.
Jen Shank
Dr. Dobson does not hide his political agenda in anything he is apart of, this book included. Some of his views may be a bit right wing, even for me. However, no one can deny the cold hard facts he lays before his readers in Bringing Up Boys.

Dobson scientifically analyzes biological data, he compares Christian perspective with secular world views/perspectives and he manages to do it all in a loving grandfatherly sort of way. His critics felt attacked by his book--I felt challenged. Yeah, so mayb
...more
Jessica
Never before have I been disgusted by the fact that I spent money on a book. If I could give it zero stars, I would.

I ordered the book online after just seeing the title on a suggested reading list, and since I'm all for reading up about parenting lately and it had 4 stars, and well, I have a boy, I went ahead and ordered it without knowing anything about it or the author.

In reading the first chapter, I recognized the author and realized that his ideas were likely to be more conservative than
...more
Sara Almeida
I gave up on this book. Several people had recommended this book to me. When I bought Bringing Up Boys, I was hoping to gain insight into raising my little one. Based on the recommendations I received, I thought the book would give advice on how to raise boys in different situations. I was greatly disappointed. Instead of advice, the book was filled with Dr. Dobson's personal opinions about parenting - most with which I disagreed. I am a Christian, but I found Dr. Dobson's views to be very narro ...more
James
So, you're probably asking what buisness I had reading Bringing Up Boys. None really; I was just curious. You see, I wanted to get a different perspective, but I wasn't interested in changeing my views. (Thankfully) I must say that Dobson's by no means the worst writer ever to call the Earth home, and there have been other books churned out of the Christian Conservative campy that are substantially more out-there. You can tell he's sincere in his intentions, and he has Hence, I've gotta give hi ...more
Heather
I just finished reading this book by Dr. Dobson. And if you're a parent of a boy or a grandparent, aunt, or uncle of one, I recommend reading it. I have a high regard for Dr. Dobson and this book sheds light on what makes boys tick and how you as their parent or loved one can raise them to be strong Godly men.

I admit some of the points in the book had me saying "oh, this is gonna be way too hard, how can I handle it?" But Dobson does give a message of hope. And you know what, being a parent is h
...more
Lara
Jul 20, 2010 Lara marked it as abandoned
Shelves: 2010, parenting
Oh.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who has pretty different views from mine, but I love her anyway. I had never heard of this Dr. James Dobson person (hi, apparently I live in a cave), and I thought it would simply help me understand the minds of dudes a little better since I'm pregnant with a boy and have always felt like I don't "get" boys.


My friend had told me the book was perhaps more religious or conservative than I would normally read, so I figured I'd take Dobson's views with
...more
Lois
Oct 24, 2010 Lois added it
Shelves: abandoned
This was one of the lemons. This book came highly recommended to me and is by a well respected author. However, the book was of little/no use to me.

Here are some of the reasons this book was no good:

1) In his chapter about how schools are geared toward female sensiblities and can make it difficutl for boys to succeed - his solution was to home-school your child or send him to a private, all-boy school.

2)There is a chapter on how to prevent homosexuality.

3)Throughout the book, Dr. Dobson refers
...more
Megan
I had a tough time deciding how many stars to give this book. I didn't agree with everything he wrote (he's a bit extreme) but he has me curious enough that I want to read his book on discipline; I figured I'd better go with the higher rating if I am going to keep reading his works.

This book is packed full of statistics (circa 2000) that made my blood run cold. But he also offers helpful insights for child rearing. The first half focuses on the vital role of involved fathers, and the second abou
...more
Heidi Petterson
The first time I read this book I was pregnant w. my boy but it actually taught me a lot about my husband as well. It is very interesting and informative and an easy non-fiction to get into.
I just read several people's reviews on this book and I find a lot of them downright HILARIOUS. First of all, Dr. Dobson bases his "views" on scientific research not just his opinions. Second, WHY OH WHY, do Christian folks feel the need to share a book based on inherently Christian parenting with non-Christ
...more
Steven
Excellent defense of everything boy. Opens with great examples of ways in which boys and girls differ and why that is and why it matters.

Dobson understands the problems boys face in school, particularly, and why the institution is inherently feminized, not because so many teachers are female, but because schools cater to female strengths, like sitting still and working with fingers, rather than larger movements and more active pursuits. And Dobson does not argue that any of that is wrong--it's j
...more
Crazycatlady
My pediatrician recommended this one. I read it. Then I found a new doctor for my children.
Audra
It's a good book, with lots of useful tips. I borrowed a copy, and found myself wishing I could highlight passages, so I guess that tells me I wish I owned it? Some of the material seemed more geared toward parents of older boys, not really the toddler/little boy set, but all underscored the importance of consistent parenting, especially on the part of the father. One detraction was that he didn't really have much to offer in the way of hope or encouragement for single moms, or those whose husba ...more
Sharran
Mar 03, 2012 Sharran rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Psychologists studying family dynamics
I wanted to get this as a gift for a friend of mine who found out she was pregnant with a boy. I am glad I listened to it first because it did not turn out being what I thought it was going to be. James Dobson seems to focus on the extremes such a what causes boys to have a higher chance of becoming criminals and homosexuals. I was looking for practical advice on how a mother should interact and relate to her boy (especially for someone who doesn't have brothers, and this is her first child, etc ...more
Christina
This is the gold standard of Christian parenting books written by THE expert. Not everyone will agree with everything in this book, but it's hard to argue with godly advice and years of experience in this field. I particularly like the conservative and very biblical approach, compared to some other popular yet secular parenting books. This book shares my morals, values and convictions. I particularly liked the insights in Chapter 9 on homosexuality and have recommended it to several friends. I h ...more
Stephanie Lawton
This is absolutely one of the most influential books I've ever read. Make no mistake, Dobson is EXTREMELY conservative, even for me, and I'm pretty right leaning. However, much of what he said, not just about boys, but about society in general, rings true. There are chapters on the degeneration of society and mini history lessons about things you've always heard of, but weren't alive for or old enough to understand the ramifications -- like the feminist movement, postmodernism, the rise of the p ...more
Kitkat
I am 1/2 way through the book so far and I am really enjoying it! He raises a lot of good points that I think many people just honestly don't want to hear in this day and age. I am a working mother and I am not offended by he says and the message that he is trying to get across to parents. I read some past reviews and I think some readers need to calm down and just realize that he is writing through a Christian perspective and if you don't agree fine, but keep in mind his main point is to bring ...more
Sharon Cartwright
Not what I was hoping for so far. At page 50, we've discussed how when boys get to teenage years it is best to just get through it rather than solve the problems.

Now on teenage violence, suicide and murder. It's an important topic, but not one that concerns me on a person level. I'm hanging in there ...

page 100 or so. I am deeply disturbed by this book. On some topics, I'm in full agreement like teaching your children to love God, the importance of a parent at home, on others I think his advice
...more
Jimmytetley
Great book. Even if a quarter of the statistics about the place of parents in raising children are true - it raises alarm bells at the place and purpose of parents in their children's lives, and raises some big questions in terms of investing time in our kids. Strongly recommend for everyone with boys. Awesome final chapter as a call to make sure the Lord is kept at the centre of our parenting.
Sebrina
I thought there was some really interesting and important information in here and some good insights as far as how the current media and societal trends are affecting our sons. My complaint is that there seemed to be endless information/studies on all the negative influences caused by the home environment and public environment, but very little in the way of solutions, which is really what I think most readers are after. The few suggestions Dr. Dobson offered were very general and seemed could h ...more
Megan
Overall I like this book, especially the first few chapters. I learned a lot about how boys think and how they are wired which helps me understand all the boys in my life better I think. But I did end up feeling hugely overwhelmed and depressed by the end as he goes on and on about all the horrible things our children will be faced with in this wicked world. Yes, there are parts of this world that are wicked but there are a lot of beautiful and happy things too and instead of feeling hopeful as ...more
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James C. Dobson is a psychologist, commentator, and writer. He is the founder of Focus on the Family, a group advocating what he views as Christian ethics and political conservatism, and hosts a radio program of the same name.
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