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Bringing Up Boys

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  5,035 Ratings  ·  511 Reviews
2002 Gold Medallion Award winner!

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 suffering. Parents, teachers, and others involved in shaping the character of boys have many questions. In Bringing Up Boys, Dr. J

Hardcover, 269 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published September 18th 2001)
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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Despite the fact that Raising Boys is vague on details, out of date and amateurish in the more intimate areas of brain f
Jane Leacock
Nov 03, 2007 Jane Leacock rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 29, 2007 Beth rated it did not like it
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
Sep 15, 2007 Kelly rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
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
Dave Johnson
Aug 05, 2013 Dave Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Randi S
Jan 13, 2011 Randi S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Spider the Doof Warrior
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
Nov 11, 2007 Kimberly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
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
Jan 17, 2012 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jun 26, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 14, 2012 Crazycatlady rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My pediatrician recommended this one. I read it. Then I found a new doctor for my children.
Sara Almeida
Nov 01, 2011 Sara Almeida rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 20, 2012 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2010 Lara marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, parenting

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
Tanya Smart
Aug 21, 2015 Tanya Smart rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, terrible
Oh, where do I begin?

If you're looking for a book to pinpoint all the dangers teenage boys face, all the ways you're probably screwing up as a parent, and how to keep him from becoming one of the gays, well this book is for you, my friend!

Basically, Dr. Dobson blames today's current society (that is going to hell in a hand-basket) on feminists, homosexuals, liberals, and the non-saved folk. He speaks with, what I suppose he thinks is, an air of Christianity that, in reality, comes off as an air
I had really hoped this book would be better than its companion - Bringing Up Girls - but I was mistaken. Dr. Dobson is prejudiced and allows this book to be a tool to advance his propaganda for anti-feminism, submission, and male dominance. He spoke constantly about the "feminist agenda" to turn our young boys gay.

I have two problems with the argument by Dr. Dobson. The first is that contrary to his personal beliefs - the "agenda" of feminists is to promote equality among the sexes, i.e., valu
Jul 25, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 23, 2015 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Heidi Petterson
Sep 12, 2011 Heidi Petterson rated it it was amazing
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
May 01, 2009 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 15, 2014 Audra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2016 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Dobson paints a bleak picture, backed by research, of the difficulties and dangers of raising boys in modern culture, and I can only imagine how much worse things have gotten since this book was first published fifteen years ago. Yet he also offers tremendous hope, encouragement, and practical advice for parents who would bring up their young men to be "respectful of women, loyal and faithful in marriage, keepers of commitments, strong and decisive leaders, good workers, and men who are secu ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Sharran rated it it was ok  ·  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
May 24, 2011 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: previous-years
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
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
Jul 18, 2013 Kitkat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.
More about James C. Dobson...

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“I'm going to throw some suggestions at you now in rapid succession, assuming you are a father of one or more boys. Here we go: If you speak disparagingly of the opposite sex, or if you refer to females as sex objects, those attitudes will translate directly into dating and marital relationships later on. Remember that your goal is to prepare a boy to lead a family when he's grown and to show him how to earn the respect of those he serves. Tell him it is great to laugh and have fun with his friends, but advise him not to
be "goofy." Guys who are goofy are not respected, and people, especially girls and women, do not follow boys and men whom they disrespect. Also, tell your son that he is never to hit a girl under any circumstances. Remind him that she is not as strong as he is and that she is deserving of his respect. Not only should he not hurt her, but he should protect her if she is threatened. When he is strolling along with a girl on the street, he should walk on the outside, nearer the cars. That is symbolic of his responsibility to take care of her. When he is on a date, he should pay for her food and entertainment. Also (and this is simply my opinion), girls should not call boys on the telephone-at least not until a committed relationship has developed. Guys must be the initiators, planning the dates and asking for the girl's company. Teach your son to open doors for girls and to help them with their coats or their chairs in a restaurant. When a guy goes to her house to pick up his date, tell him to get out of the car and knock on the door. Never honk. Teach him to stand, in formal situations, when a woman leaves the room or a table or when she returns. This is a way of showing respect for her. If he treats her like a lady, she will treat him like a man. It's a great plan.
Make a concerted effort to teach sexual abstinence to your teenagers, just as you teach them to abstain from drug and alcohol usage and other harmful behavior. Of course you can do it! Young people are fully capable of understanding that irresponsible sex is not in their best interest and that it leads to disease, unwanted pregnancy, rejection, etc. In many cases today, no one is sharing this truth with teenagers. Parents are embarrassed to talk about sex, and, it disturbs me to say, churches are often unwilling to address the issue. That creates a vacuum into which liberal sex counselors have intruded to say, "We know you're going to have sex anyway, so why not do it right?" What a damning message that is. It is why herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases are spreading exponentially through the population and why unwanted pregnancies stalk school campuses. Despite these terrible social consequences, very little support is provided even for young people who are desperately looking for a valid reason to say no. They're told that "safe sex" is fine if they just use the right equipment. You as a father must counterbalance those messages at home. Tell your sons that there is no safety-no place to hide-when one lives in contradiction to the laws of God! Remind them repeatedly and emphatically of the biblical teaching about sexual immorality-and why someone who violates those laws not only hurts himself, but also wounds the girl and cheats the man she will eventually marry. Tell them not to take anything that doesn't belong to them-especially the moral purity of a woman.”
“Nations that are populated largely by immature, immoral, weak-willed, cowardly, and self-indulgent men cannot and will not long endure. These types of men include those who sire and abandon their children; who cheat on their wives; who lie, steal, and covet; who hate their countrymen; and who serve no god but money. That is the direction culture is taking today's boys.” 3 likes
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