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Friday, May 16, 2008

Bringing Up Boys by Dr James Dobson

I just finished book two for my non fiction challenge and I loved it. This is a book I think every parent should read, and especially any parent of a boy. Parents of just girls would benefit a lot from it as well however.

I didn't agree with every single thing he had to say, which is okay, most of what he said was awesome. Just an aside while reading and seeing the wisdom and the good council that he was giving I felt so grateful for a living prophet who gives 100% good council. I never have to worry about filtering anything. What a blessing.

Anyway, back to the book. It was very alarming. The world our boys are growing up in is not very conducive to producing moral, successful, productive young men. The role of the father is so critical and often lacking. Male bashing is a popular "sport" and one that is taking a real measurable toll on our young men (and probably older ones as well). And our job as parents is tough, especially tough as we try and turn the tide on the negative influences that bombard our kids and help them learn who they are and what they need to stand for.

My favorite quote was on page 77 in the middle of the chapter on Fathers and Sons. He said:
"I know the suggestions and ideas I have offered in this chapter put great pressure on us to be superdads but that's just the way it is. I felt it too when our kids were small. Frankly, raising kids was a scary responsibility for Shirley and me. We knew we were inadequate to handle the job and that no one is capable of guaranteeing the outcome of that task. That's why we began praying diligently for the spiritual welfare of our children. Thousands of times through the years, we found ourselves on our knees asking for wisdom and guidance.
Then we did the very best we could at home. Somehow, that seems to have been enough.
....Our heavenly Father will also answer your prayers for you kids if you turn to Him. He will guide them through the storms of adolescence. But He will not do for you what you can and must do for yourself, and that is what we are here to talk about."

I loved that he acknowledged that yes this is tough and unfortunately it's not for the faint hearted or the lazy. You have to be super dad or super mom that's just the way it is. However we will all fail at it, being human. So we get up and try our best again the next moment. And we rely on the grace (Divine means of help and strength) that is available to us. It is amazing to me the past few weeks as I have thought of the all encompassing nature of the atonement and what a tremendous gift that really is to see how it applies in so many situations that I had not previously considered. And it most certainly applies in parenting.

The whole book was full of good advice, hard advice, but good. I am going to give it to DH and have him see what he thinks.


Charmela said...

I was given this book when I had Noah. Now having two boys, we have this huge responsibility of raising them up to be men of God in this world. It is a great book to turn to for advice in all aspects. Russ loved it and I am sure your hubby will find some wisdom in it as well.

Yvonne said...

Sounds like a great book. Love the part you quoted.

You are so right about having a prophet. I am so grateful, as well, that we know we have a Father in Heaven who hears our pleas for help and we can have the Spirit to guide us in our decisions.

Rebecca said...

I came over here from the nonfiction five site. The title of you nonfiction five read appealed to me because I just have my own infant little boy and I sure need help knowing how to raise him...and then you started talking in your post about the prophet...I'm LDS in Chicago (well, Australia this year). Is Dobson an LDS writer or is this a "secular" approach?

Rebecca said...

I jsut read your review again. It sure sounds like he's not secular, but I guess I meant to ask if he's LDS. (or, alternatively, will I ever be able to find this book out of Utah)