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Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson

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This month it’s my pleasure to share with you a portion of one of my favorite books, entitled Bringing Up Boys. It has sold more than 2 million copies since first published. The reason for this popularity, especially among women, appears to be because the behavior and temperament of their boys is often beyond their comprehension. Moms remember clearly what it was like to be feminine little girls, but they have only a vague notion of how their sons feel, think, and behave.

One of my colleagues, Dr. Tim Irwin, shared his observation that women who have not grown up with brothers are often shocked by the sheer physicality of boys–by the sights and sounds and smells they generate. Some admit they are completely “clueless” in knowing how to deal with them. When I meet these women on the street, some talk excitedly about their boys, and then say, “I also learned from Bringing Up Boys why my husband is like he is.” Then they smile.

Let’s turn now to the fifth chapter wherein I talked about dads and why they are so vitally important to their sons.

The Essential Father

Boys are in serious trouble today and many of them are experiencing emotional pressure that contributes to violence, drug abuse, early sexual activity, and other forms of rebellious behavior. Even some teens who play by the rules are struggling quietly with problems of identity and meaning. On behalf of them, and for the little boys who have not yet encountered these difficulties, we need to examine the specific forces that have created such an unhealthy environment for kids and, more important, what to do about them.

The family is being buffeted and undermined by the forces operating around it. Alcoholism, pornography, gambling, infidelity, and sexually transmitted infections have become pandemic. “No-fault divorce” is still the law of the land in most states, resulting in thousands of family breakups. Clearly, there is trouble on the home front. And, as we all know, it is the children who suffer most from it. In cultures where divorce becomes commonplace or large numbers of men and women choose to live together or copulate without bothering to marry, untold millions of kids are caught in the chaos.

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