When I saw this book, ‘Bringing Up Girls’ on the shelves of Nuria Store, I thought, ‘huh, this is one of those boring books that wants to tell people how to live their lives.
I took it anyway because I am raising a girl!
I was still adamant to open it, but after a few days I decided to give it a try, then, I was still engrossed to some other two books (I read a couple of books at a time), that was Chinua Achebe’s An Image of Africa and Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey.
As soon as I started, I was engrossed by the answers Dr James Dobson was providing to my longstanding questions about raising kids in general and a girl in particular.
This book could not have come at a perfect time.
I have nieces and I was wondering how they faired, what made girls go rogue and how I, as an uncle, a father figure to a couple of them should cope or relate to them as they become aware of the world, even sexually aware about themselves.
There’s no ‘thicker’ book I have read at such a speed.
I would sometimes wake up at 3 am in the morning, pick this book up and my brain would light up.
The knowledge I have gained from Dr Dobson’s wisdom is enlightening.
He provides practical advice and encouragement for helping girls navigate through each stage of their lives. In particular, I was challenged to know how important my relationship with my daughter is in her development and future as a functional adult.
Things that we take for granted such having family dinner times together, breaking free from the constraints of technology to focus on relationship, and being really interested in the life of my daughter, asking her about her friends.
I was shocked that a withdrawn and cold father made their daughter reach puberty faster but one who engages with their daughter as friends, chat, tell her stories etc slowed down that process.
The chapter on how to navigate the pitfalls of technology in a world where pornography is served right, left & center on mobile devices, TV and online was perfect and timely. There’s no other way, parents must take the center stage in bringing up their kids.
Here, the book relies heavily on the word of god. Apart from relevant bible verses, Dr Dobson also throws in a quote from a classical Russian novelist.
“If there is no God, everything is permissible”, Fyodor Dostoyevsky*.
Dobson adds, “That is what we are seeing in today’s culture. In absence of a moral compass, immature boys and girls are left to flounder in a bewildering sea of destructive options”.
The book is written in easy to understand language with fewer medical jargons (at least where it needs to use those).
The downside, however, is that Dr Dobson is a white man in a different set up altogether i.e. some things can only work in the United States of America (USA). Things such as Prom, school counselling system. Also, some of the statistics he uses apply to the USA. This makes the advice a bit of.
All in all, the book is a great relief and eye-opener and I think you should buy it.
Of course, now am interested in his other book Bringing U Boys.
*The Brothers Karamazov, a book by Fyodor Dostoyevsky on the consequences of moral relativism. Moral relativism is a concept that postulates that absolute truth does not exist.