Bringing Up Girls by Dr. Dobson {Book Review}

If I had any doubt before, I have none now, of the importance of connecting to the hearts of my children in relationship.

In Bringing Up Girls, Dr. James Dobson goes in depth on many relevant topics, ranging from scientific explanations of how girls created to be and changes through adolescence, to the floods of culture rising to sweep away innocence and purity.

Based on extensive research, and handled with Dr. Dobson’s trademark down-to-earth approach, Bringing Up Girls will equip parents like you to face the challenges of raising your daughters to become healthy, happy, and successful women who overcome challenges specific to girls and women today and who ultimately excel in life.  

The truth that opened my eyes, and spoke most to my heart, is the truth about the unequivocal tie between relationship a girl has with her father and her positive sense of her self-worth.

Dr. Dobson shares, “I believe there are many approaches to instilling healthy self-worth in girls, but it begins within the security of a loving family. Specifically, it depends on a caring and affirming father. Moms are vital in countless ways too, but self-worth for girls hangs precariously on their relationship with their dads.”

When I received this book from Tyndale for review, I thought “Oh, this will be a good book, because I have 3 girls of my own.” I never thought, “This will be a good book because I am a girl.”

Well, God knew what I needed.

I found myself described in these pages. The pain, the insecurity and the struggle with identity I have dealt with for so many years, I now know has so much to do with a broken relationship with my father. He loved me the way he knew how. The past cannot be changed, but knowledge of the root-cause of many of my battles, helps me to find healing and freedom to move forward.

Dr. Dobson is convinced “that few people fully realize just how intense a girl’s desire is to connect with the “first man” in her life…a girl’s sense of self-worth and personal dignity are directly linked to what she believes her father thinks of her.”

The deficiency of my own relationship with my father, left me hallow and bound for a life of promiscuity at a very young. My failed efforts to fill the void, only left me more damaged and broken. Yet, what the enemy meant for harm, God turned for good and for His glory, as His redeeming love rescued me, and He became my Abba.

The book is filled with quips and suggestions, insight and knowledge that could be invaluable in the hands of both mother and father. “At the top of the list of what children and teens need from their moms and dads is an understanding of who God is and what He expects them to do…” Dr. Dobson

As we endeavor to walk in a manner worthy of our calling to lead the younger generation of girls, whether it be our own children or others entrusted to us, we can glean wisdom from Bringing Up Girls, and be equipped for our purpose.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

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  • Laura

    Michelle, I loved this book but have not yet finished it. It overwhelmed me in spite of the goal of my blog. I think it is because it suggests that my girls need so much more than just my love and my faith example, things I cannot control. But it does help us understand ourselves….I was fascinated by the chapter on brain development. Thanks for the reminder of the book I might tackle it again.

    • Michele-Lyn


      I know exactly what you mean. This short post could not possible include all that was going through my mind while I was reading it. I had a deadline — which sorta forced me to finish the book :) I was glad, because I probably would not have finished it :)

      The fact that my girls need so much more than me, has lifted the burden from my shoulders. I offer it to the only One who can fill all in all — fill all the places we lack. It has helped me also, had over the reigns to my husband — the ones I seem to keep finding in my hands :)

      I would love to hear your thoughts about the book :)