Secure Daughters, Confident Sons, by Glenn T. Stanton, teaches about "authentic masculinity and femininity" from a Christian worldview. In a world where people willingly conceal the sex of their child to ensure "gender neutrality", a book like this offers a gut-punch to the secular vision of gender, exposing the damage our culture is doing to our children.
Glenn T. Stanton doesn't beat around the bush. You can tell he has long researched his topic and is confident in his insight. The book contains two parts: Part one is "A Clear Vision for Authentic Manhood and Womanhood -- And How to Help Your Kids Get There". Part two is "Why Boys and Girls Need Mothers and Fathers". All 14 chapters are a mix of science, observation, experience, and morality, sprinkled with God's Truth. But honestly, there is a LOT of science, which I think is amazing.
I do think Stanton sometimes takes a while to get to his point, or sometimes says the same thing a couple times in different ways. He likes to talk about his goals for each chapter; he has a very thorough, professor-like way of presenting his material. However, his way of "speaking" is perfectly warm and friendly, and he loves to talk about his children; you can genuinely feel the admiration he has for them.
If you're worried about appropriately raising your children so they are confident in their gender, or if you have concerns, such as your male toddler playing with his sister's dolls or your daughter playing "boys'" sports, then pick up a copy of Secure Daughters, Confident Sons.
As a young mother raising a 2 year old boy and a 1 year old girl I have struggled with knowing the right and wrong of raising each gender. I have wondered if I have forced or heavy influenced my son into sports while overly embracing the pink and princess approach to my daughter.
Parenting in general has been a very confusing and at times overwhelming experience. So, as I picked up this book I was immediately drawn to the notion that it is not a blueprint to raising children to be perfect women or men. Rather it is an exploration into how to embrace your children through a biblical lens. The author provides ways to achieve a healthy development in your children. What is most important and something I have appreciated through this reading is the reflection on God's word.
Finally, this book offers help for both the husband and wife. It draws on the importance of co-parenting and how our own relationship influences our children's understanding of themselves.
I enjoyed this book but please be aware that it is not a light read. I typically can flow through books and although it did interest me it was hard to sit for very long and read the book. The writing was appropriate and not stifling but the matter was deep. As a result, I wanted to absorb and really reflect on what was being said, how it applied to my own life and how it relates to biblical truths. Therefore, when choosing to read this book, enter with the idea that it is consuming but well worth it.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I am not required to give a positive response-- only an honest one.
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." ~ Genesis 1:27
Secure Daughters Confident Sons by Glenn T. Stanton provides a framework for thinking about the masculine and feminine traits in your own children and how we as parents nurture those qualities affects the men and women our children become. This book was divided into two parts.
Part 1: A Clear Vision for Authentic Manhood and Womanhood - How to Help Your Kids Get There, discusses qualities of what makes a good man or a good woman. Stanton notes that while we don't all exhibit male and female qualities in the same ways, there are distinct male qualities and distinct female qualities. It is helpful to know what these qualities are which define us as male and female. In Chapter 1, What Makes a Good Man, Stanton says, "As parents, we need to realize that our boys need help, encouragement, and guidance to the inevitable road to male adulthood so they become authentic, healthy, vibrant, virtuous, and wise males in their
deliver the goods
moving to the next thing
competition and dominance (these were all the qualities he discussed in the chapter.)
Your job as a parent is to raise your boy to be the man he was created to be."
In Chapter 2, What Makes a Good Woman, Stanton says, "our girls, and the women they become, are more likely to:
be confidently enticing
value intimacy over action
relate with words
seek equity and submission
wield soft power that shapes humanity
connect to others
As the parent of a daughter, your job is to pay close attention to the kind of girl God has given you and raise her toward womanhood with the qualities we've discussed. Of course, you'll need to consider which of these qualities you need to nurture or temper, realizing these either are or are not a strong part of your own daughter's makeup."
Stanton follows these chapters with What Boys and Girls Need Most and The Journey to Manhood and Metamorphosis to Womanhood.
In Part 2: Why Boys and Girls Need Mothers and Fathers, Stanton discusses the obvious differences in how mothers and fathers parent and why these differences are important in nurturing our children and encouraging growth in other areas as well. Moms and dads play differently with their children and they connect differently because of the the qualities that make them who they are. Both roles are integral in raising children to be the people God designed them to be.
Throughout the book there are question and answer sections that describe real discussions parents may have about how to best parent their children. I really took some time with this book and enjoyed reading it. There were many things that I already knew or had heard elsewhere, but to have it all put together in this way was helpful. It is a good resource for parents in helping them understand gender differences and to help put into focus that our ultimate goal is to grow well-adjusted men and women who fulfill the roles God has planned for each of them. Stanton is quick to point out that this isn't about stereotyping one role or another, or conforming to arbitrary cultural rules, but in nurturing those gender qualities that God has given girls and boys so that they may be secure in their masculinity and femininity so that they may make a difference in the world.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
This book is a highly informative book for parents or those who work with children. It explores which traits of masculinity and femininity are cross-cultural, then thoroughly lays out what healthy masculinity and femininity look like in a contemporary context.
The focus of the book is mainly on children and how their parents can understand and interact with them in such a way as to develop healthy, well-rounded people who will interact well with the world around them. Stanton states, "Because God is imaged in male and female, raising boys and girls is a deeply divine task. This first human truth that we are either male or female is a central part of the divine story."
The end game of parenting is to raise a man or to raise a woman. Knowing the end game helps maintain perspective. Training a child is a very individualized process. No one knows your child the way you do. As a parent, "your job is to pay attention to the way this unique little person should be going. For God has a unique and important life for your child to live."
That doesn't mean you are expected to do it perfectly. And it doesn't mean you won't have questions. Each chapter has a question and answer section where Stanton answers some of the most common questions he has encountered in his speaking and teaching.
The entire second half of the book is about how mom and dad work together. The point here is that is critical for children to have both positive male role models as well as positive female role models. Ideally this is Mom and Dad, but sadly, that is often not the case. Someone else can fill in the gap if it is necessary. He discusses the differences of perspective between Mom and Dad on issues such as safety vs. discovery, the way parents play with the kids, influence on language development, discipline, and teaching kids to care.
This book holds a wealth of information and is a valuable parenting resource, especially if you are raising both boys and girls. It will be referenced again in the future.
Gender matters. It makes a difference if one is a male or female. One of the first questions everyone asks when someone is having a baby is, is it a boy or girl? Everyone wants to know, because gender matters. Our initial judgments of someone are based on our views of maleness and femaleness. How we perceive someone else has to do with them being male or female. Glenn T. Stanton discusses the differences in boys and girls. Even if a parent has what has been termed a "tomboy," she will still possess some female qualities and go about life in feminine ways, though it may be more subtle. As a somewhat "tomboy" myself, I was skeptical at first about this book, but the way Stanton explains in great detail the differences in males and females, I do have to say that I do possess the female qualities more so than the male ones. The first part of the book discusses these differences and how to help our children grow into the men and women God has created them to be.
The second part of the book focuses more on the role of the parents. Parents need to teach their children how to be boys or girls. Responsibility is put on parent to teach. Children need both a mother and a father. They see different aspects of their boyness or girlness by having both parents. A girl can learn a lot from her father about being a woman just as a boy can learn a lot from his mother about being a man. Parents are an example to their children of these qualities, especially in how they treat each other. Children also need to witness built-in qualities that are specific to each parent that are prevalent across each gender. For example, dads tend to roughhouse and be more physical with their children, encouraging them to prepare for what might come in the future. Moms, on the other hand, tend to nurture and protect their children, trying to keep them from ever getting into harm in the first place. Parenting styles may be different because of this, but that does not mean one parent is wrong. Children need both of these aspects to grow up to be healthy adults. This concept became incredibly real to me through this book. Just because my spouse does things differently, doesn't mean he's automatically wrong. We need to work together in the areas of discipline, play, and so forth, to give our children a healthy balance in life.
Stanton gives many personal examples from his life, so he is easy to relate to. He includes many studies that have been done on subjects pertaining to this book, including scientific studies that aren't necessarily Christian research, which helps solidify his writings. He also uses many biblical principles to validate his points. This was a great book with helpful insights for anyone with children desiring to raise them to be the men or women God created them to be.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.