I love Focus on the Family publications, so I was thrilled to have a chance to review a FOF book, Glenn Stanton's Secure Daughters, Confident Sons: How Parents Guide their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Feminity.
Stanton is FOF's director for Family Formation Studies, and a research fellow at the Institute of Marriage and Family in Ottawa. Given his strong research base, I expected a well documented discussion on gender roles and differences, with appropriate recommendations. I was surprised to find very few studies cited. Much of the book reads like a narrative, with scientifically proven points coming across more like opinions. This leaves me hesitant to whole-heartedly recommend this book.
Because I am already on board with the concept of gender differences, and have come to understand God's design in such, I appreciate the content of this book. However, I don't believe that Stanton's lack of empirical evidence has any hope of offering a convincing perspective to parents who are unsure of how they want to deal with (or even acknowledge) the gender differences of their children.
So basically, if you're already on-board with the concept of God's design in gender differences, Secure Daughters, Confident Sons provides a nice reinforcement and appropriate guidelines for your beliefs; I am certain I will refer back to this at different phases of parenthood. But anyone who currently aspires to build each child into a stand-alone, gender-neutral entity would not be convinced otherwise by this book.
I received this book free from Multnomah Books (publisher) for the purpose of providing my honest review.
For years I have been an avid reader of parenting books. When Secure Daughters, Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity was made available through a blogger review program, I looked forward to reading it.
The author, Glenn T. Stanton, encourages readers to celebrate the differences between boys and girls. While some may try to create a gender-neutral environment for their children, he walks parents through ideas for cultivating our children's innate male or female qualities.
Another emphasis of the book is how both father and mother play different yet essential roles in developing their children. From the particular way we play with them to the progression of their language skills, having a male and female parent routinely involved in their lives helps promote a balanced personality.
I applaud the author's intent; rearing our girls to become secure feminine ladies and our boys to become strong masculine men is a goal that I seek as a parent. However, I didn't gain all that I might have from this book due to the author's repeated use of current television shows, movies and celebrities to make his points. I couldn't identify with most of the examples given because I either haven't seen the media he mentioned or know very little about the people to whom he referred.
Could you learn something from this book about helping your boys and girls grow into the roles that God would have for them? Perhaps, but I believe that there are other books out there that could present this material in a more effective way.
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah. All of the opinions expressed in this review are my own and I was not compensated for this review in any other way.