Top critical review
Fear-mongering, heteronormative, Christian, conservative
Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2020
Brand new mother of a son, lived a childhood with only sisters, so I was really looking for some guidance and wisdom wherever I could find it. This book is very highly rated, so I bought it and dove right in. I had high hopes for this book and read it almost halfway with gusto. Hit the skids for me when a relationship with God was discussed, and it was clear that God was only a Christian vision. Also sets up the mother as a stereotype feminine figure, gives no implementation methods for “lessons” and gets real weird about sex. I thought the interviews with random men were contrived and should not be confused with an evidence-based approach to parenting. I was internalizing the undertone of this book, which sets mothers up on the defensive against trials and tribulations that may or may not be happening to you and your son. Then I took a deep breath, and pitched the book. I personally loathe any parenting school or advice or method that automatically makes me feel like I should be wary of my kid and his development.
This book really feeds that western-medicine, Conservative Christian, fear-based approach to parenting, risks, and growth. I haven’t been at this parenting game long, but one thing I have picked up is that there is a subtle school or thought that pervades our parenting society, hinting that your babies will grow up poorly if you’re not careful. If you want to be lectured or feel like you need some literary finger wagging from an MD to get your fires burning, then read this. But I have a feeling you are looking for something empowering to help you in your journey with your son, and sister, this ain’t that kind of book, I’m sad to say.
Love your sons. Do your best. Ask for help from mother figures or father figures you admire in your real actual life if you need another perspective. Trust your gut - not all boys are YOUR boy. Read a novel instead.