Category Archives: Parenting and Family Life Book Reviews

Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey

(Note – if you are doing a book report on this book, be sure you are reading the book yourself and writing your own report based on what you thought of it – not what I thought of it.)

Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is one of the books that literally changed me as a person. I read it approximately twenty years ago, and I still think about some of the things in the book everyday – literally. I read the book with a management team where I was working at the time, and the concepts and habits I developed from it made me a more confident, healthy person. Only the Bible has affected me more than Covey’s book.

So, when I noticed that Covey wrote a similar book for families, I had to read it. And it’s incredible! This is a book that your whole family can benefit from. If you practice the habits in the book, you will become a better parent, a better spouse, and learn to deal with the day-to-day issues and problems that come up in your family in a way that strengthens your problem-solving skills and teaches your kids how to deal with problems as well.

I’ve already been putting this book to work in our family and building good habits into our daughter. And I’m looking forward to using more habits in the book to show her how to become an effective leader, a positive influence, and have a healthy mindset as she grows up.

This will be a book that will have an impact on how we live as a family for decades. I can see that already. If just a few of these habits are implemented, it can turn a family into quite a force.

The concepts in this book can turn a hurting family into a positive, growing environment. They can also turn a strong family into a stronger family with a bigger purpose. Any family – big, small, single-parent, two-parent, or couples without kids – will benefit from the insights of this book.


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Book review: Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson

Bringing Up Girls, Bringing up girls book review, bringing up girls review, james dobson, dr. dobson, dr dobson, dr. james dobson, dr james dobson, raising girls, parent resources, parent resource, parenting, help for parents, vanessa carrollWhen I first saw that Bringing Up Girls was finally out, I was very excited! I had heard of the book Bringing Up Boys by Dobson and always wondered when he was going to write this one. He researched for three years before he published the book. He didn’t jump into it lightly, and I’m glad. You can really feel the care and love he took in writing this book. I hope it will profoundly impact how girls are raised.

When I brought the book home, my  first thought was that it was going to be hard to read and I would have to force myself to keep reading it. Happily, that was not the case at all. In fact, I had to keep forcing myself to put the book down. The book is truly fascinating.

In the book, Dobson clearly shows where American pop culture and values are today and how it got there. He puts forth the evidence of how it is impacting girls today, and it is not pretty. We can all see this evidence clearly. What is shown on TV today, as opposed to just five years ago, is repulsive, and it will continue in a downward trend. Of that, we can be sure. What kids watch, the peers they hang around with, and their home environment has a huge impact on them and will most likely steer their whole lives.

Not only does Dobson show how the culture is affecting girls, he delves into how God created girls differently than boys. This is what I found especially fascinating. I had no idea that baby and toddler girls are affected by hormones until the age of three. And I had no idea that healthy affection from parents can actually stave of early puberty. That was just a couple examples of the amazing things that can be learned from Bringing Up Girls. I found the whole book to be really incredible.

There are so many issues that girls face now that we didn’t have to deal with. One of the kids interviewed in this book stated that parents can help kids through these difficult times, but they have to stay tuned in to their kid’s world. One way to do that is to read this book. It takes you from the womb, through early childhood, and into the teen years. It shows the issues girls deal with and gives great advice, wisdom, and actual actions to take to prevent girls from going down the wrong road – or to get them out of it if they already are in a bad situation.

I wish every parent, teacher, youth worker, aunt, uncle, grandparent, and anyone else who influences children would read this book. It is that good! I have benefitted greatly from reading Dobson’s booksThe New Strong-Willed Child and The New Dare to Discipline. Dobson’s insights in these books formed the loving discipline that my husband and I use with our daughter. And similarly, after reading Bringing Up Girls, I feel much more prepared to teach my daughter how to become a girl who loves God and wants to make the right choices as she grows older. I feel I now have more knowledge that will help us give our daughter a strong foundation to stand on the rest of life.

Here’s the description of the book:

Bringing Up Boys by parenting expert and best-selling author Dr. James Dobson was, and continues to be, a runaway hit, selling more than 2 million copies to date. Now, Dr. Dobson presents his highly anticipated companion book: Bringing Up Girls. 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.


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