by Dr. Cris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
I have three daughters and one son and I absolutely don’t want any of them learning about physical maturity, puberty, or sex on the playground. As much as I’d like them to stay little forever, I have to admit they are growing up, and I want to be able to have safe and informative talks with them that are centered on the truths in God’s Word.
Growing Up God’s Way for Boys and Growing Up God’s Way for Girls are books meant to be read through together with parents and their children. The entire discussion is routinely brought back to Scripture, reminding us that God’s plans are best.
I liked the fact that the book is illustrated so that it won’t look out-of-date. The way the authors always go back to God’s Word is a huge plus, including the emphasis on God’s design for marriage! I also loved how they encourage kids to trust their parents, confide in their parents and look to their parents for input rather than search for info online or accept their friends as their favorite sources.
The books are fairly similar with only key sections changed to relate more to boys or girls. The material provides accurate information and keeps it primarily informational in tone so that kids learn what they need to know in a fairly comfortable setting. I definitely see this book working well for parents with kids ages 9-13-ish (parents will probably know best what age to begin using this book), especially considering the early age that information starts flying through the elementary school playgrounds.
One thing to note is that the authors are British, which means some of the spelling is different (like oestrogen instead of estrogen).
My main concern about the books is the stringent and often totally unnecessary comments they slip in about gender roles and gender stereotypes. Things like: “Generally, women tend to be more sensitive than men and consider it very important how they get on with someone. Men are often more physically stronger and may be better at logically analyzing problems.” Actually, as a woman I find myself quite adept at ‘logically analyzing problems.’ Why do comments like this even belong in this book?
The authors conjecture that God designed boys’ voices to change and become deeper so they could be loud enough to heard when speaking to a crowd, since they are the ones who are leaders. What does that say about women speakers and teachers talking in arenas or classrooms, etc.? Why include this? Surely you could cover the topic about boys’ voices changing, without indulging in opinions about whether or not women can be good leaders and whether it’s against God’s plan for them to be so.
Girls are encouraged that God made them to marry, have babies, and care for their homes and feed their families since that is God’s design. Thus, they are told that formal education does little to prepare them for such a future. I feel very strongly that all girls should receive education and career training. Some women do not marry. Some women cannot have children. Some girls focus all their hopes and dreams on being a wife and mom only to end up single, without kids, or perhaps divorced or widowed. What then? If you don’t want to encourage girls to pursue education, at least please refrain from criticizing it.
I would certainly consider using almost all of this book to discuss the actual physical changes boys and girls go through and to talk about God’s perspective on sex and marriage based on the Bible. For those discussions, it really is excellent!!! But I may just as well find another book that sticks to these two things and skips the opinions about gender roles and gender stereotypes.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”