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Positives: Rick Johnson's story about his journey from his own childhood with a terrible father-figure to coming to faith in Christ and his journey as a father and into manhood is truly amazing and inspiring. He writes with heart and conviction as a man who has lived quite a journey, and I truly respect and admire it.
Negatives: I was hoping for more in-depth discussion on father-son relationships and dynamics. I felt this book focused way too much on the kind of stuff you'd hear at a Promise Keeper's rally or Saturday morning men's breakfast at a church. (Accountability, male friendships, being a man with a purpose, integrity, etc etc) Those are all great and worthy topics, but when it comes to actual every-day parenting of my son, trying to understand him and build a relationship with him, the book didn't really help me at all unfortunately. It didn't focus nearly enough on ways to understand your boy and bond with him, give enough ideas on practical ways to impart those character lessons in everyday life, how to understand him at different stages of life, how to have a real relationship with him from childhood into adulthood, etc. Lots of talk about being a great man and showing him how to be a great man, hardly any talk about building a true, deep relationship with a boy through the various stages of his upbringing. Overall I was disappointed. If you're looking for these types of discussions, the book I've found that has come closest is Boys Should Be Boys by Meg Meeker. It had much better discussions on understanding how a boy ticks and how best to meet his needs.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Several other reviewers have complained about the religious focus of this book; the description of the audiobook here on Audible.com talks about "being the dads God designed us to be" and our "God-given" roles as dads - what are you expecting people?
I greatly enjoyed the book, both the subject matter and the presentation. The only thing that kept the performance from being five stars was that the author proceeded a little more slowly than I like through some areas of the narration (but that's my taste).
Overall, "Better Dads, Stronger Sons" made me pause and consider several things about both my relationship with my two young boys (both under two) and my wife of five years, which is exactly what I hoped for when I ordered the book. Thanks Rick!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful