“The Strong-Willed Child”, Chapter 1, p. 16

Remember how Dobson condoned bullying behavior from children yesterday? Well, now we shall see that Dobson raises his children to at least tolerate and possibly even perpetrate such awful behavior. It begins when his (at the time) fifth grade daughter has fourteen girls (classmates) over for a slumber party.

“I met most of them (the daughter’s friends) for the first time that weekend, yet during those seventeen hours together I was able to identify every child’s position in the hierarchy of respect and strength. There was one queen bee who was the boss of the crowd.”

Hierarchy of respect and strength??? Really?? Oh geez… There may be a hierarchy, but labeling it as such is incredibly disingenuous. Okay look, queen bee is just a euphemism for mean girl. This girl is a bully and there’s no excuse for it.

“At the bottom of the list was a harassed little girl who was alienated and rejected by the entire herd. Her jokes were as clever (I thought) as those of the leader, yet no one laughed when she clowned. Her suggestions of a game or event were immediately condemned as stupid and foolish.”

It’s obvious this “harassed little girl” is not his daughter. He doesn’t specify if his daughter is the queen bee or not, but what is abundantly clear is that his daughter is either bullying this girl or standing by and tolerating it while one of her friends bullies this girl. And Dobson has no problem with that.

“Unfortunately, there is a similar outcast or loser in every group of three or more kids (or either sex). Such is the nature of childhood.”

There you go. My daughter is completely absolved of responsibility because “such is the nature of childhood.” And I as her parent am completely absolved of any responsibility here because “such is the nature of childhood.” Wow.

Just to recap, Dobson, what you describe at your daughter’s slumber party is one or two mean girls calling the shots and no one having the nerve to stand up to them. This culminates in one girl in particular experiencing the brunt of the mean girl antics. If you are such a great parent, why is your daughter even friends with such mean girls in the first place? Why isn’t she standing up for this harassed girl? I think you have some real problems on your hand. But you don’t seem to think so. You just use your daughter’s horrible behavior as an excuse to teach parents to basically be bullies in the name of respect, strength and toughness. I’ve got some news for you: no one respects bullies, and that doesn’t change whether the bully is some random kid in elementary school or your own father.



  1. So what? He suggests that we do nothing about it? Will he be saying the same thing when this continues into high school and she commits suicide or it turns physical? I’m not usually this crass but what a moron. Sounds like another one of those parents who allows their kid to bully people and then goes and blames the victim for it.

      1. Hi Victoria. I was really introduced to your blog from another blog post. xD But I can’t wait to keep reading your review of this book. James Dobson sounds as bad as Michael Pearl

  2. Thanks Cam. Dobson is a lot like Michael Pearl, but sometimes I wonder if he’s more insidious because he dresses his ideas up and makes them look a lot softer and more innocent than they are. Michael Pearl doesn’t mince words, and that turns a lot of people off. He really can’t break into mainstream evangelicalism because of it. But Dobson waves around a PhD and couches these ideas in humorous, jovial language and does the wolf in sheep’s clothing thing. I don’t know who is worse, honestly.

  3. I was the kid on the bottom rung of the social ladder. As a result, I fight the “natural” ways people relate and suggest that perhaps we should be nice to everyone. Hopefully, someday, being kind will be considered the natural order, and bullying will be the aberration.

  4. So he’s very big on physical strength and toughness, but when it comes to something like standing up against bullying, which requires one to be morally strong and tough enough to face social pressure, he just shrugs his shoulders and calls it natural?


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