Tea Time with Annie Kate Rotating Header Image

Review: What a Difference a Mom Makes by Kevin Leman

Kevin Leman, a best-selling psychologist, wrote What a Difference a Mom Makes:  The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on Her Son’s Life to tell moms how important they are in their sons’ lives.  Basing his book on the concept that it’s the parent of the opposite sex who has the most impact on a child, Leman explains how a son is molded and formed by his mother.  He suggests that moms begin with the end in mind and raise their sons purposefully to meet those goals instead of being swayed by cuteness, tears, tempers, or manipulation. 

What a Difference a Mom Makes deals with discipline, parenting style, the son’s birth order, mom’s birth order (Leman  wrote the birth order book, too), mom’s self-image, fathers, marriage, and doing it all.  Each of these factors affect how moms raise their sons.  Leman has some very valuable points such as:  “Love and discipline—you can’t have one without the other,” and “Boys will be boys.”  He also gives examples of how common ‘mommy behavior’ can impact a son even when one would not expect it to.  And he gives comfort and wisdom to single moms as well.

However, Leman does not base his ideas on the Bible.  The Bible has a lot to say about raising children and about family relationships, about self-image and lifestyle, but it is hardly referred to.  His book has no concept of sin, of needing forgiveness, of God’s mercy, of salvation.  We all know family relationships, like all human interactions, are fraught with sin, and they certainly cannot be addressed appropriately without including God’s directives and his mercy.  And Leman, ignoring God’s directives, does give some bad advice.

Furthermore, this book is full of generalizations (about differences between men and women, about birth order, about teens) that, in my experience, are valid less than half the time.  What’s more, Leman tries to stroke his readers with exaggerations (“You’re a strong and smart woman who accomplishes more things in an hour than a male can get done in a whole day.”)  I feel as though I’m being patted on the head when I read this book; the author doesn’t respect his readers, doesn’t expect them to see reality as it really is, and expects them to actually believe what he says.  Now, apparently Leman is a humorist; perhaps this is all just an attempt at humor, but I don’t think so.

Although this book has some good points, I would not recommend it.  If you want to read a worthwhile book about raising your sons, I suggest you check out my review of Raising Real Men by the Youngs and consider reading Future Men by Douglas Wilson.

This is yet another book in the in the 2012 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Better Mom Monday Encourage One Another Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesday ,and Raising Homemakers.

Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

One Comment

  1. Jenn4him says:

    Always good to hear a review from you! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *