Building a Family Legacy

DVD Release: September 30, 2014
Building a Family Legacy


Capping a life’s work of championing the family and good parenting, Dr. James Dobson’s “Building a Family Legacy” combines new and classic films, books and study guides to pass the family-values torch to the next generation.

It started in 2008 when Dr. Dobson’s son, Ryan, found the original Focus on the Family film series on parenting sitting in a closet and gathering dust. The films had been seen by more than 80 million people in their heyday of the 1980s. Now grown with kids of his own, the content surprised Ryan because, after 30 years, it was still so relevant. “I called my dad and said, ‘My friends and I need this material! How can we get our hands on it?’” The answer is the “Building a Family Legacy” series. Ryan added his own film—”Wanting to Believe”—to seven films in the series, three from the original series and four new films by his dad.

The project grew. With the films as the foundation, new books from Dr. Dobson and Ryan–along with new releases of classic Dobson works and new study guides–create a powerful tool box for today’s parents and grandparents to help build a legacy of faith in their families.

Included are the following episode titles: Your Legacy, Bringing up Boys, Bringing up Girls, Strong Willed Child, Dare to Discipline, Straight Talk to Men, Love for a Lifetime, Wanting to Believe.

Dove Review

“Building a Family Legacy” is a remarkable and inspiring series that instructs families on how to live and survive difficulties in today’s problem-filled society. It features America’s best-loved family advocate, Dr. James Dobson, and his wife Shirley, in addition to their adult children Danae and Ryan.

Using humor, many true-life incidents, and armed with Biblical principles, Dr. Dobson and his family spell out what it takes to deal with the problems that come with raising a family. There are eight sections in this series: 1. Your Legacy; 2. Love for a Lifetime; 3. Bringing up Boys; 4. Straight Talk to Men; 5. Dare to Discipline; 6. The Strong Willed Child; 7. Bringing up Girls; 8. Wanting to Believe.

In the first, “Your Legacy,” Dr. Dobson focuses on the fact that our stories, not possessions, are our legacies to our children and grandchildren. He asks this question of the audience: What do you want to pass on? Dr. Dobson tells the story of his grandfather who planned to kill a man and how he walked by a brush arbor revival meeting and found the Lord instead. Future generations were changed because of that decision, including Dr. Dobson’s father and his own life, and now that of his son Ryan. Dr. Dobson mentions how his dad wanted to be an artist, not a preacher, but God called him and then used his art as well.

In the second episode, “Love for a Lifetime,” Shirley Dobson shares how Jim stole her heart in college, and how they were married and had children. Times were sometimes tough, such as the time she broke her leg and he had to take on the major portion of childcare for a time. The DVD moves on to episode three, “Bringing up Boys.” Dr. Dobson shares that a few trips to the ER were needed and that boys are “aggressive little machines.” He shares funny stories including one about him playing Tarzan as a boy and falling hard to the ground because his rope was too long. He offers practical advice, such as dads having a race with their sons to finish the milk first in order to get the “non-thirsty” boy to drink his milk.

Dr. Dobson talks about the differences between boys and girls, and this leads into episode four titled “Straight Talk to Men.” Dr. Dobson talks about the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” and how time moves fast and fathers must take time to be with their children and influence them while they can. He emphasizes the spiritual heritage fathers can have. In episode five, “Dare to Discipline,” he speaks about action as a motivating factor, not anger. He encourages parents to follow through on setting limits. He refers to boundaries and letting a child know when action is going to take place.

In the next episode, “The Strong Willed Child,” he shares a funny story about the time his son Ryan was quiet in the house for two minutes, and in that case “silence is not golden!” He speaks of spanking only for defiance, and not abusing the child. He speaks about other discipline methods that can be helpful in keeping a balance between authority and love. His steps include defining boundaries, responding with confident decisiveness, distinguishing between willful disobedience and childish irresponsibility, teaching after confrontation, not making unrealistic demands, and letting love be the guide.

Finally, the last two episodes are “Bringing Up Girls” and “Wanting to Believe.” In “Bringing Up Girls” he speaks of how girls need a father’s affirmation and how important it is. He says that self esteem will be built with it. Ryan Dobson finishes off the series with “Wanting to Believe,” in which he talks about the importance of having a specific plan for family goals. For example, not saying “I plan to lose weight,” but “I plan to lose ten pounds.” When it comes to family goals, specifically saying “I plan to take my daughter out to breakfast,” not just say you’ll spend more time with her. He emphasizes the need to pursue daughters and wives and to let them know they are loved. He also talks about the importance of letting the whole family know what the family plan is, as well as its goals.

This is a tremendous series and is recommended for ages twelve and above, due to the maturity level of the themes. It truly arms parents with ammunition that can make a difference in raising a healthy and mentally happy family. We are happy to award “Building a Family Legacy” five Doves, our best rating.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Comment about fatigue and sex not going together; comment about teen girl getting pregnant but adopting the child out to a Christian family; mention of Playgirl magazine as an example of women being more interested in certain men and not being as visual, sexually speaking, as men are.
Language: None
Violence: None
Drugs: Use of snuff is mentioned; it's mentioned that some drink a lot of alcohol; comment about gin being found in a car; it's mentioned that boys are more likely to use drugs illegally than girls.
Nudity: Funny story about an earring falling into a woman's cleavage; it's mentioned a girl dressed scantily simply to see if her dad loved her and would say something.
Other: Themes are discussed about raising children with limits and action and love; discussions about rebellion in kids, and moms and dads working through problems; discussions about abusive fathers and the need for love, and for dads taking time to speak to their daughters.


Company: Enthuse Entertainment
Director: David Nixon
Producer: David Nixon
Genre: Inspirational
Runtime: 485 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter