Right in the heat of the holidays, I received a message from the social marketing folks for the publisher, David C. Cook. Apparently, they wanted to know if I would be interested in previewing a new book by Ted Cunningham called TROPHY CHILD. "Hummmmm... that could be interesting," was my thought, "I'm a bit of a book nerd anyway. Plus, I just finished The Hobbit." All I need to do is post a blog about the book later in January then I could give away a free copy. I needed something extra to do just about as much as I needed a hole in my head. So.... I said, "OK!"
What? Am I crazy? (Don't answer that, Dan! (My "hotthubby"!). I barely have a moment to read books for my own pleasure; so now I had just agreed to add another task to my busy plate during the holidays. In what seemed like merely a millisecond the pdf file of the book arrived on my laptop. Wow! How does that happen. So, I began reading.
Shortly after, a package arrived in the mail of Trophy Child. Cool. Now I can throw this new book in may bag on my way to basketball and get to reading. Let's see. This is somewhat of a busy week. It's the beginning of Levi's biddy buddy basketball; Violet's JV Girls Team has two games this week; Isaac has a piano lesson after school today; Social Studies project titles are due Wednesday at Warm Springs Intermediate School; Violet needs her deposit to go to The Rock in January; Levi has a spelling test; Isaac lost his book for Mr. Jones, again; someone else has canceled for Jingle Jam (the church's community Christmas Program) and costumes need to be arranged; plus, Christmas is less than two weeks away.
Does this chaos sound familiar? Arriving at the gym to watch Levi and seven other second graders, I was thinking how much "fun" it is to sit in the gym for yet another basketball adventure while looking ahead to my week, we were scheduled for activities every.single.night. With a moment to spare, I dug in my purse and cracked open my new copy of Trophy Child. A little distracted thinking about how long- legged (and super long haired) "blondie" Violet's practice was going and if she was able to run with that stinking cold she has that won't go away, I settled in for 90 minutes at the gym and turned over my fresh new book for the first time.
"The Anti-Tiger Mom Book" is written across the back. Wonder what that means. Hummmmm.... look at that. There is a graphic of a child, girl with long hair down to her butt, shooting a.... yes, you guessed it! Basketball!
"Excuse me, can I tell you something?" Alright God. What is it this time? Isn't it funny how, when you least expect it, God manages to literally (yes, "literally" in this case), place something in your hands when you most need it. If you ever feel like sometimes you are sinking in a sea of scheduling while drowning in parenting perplexities, Trophy Child reaches out like a hand to rescue you with insight on how to manage these moments to "help you create a home where our children find success in following their heavenly Father."
First of all, I came to realize that I am the epitome of the "Tiger Mom." Yes, this is hard to admit; but I will just come right out and say it to you all, "Hello, my name is Angie Hott and I am a Tiger Momoholic!" Aaaaaaah. There, that feels so much better. Not only that, after reading Trophy Child, this parent is also the product of being an adult "trophy child". Are you?
Like other "tiger moms," I often become concerned about the success of my children's academics. Gauging their performances, I guess, is a direct reflection of my intellect, right? Wrong! So then, why do I obsess and fret over each spelling test, algebra assignment, report card.
Being vertically challenged (I barely make it to five feet), the fact that Violet has expressed interest in athletics is entirely new territory for me. Of the hundreds of sporting events I have attended over the years, I never paid attention to a basketball game in my life. Now, I watch every second eagerly, biting my nails, hoping for Violet to get that shot so she too can be a basketball star. Levi too. The same goes for any race or gymnastics event.
And don't even get me started about music! Sometimes, I feel like Amy Duncan on "Good Luck Charlie" Please don't tell anyone this, but if any of my four kids end up Broadway Stars, well, this 48-year-old-grey-haired-mama-of-four will split a seam for sure! I guess this is why I get so disappointed when our Isaac refuses to play piano.
When I get all uptight about whether Levi knows his spelling words or if Isaac is ready for the Social Studies Fair, I try to remember what Aunt Tammy said years ago when her first baby was getting ready to graduate from high school, "I can't wait to see what God is going to do with her!"
And now, I understand. Reading Trophy Child revealed that, yes, I really am doing some things right. In fact, I was able to pat myself on the back a few times and, to my suggestion, hotthubby Dan also read it. The author, Ted Cunningham, also shed light on what makes us a trophy child as well as how to work at "seeing your children embrace their full potential as children of God."
After all, isn't that a parent's ultimate goal! I guess sometimes we all need to be reminded. Trophy Child does this in a gentle way with Mr. Cunningham's parenting stories, guidance, easy family devotionals, and suggestions to prepare our kids for something greater than themselves: a reflection of God's love!
To conclude, I pray that you give Trophy Child your consideration. I have included the clip from the marketers as well as their press release below. Finally, if you are interested in reading Trophy Child, please let me know either with a private message, comment, or simply a quick "like" or "share" of this post here or on facebook. David C. Cook will select a single reader to forward a free copy. And, just so you know, I do not receive any monetary compensation by participating; however, I do feel that it is important, as a parent, to remember that God has given these children to us to steward them to be all that God has created them to be. Not us.
"Grrrrrrrrrrrrowl!" Now go and stop being Tiger Parents. There are enough of them in the stands already!
Saving Parents from Performance,
Preparing Children for Something Greater
Written for every mom who helps too much with homework
just to impress the teacher and every dad who takes credit for
his daughter’s soccer success, Trophy Child will give parents the
encouragement they need to nurture their kids into who God
created them to be.
Our culture’s obsession with achievement often leads parents to
form expectations for their kids based on the world’s standards, not
on the Bible. As a result, their kids feel they can never measure up.
Trophy Child will help modern Christian parents create a home
where children find success in following their heavenly Father’s
leading for them—and readers know the joy of seeing their
children embrace their full potential as children of God.
T H E A U T H O R
Pastor Ted Cunningham founded Woodland Hills Family
Church in Branson, Missouri, where he lives with his wife
and two children. A graduate of Liberty University and Dallas
Theological Seminary, he is the author of Young and in Love and
has coauthored several books with Dr. Gary Smalley, including
!e Language of Sex and Great Parents, Lousy Lovers.