I was sent a link to this article by the Chinese Tiger Mom. I usually ignore these types of debates, but the link was sent by a family member so I thought I'd read it. I must admit, my initial reaction was "Oh, crap! I really need to step up my parenting or my kids are not going to be able to compete in the marketplace!" I started thinking of science projects, math worksheets, and reading programs. I starting wondering where I could find a piano teacher and considering not signing up for spring soccer.

Then I took a breath.

And remembered my goal as a parent.

My goal as a parent is to introduce my kids to a loving God and show them how to live as He instructs. When I imagine my kids at 20-years-old, I hope they're men who love the Lord, love their neighbors, and turn to Scripture for answers. I hope they embody Godly characteristics and are humble enough to still be learning and growing. I hope they have discovered their God-given strengths and talents and boldly use them to serve God and others.

I've heard people joke about there being no "how to" book for raising kids, and the same relative mentioned above pointed out that even the Bible leaves a lot of freedom in the day-to-day practicalities of parenting. But the Bible tells A LOT about how to live, and those same principles apply to my kids as well as they do to me. I can think of no better parenting handbook than the one written by The Creator. So as I encounter issues with my kids, I'm not going to refer to Google, Dr anybody, or even cultural traditions. I'm going see what Scripture teaches and then teach the same.
  • Kids not doing their homework to the best of their ability? Colossians 2:23: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."
  • Kids having trouble getting along with another kid at school? Matthew 5:44: "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..."
  • Kids fighting with siblings? Matthew 20:16: ""So the last will be first, and the first will be last." (Try explaining that to a 5 year old!)
  • And my personal favorite: Ephesians 6:2-3: "Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
From beginning to end, the Bible tells the story of God parenting His children. Sometimes He has to discipline harshly, sometimes He leads lovingly. Often He lays out guidelines for His children to follow, knowing what's best for them, but He gives His children the choice to obey or not. Although I cannot adopt all of God's parenting techniques, I am inspired by His ability to know each of His children well enough to know the best way to teach them.

I am a far cry from a Tiger Mom (although I have been known to demonstrate some Momma Bear characteristics occasionally). I'd like to think I'm more of a Sheep Mom, following my Shepherd and leading my kids to do the same.
We got a new dog, then we were literally snowed in the house for 3 days. Some of the words coming out of my mouth have surprised me.

1. We don't stand on the Bible. (meant literally, not necessarily figuratively)
2. I'll pay you a quarter if you sleep an extra 1/2 hour tomorrow morning.
3. You are not allowed to pray again the rest of the day. (don't ask)
4. Did you delete an app when you licked my phone?
5. Let's use cardboard boxes to sled down the driveway!
Thought some of my southern friends might enjoy this recipe -- a gift from the north. If you don't have all the ingredients on-hand today, stick some fresh snow in the freezer until you can get to the grocery.

Happy Snow Day!

Snow Cream
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. of any extract: vanilla, peppermint, almond, orange ...
Dash of salt
5 cups fresh snow

Mix all ingredients together (don't overmix or the snow will melt) and enjoy!

Sprinkles are always fun on top. Try marshmallows, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, honey, granola, even Cheerios!