A Spectrum of Shepherding Child’s Heart

After reading a book in a parenting class called Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp, I concluded that his own parents must have been obsessive compulsive, since their last name ended with a double p, their son’s first name had to end with a double d.

More importantly, I learned a valuable model for identifying different parenting types. Tripp’s major thesis is that parenting—which is what he means by shepherding a child’s heart—is all about shaping. Continue reading

Scaffolding Puzzles with My Toddler

My son is two and a half, and has had very little experience with puzzles. Just the other day, my wife bought a pack of four 12-piece puzzles of a school bus, race car, fire truck, and choo choo train. My first guess would be that our son, who only sits still for books and “watch something,” would hop around before stomping on the puzzle and running to his costumes. Continue reading

Fatherly Advice: Solomon Style; Proverbs of Solomon: Modern Father Style

I’ve already begun to think of the advice I will dispense to my son one day:

“Brush your teeth.”
“A penny saved is just a penny, just put it in the penny tray at the fill-r-up”
“A foolish man sets his heart on a McRib; he does not consider the consequences.”
“You start dancin with a girl like that, you’ll be makin some babies.”
“When in doubt, cut the blue wire.
“Don’t touch that.”
“Invest in computer companies.”
“Never talk on your cell phone in a drive-thru”
“I never said that.”
“Look, kid, just stay away from gangs, drugs, and cyberporn on the internet, and you could be the President some day. Well, even if you do those things, apparently.”
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A Year of Being a Father

I’ve been a father for over a year now.  Already my son has taken 15 steps and can make approximately 5 animals sounds.  Every day it seems I discover new things to love about him.

The first time I held that boy I felt a tremendous love and a tremendous responsibility.  I had to hold him while his mother recovered, and he slept in my arms, not knowing who I was or even seeing me yet.  But he felt warmness and a heartbeat and something protective around him.  I didn’t know anything about him other than his name, and that he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

The first few weeks were boring, but sweet.  He mostly slept, ate, and looked at our blurry faces.  I held him on my chest at night while my wife tried to get some rest.

Then came each of the little milestones: The first smile, the first laugh, the first deliberately spoken syllable, the first crawling, the first step, the first word—

His first word, we’ve agreed, was “hi”.  He waves now, says “hi” and “bye”.  He’s such a chatty, friendly boy.  He holds phones up to his head and says “hi”.  He can say “no”, and points his finger.  He says “Dada”, “Mama”, and blows kisses by putting his hand to his mouth and moaning into his waving fingers.

My boy loves bubbles, bath time, and doggies, but is afraid of laughing monkeys.  Ask  him how big he is and he will raise his arms up in the air.  Ask him how much Grandma loves him and he’ll do the same.

A couple weeks ago I had to stay home with my boy because he had a fever.  He played all day, took naps, went for a walk, and watched Lorax.  He ate a whole pouch of organic baby food.  And pooped.  When his mother came  home, I was lying on the floor, exhausted.  Toys were strewn all about the floor.  My one-year-old son crawled over to me, laughed maniacally as he slapped my back like a bongo drum, and then rested his head on me and sighed.  “Ahhhhh”.

This is my boy.  And I am his daddy.  Every day is a gift.  I don’t have any insight or wisdom to give today.  All I have is show-and-tell.  I am so happy to be blessed with fatherhood, and to have such a happy boy.  I hope the same for all those who wish for it.  I ask for your prayers that I will be a good father all my days.  I also ask for your prayers for children who do not have fathers, and for men who want to have children but cannot.  Adults, men and women, try to be a strong presence in the lives of others always, especially those whose parents are not, or could not be there.  There, that’s the wisdom/insight/moral instruction part of my post.

The other day I had a special Father’s Celebration breakfast with him at his daycare.  It was the first time I ever saw him eat an entire meal without throwing something off the table or getting upset.  He’s such a good boy.

These may just be the best years.

Happy Father’s Day to me!

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_Parenting with Love and Logic_: A Book Review

This may not be the first time you’ve heard about the “Love and Logic” method of parenting.  As a parent of a one-year-old son who read to be prepared for having a child, I decided to begin the next step by reading ways of being the parent of a child who will eventually be capable of listening to the reasoning of parents.

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay is an introduction to a style of parenting that is is meant to reflect the balance of—you guessed it—love and logic, its foundation being the teachings of Christianity, most notably the proverbs of Solomon.  Like many things I admire, their philosophy relies on a concept of balance.

Continue reading