We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Tiger Mom Parenting, Part 2

In our last Lamplighter Moment, I suggested that our readers read this article about Tiger Mom parenting. Certainly many of you found that this article is extreme. And though there are advocates of this intense style of parenting, I must say that this style of parenting is not for every child, and maybe not suitable for any.

So how do we know what type of parenting style is best for our children? First we must look at Scripture. In the well known Proverb on parenting we learn that we are to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

The root word for Train–cha^nak–means literally to narrow or restrict. [1] There may be a connection to the practice that occurred at birth when the midwife dipped her finger in crushed dates or grapes, massaging the pallet of a newborn. This massaging of the pallet would create a sucking reflex that would cause a restriction in the mouth that leads to swallowing, thus the word “train up.” To train up a child then carries the idea of cultivating a taste to develop an appetite.

Parents are responsible to stimulate, cultivate, and develop a child’s (the word for child–nair–covers the period from childhood to young adulthood) taste and appetite for their particular way (bent). But how do we know what their particular bent is and how do we help them develop a taste that highly motivates them? In our next Lamplighter Moment, we’ll look at a 17th century perspective that may just lend us some insight.

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