What I’m Reading – Trophy Child

25 Jan
My Thoughts

Trophy Child is a book that challenges parents to examine our hearts behind how we parent. It isn’t a detailed list on how to be a better parent or how to have a better child. Instead the author invites us to look at our motivations. He shares about his own experiences parenting and includes a “gut check” for each of us at the end of each chapter.

The five primary motives of parents who display their children are:
  • We obsess over achievement and competition
  • We create environments where our kids can succeed rather than preparing them for environments they cannot control
  • We accelerate childhood milestones and delay adulthood milestones
  • We take too much credit and too much blame for the way our kids turn out
  • We connect with our children more frequently and for longer periods of time


There are several types of trophy parents.
The Vanity Parent 
The Perfection Parent
The Competitive Parent
The Return of Investment Parent
The Gifted Parent
The Companion Parent
The Rescue Parent

As I read more about vanity parenting I realized that there are times I fall into this category. I have had those moments when I was more concerned that how my children behaved and the choices they made reflected on me as their mother.

My favorite chapter in the book is Kids Who Follow Jesus. The author reminds us of God’s love language – Jesus. When we love Jesus and observe all that He taught, we show the Father love.

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. 
 The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. 
 My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
John 14:21, 23

In this chapter the author talks about connecting our children to God through them getting to know Jesus. Part of that connection means knowing and abiding in the Word. In order for them to know God, they must know what He says.

I was challenged by this book and encouraged by it as well.

Here is an introduction to Trophy Child:


You can purchase the book here:

About the Book

Do you cringe when your kids fight in public because it makes you look bad? Do you find yourself helping too much with homework because you want the teacher to be impressed? Do you secretly take credit for your child’s dance recital, soccer win, or spelling bee crown? You might be in danger of vanity parenting.
Vanity parenting happens when our culture’s obsession with performance leads us to form expectations for our kids based on the world’s standards, not on the Bible. As a result, our children try to meet our emotional needs instead of growing into the calling God has for them.
Trophy Child will help you create a home where your children find success in following their heavenly Father’s leading for them—and you know the joy of seeing your children embrace their full potential as children of God.

About the Author

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 The Language of Sex and Great Parents, Lousy Lovers.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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4 Responses to “What I’m Reading – Trophy Child”

  1. Dawn Paoletta January 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    This looks like a great book. Thanks for sharing the details and your thoughts!

  2. LuAnn Braley January 26, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    I've put this on my "Want to read" shelf at Goodreads. I recognize some of my own childhood from the review you have written. My brother was the one with amazing musical talent – so I was supposed to be the one who went into "business". One the one hand I had some abilities in that direction, but it was not where my heart was. But then, my parents (and theirs before them) had expectations placed upon them as well. It's a vicious cycle, but it does not have to stay that way. Within the last year or so I read something along the lines of "we need to stop looking sideways and seeking validation from our peers or neighbors; rather let us look upwards and seek the approval of our God".Thanks for posting this.

  3. Wendy January 26, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    Thanks Dawn! Have a wonderful weekend! Blessings!

  4. Wendy January 26, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Yes LuAnn! That is really what this book is all about. Our children seeking God. Hope you enjoy the book! Blessings!

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