American Heirlooms - September 2019

There are many parenting books, but few evoke as much heart and compassion as Tedd Tripp’s “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.” Originally published in 1995 and updated in 2005, Tripp’s book has become a timeless favorite for both new and experienced parents who are looking for a parenting style that gets at the root of their child’s behavior and reinforces change through scripture. Tripp encourages parents to “shepherd” their children not by solely focusing on the behaviors children exhibit and punishing or encouraging said behavior. He empowers parents to strengthen their child’s development by focusing on the internal drives and desires that are pushing their behaviors and outbursts. Ultimately, the power to overcome daily struggle can be found in the gospel and Jesus, Tripp explains. I was given this book by my father, whose opinion and parenting style I highly respect and value. In the short time I’ve been reading the book, I have found its message to be very beneficial for me and my family. Tripp poses the book as a how-to guide for parents, but, throughout the chapters, readers are given opportunities for introspection into who they are as a person. Readers begin to understand the process needed in shepherding children, one that doesn’t involve Band-Aid fixes and instead targets the root and deception of the behavior. Is your calendar full of birthday parties this month? You’re not alone. In the United States, more people are born in September than in any other month, meaning Americans will sing many choruses of “Happy Birthday” this month. This popular tune has a surprisingly controversial history. First composed by sisters Mildred and Patty Hill in 1893, the familiar melody originally belonged to a song called “Good Morning to All,” a song the sisters sang to their students every morning. Over time, the word “birthday” entered variations of the song and became a popular party tune. By the 1930s, “Happy Birthday” appeared all over in films and on the radio, prompting Mildred and Patty’s sister, Jessica, to secure the copyright to “Happy Birthday” due to its similarity to “Good Morning to All.” In 1988, Warner Music acquired the copyright, and the song’s ingrained popularity ensured a profit. They reportedly made $2 million a year on royalty charges. The Walt Disney Company paid $5,000 to use the song in a parade, and many documentaries were also impacted by the copyright. The civil rights documentary “Eyes on the Prize” never made it to DVD because the royalties charge on a scene of Martin Luther King celebrating his birthday was so high.

Due to its age and popularity, many people have insisted “Happy Birthday” is, or at least should be, in the public domain. When Warner Music tried to charge filmmaker Jennifer Nelson royalties to make a film about the song, she filed a lawsuit. Her attorneys uncovered a 1922 songbook featuring “Happy Birthday” without any copyright notice. They even suggested Warner Music knowingly hid the songbook because it proved “Happy Birthday” had been in the public domain for decades. In 2015, a U.S. judge ruled that “Happy Birthday” is not under copyright. So, the next time you record guests singing “Happy Birthday” at a birthday party, you don’t have to worry about paying royalties if you upload it online.

For me, the most powerful points in the book have been the opportunities for reflection. The conclusion of every chapter includes questions for internal and external discussion. This, in turn, has helped me understand who I am as a parent and who I could become. It allows the reader to look inside his or her heart and use that truth to empower their children to seek strength through Christ. I know parents will find tremendous value in this book, and I recommend people in all stages of parenting consider picking up a copy. I hope you enjoy learning about shepherding your children to Christ

and becoming a better, more empowering parent as I have. You can learn more about this book on, purchase it from, or visit your local bookstore.

–Ethan Zimmerman


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