Parenting Tip #6 – Get Down on Their Level

Do you remember the joy of playing with an adult who loved being with you – one who would forget about personal dignity for a little while to act like a kid with you? This is was one of my father’s gifts to his children.

My favorite place to hide was under our dining table. I would squeeze between the chairs in the narrow space and duck under, tucking my toes under the hem of my skirt. As I watched my family’s legs go by, I slowed my breathing and fidgeting, feeling like quite the spy. I even decided to remain hidden until everyone left the area – so I could use the space again and again.

I got the surprise of my life one day when my father’s upside-down head appeared. He grabbed my ankle, growling like a bear, and after my initial fright we chased and laughed together. It didn’t bother me that my special place had been compromised. Dad was in my world!

grandma with kids. free duchessa.stockxchng

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8 ESV).

Though this verse talks about Jesus’ humility and obedience taking him to his death on the cross, and my father’s playfulness doesn’t relate much to dying, he did show us that he enjoyed putting aside his grown-up concerns for a while to be fully involved with his children. In fact, we never doubted that he treasured these times as well.

I’m thankful to my dad for showing me our heavenly Father like he did, paving the way for me to relate to God on my own.

And I must add, from my older adult perspective, the play times I’ve enjoyed with my children, foster children, grandchildren (and random children I have the privilege to engage) are still precious treasures to me, though I’m not able to convince them I’m the scary she-bear any longer.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Let Children Come to Jesus – Matthew 19:13-14

My mother says I came home and reported to her that I’d asked Jesus in my heart at an after-school program. With great reverence I said,

“I felt Jesus all over me.”

I love how children explain things that they haven’t tried to express before. In my child-like understanding I knew my life had changed.

A little can help a lot

used with permission. zumbari stockxchng
photo from zumbari .stockxchng

When my husband agreed to train with me to become foster parents, my commitment was to help children experience a home that might affect their lives forever.

I’ve known adults who were impacted by spending one week at summer camp. Certainly I could do the same for a child, though caring for children short-term was a different parenting paradigm than I was accustomed to. But if we would only foster one child, I knew helping the one would be worth it.

Do not hinder them from coming to Jesus

“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven'” (Matthew 19:13-14 ESV).

I think I wouldn’t know Jesus like I do if there hadn’t been children in my life. I’ve learned so much from their trust, vulnerability, joy, openness, transparency, dependence, and need to bond. It seems clear that’s what Jesus meant when he said the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these.

Prayer

Lord, I think that if you hadn’t made a point of welcoming children that day, I might not have benefited from the caring adult who invited me to your side. Thank you so much for people like her, and for making us all a part of your kingdom.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis