Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Good Mom

I haven't told this story, and since there isn't much happening during the Zombie Apocalypse, I'm glad I forgot to use it.

A few months ago, at Meijer Gardens, I saw a joyful expression of parenting.

I see lots of parents reproaching their children, or controlling them to an extreme degree. It's hard for parents of younger children, in particular, to understand that it's very important to give children structure, but not controlling them inside that structure. So you give them boundaries, but inside those boundaries, they have free reign. They need it, to develop their own sense of both freedom and responsibility.

I don't see many parents doing this well, and it's discouraging.

So I was walking out of the Gardens one day, and there were was a mom up ahead with two children. They were both preschool age, but walking fine on their own, so they were probably three or four. One of her children was a girl, and she stopped walking beside her mother and started crying because she didn't want to leave. The cry turned into a wail, and the mother didn't stop for her, because her other child (a son) was walking ahead.

A difficult situation.

After a few more seconds, the mom started walking back to the daughter. In a single motion, she swept her up and put her under her arm, then walked forward while carrying her. She didn't yell at her, or get angry, and had a lovely smile on her face the entire time.

After a few seconds, the girl started to laugh. The mom, laughing, said 'What was THAT?" and the little girl laughed harder.

That was a situation that could have gone terribly wrong, and this mom defused everything with an enormous amount of grace. And I'm sure her children will grow up with grace, because she shows it to them.

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