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Playground Parenting

While visiting our adult children in the States this summer, I took my two-year-old, Anna, to the playground for some run-around time. I found someone there I wasn’t expecting.

A young mother was already there with her two children––a girl (about 8) and a boy (about 3). For the hour we were at the playground, I never heard a harsh word from her. She never belittled her kids; she was only kind and encouraging. She offered to push her daughter on the swing. When her little son got nervous about climbing to the top of the play structure, she asked if he wanted her to help her; she didn’t wait for him to panic. She joined in the children’s pretend game when they wanted to ride the bear figure. She helped them find a stick so they could run it across the bars to make “music.playground” It was a hot morning, and the mother made sure the kids had something to drink frequently. She had also brought some raspberries as a snack. I could tell the kids were content and happy, secure, and respectful to their mother and each other. I could go on…..

I was simply brought to tears by her godly and exemplary behavior. Did she know how affected I was? Did she know that she pointed me to the best Parent there is? Probably not, but she did it anyway. I realized afresh that my own behavior in public, with or without children, sends a message. I want to be full of grace and compassion so that others will see the Father in me.

It’s no surprise seeing other parents and their children at a playground, but I didn’t expect to find my Father there. It was so good seeing Him!


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