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Lessons from Houdini

Lessons from Houdini

“Houdini’s out again!” Addi pointed out the window.

All the other children ran to see. “Yep,” said Jeff. “There she is!”

Houdini is our escape-artist, our chicken escape artist. She flies to the top of the small coop, jumps over to the fence rail, then flies to the ground. She never ventures far and the odd thing is that she never seems to mind going back into the chicken yard.

Houdini loves Bud, however, and the minute he comes out the back door, Houdini runs as fast as she can up the hill to the house and falls in step with him. In the beginning Bud had to take bread and create a crumb path back to the coops. But it didn’t take long for Houdini to follow Bud just about anywhere he is working in the yard.

Houdini is not unlike little children.

Children can’t wait to get out of whatever constrains them. If it is the playpen or crib, they want out. Riding in the car, the car seat is the last place they want to be. If there is a baby gate at the top of the stairs, climbing over it is not out of the question. Despite the fence around the school playground, it always looks like more fun to play on the other side.

But once children have “escaped” their boundaries, many times they want to be right back where they started. This is why the proverbial mandate of Proverbs 22:6 is so applicable. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Despite the displeasure of the children, or the chicken for that matter, when parents are diligent about leading children back to the correct behavior they learn to do the right thing. They also learn that sometimes having boundaries protects them and keeps them out of trouble.

So if you have a Houdini child at your house, take heart and stand strong. He or she needs you to keep taking him or her back to the right path and making him or her feel secure. As you continue to train your child to return to safety, the child will grow in wisdom and become more confident as he or she becomes more independent.

By: Linda Gilden has had plenty of “Houdini moments” with her children and grandchildren and is thankful for the opportunity of parenting through them.

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