When Kids Rule the Roost

Yesterday, we accompanied an inspector to our new home and embarked upon a four-hour look-in-every-nook-and-cranny investigation to ensure the building is sound and that everything works the way it’s supposed to work. The house passed with flying colors and we are happy.

Although it felt kind of weird to be snooping around in a home that another family still occupies, we were respectful of their space as we did what needed to be done while trying to imagine what it would look like with our own stuff there. I took lots of pictures. And now I have six weeks to think about it.

But it is interesting what you can glean about a family’s priorities and lifestyle by spending a few hours in their home. Here’s what I observed:

1. This family has four large flat-screen TVs, each connected to its own DVD player and to the satellite dish outside. Okay, so they like to watch TV in nearly every room of the house.

2. Someone has a large Hardy Boys book collection, which they obviously still read. There was one on the edge of the bathtub.

3. They are techie geeks like me – 3 running computers in the office.

4. They don’t like to cook. The pantry was full of easy-to-prepare packaged stuff. Plus, the oven was pretty clean – a tell-tale sign.

5. They have a cat, as evidenced by two scratching posts. The cat also likes to perch on the TOP of the kitchen cabinets. I would have never thought of that until I noticed some stray cat hairs hanging over the edge up there. Dear Husband got up on the counter to look and confirmed my suspicions. Paw prints. Ew. Not a cat lover. Nope, not at all.

There are more details I could share, but the one that drew my attention immediately was how this couple’s three-year-old son rules the roost.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a home that is as kid-proofed as this one. Child safety locks on every single cupboard, closet door and cabinet. Rubber bumper glued around edge of the hearth on the stone fireplace (not sure how we’re going to get that off). All electrical outlets were covered. Nothing at all breakable within reach of little hands. All good things, in and of themselves. But collectively, it would appear that the child might be having the run of the house with minimal parental guidance.

This little boy is also not lacking for playthings in any way. Nearly every room had a multitude of toys – we detected a strong Sesame Street theme – and almost the entire basement was a dedicated play space. We had to pick our way through the toys strewn over 1,000 square feet of floor. What can one kid possibly do with all that stuff?

Call me judgmental if you want. I’m just telling like I see it.

That child is ruling the roost.

I have no doubt that these parents love their son. They are showering him with every imaginable toy, convenience, and safety measure. But along with all of that, I really, really hope they are teaching him responsibility (yes, a three-year-old can learn), respect for his things and the property of others, and that he won’t get everything he wants. I hope his parents are teaching him how to properly respond to their instruction, to obey them when they speak, and to honor those in authority.

Above all, I pray that these parents are teaching their child to love the Lord. I didn’t see any indication that this was a Christian home, but I pray that if the parents are not following Jesus, they will connect with people who are. Soon.

Parenting is hard. I know this, believe me. We raised four children – all adults now – and the parenting hasn’t stopped. I imagine it never will. Our constant reliance on God and His Word has seen us through the bumps and valleys and dry places, and He has been there with us in the midst of joy and celebrations and laughter.

I don’t know how parents can do it without Him.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)


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Filed under Blogging, Family, God, Kids, Life, Writing

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