Baby Gates & Play Pens

When my husband and I were young and raising kids we lived in a 1000 sft home.  One would think with such a small house it would not be difficult to keep an eye on a handful of kids.  With three of our four boys aged 3 and under,  we made good use of things like Play pens (I think they call them Pack N Play’s now) and baby gates.   However, what we discovered was that even though the kids were small, they moved quickly and were soon out of sight and getting into things (or “Boy Adventures” as we liked to call them).  Even worse, when they disappeared from view suddenly it would get really quiet and it made finding them a bit challenging.  I feel like sometimes I found the messes they created before I ever found the kids themselves! LOL 

The play pen was effective in keeping my small boys in one spot while I washed a dish or two, or grabbed a load of laundry out of the dyer until one of them discovered that he could pile toys up on the inside and stand on them and go over the top of the wall.  The baby gate also worked great until another one discovered their little feet fit perfectly in the spaces and they could get over the top of it pretty fast – and they taught the other brothers how to do the same! BOYS!  I felt like just when I had them safe from harm, I needed to find anew plan because they outgrew it fast!

One night my husband and I were enjoying a peaceful moment after the kids had gone to bed and looked over to see one of my kiddos, in their footie pajamas, walking out of their room and over to sliding door.  It was way past their bedtime and so, having already checked on them to make sure they were sleeping soundly, I knew this was unusual behavior and so I asked my three year old what was going on.  He didn’t respond to me, but instead kept walking to the door and actually opened it and started to head outside.  We realized quickly that he was still sleeping and was not really aware of us talking to him and that he was heading into danger.  I got to him pretty fast, held his hand, and guided him back inside and to the comfort of his bed. 

Having a sleepwalking son was new and so we realized we needed to come up with a plan for his safety (and our sanity) quickly.  The following day we called a security company and had a security system installed with an alarm on all the doors in our home.  This way, if the sleepwalking occurred after my husband and I went to sleep, the alarm would sound and we could rescue him quickly before anything terrible happened. GREAT PLAN!

Eventually, my boys got a little older and we moved to Oregon City into a larger home with more space for kids play and roam, but also with more doors!  Because of the sleepwalking, we went ahead and had another security system installed in our new home as a safety precaution.  Whenever we had family gatherings or friends over, inevitably someone would notice the system and ask if we had problems with intrusions in the area or neighbors. I was quick to say that we had not had any problems, but the system was in place to keep our kids safe from the danger outside the safety of our home until they were wide awake and old enough to venture out alone.   Growing up my kids could not remember a time that we didn’t have a security system and so they never questioned its purpose or the need for one, they just knew it was there and for their good and the good of our family.

God has given us so many opportunities and choices in our lives that can provide the safety and support our families need.   We have the church, fellowship with other believers, and, most importantly, His Word. 

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

We have seen this verse, read this verse, and many of us have even memorized it!   My challenge to all of us as parents – and now grandparents – is to APPLY it to our children. 

When you raise up your kids with these things in place from the beginning, it becomes a part of their daily lives.  It is never a question of “are we going to church?”   They just know that each Sunday and Wednesday it is time to go to church and worship God.  Choosing to fellowship with other Christian families, going to Christian schools, praising and thanking the Lord daily —All of these things are the “security systems” our kids need in their lives.  They help to keep them safe from the enemy.

There are so many things are out there in this world that want to pull our kids away from the security found within the walls of our home, a parent’s love, God’s Word, and His Will.  They are only small for such a short time – play pens get outgrown, baby gates can eventually be stepped over….

Only a life with God can provide the security our children and families need.

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

II Thessalonians 3:3
Michelle Woster
Michelle Woster

Administrator of Grand View Christian Academy

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