Help Your Kids Rest

Help Your Kids Find Rest 

We are all busy.  The schedule that we keep today is ridiculous.  I’m sure there are some families out there who just casually move through their days and weeks at a very relaxing pace while stopping for a few seconds to sip their freshly squeezed lemonade.  But, I don’t know any of them!

Most young families are non-stop, especially during the school year.  They are doing really good things with really great intentions, but often stressed, anxious, and lifeless by the end of the day.  Even the time in the car is consumed by the radio, phone conversations, videos, and electronic games.  What are we doing???

A few years ago Tim Kimmel wrote a book entitled Little House on the Freeway.  I believe the title of his book captures the culture of the majority of families with young kids.  We are a hurried society.  But, many families don’t even know what they are chasing.

In Tim’s book, he reminds parents that we need to help our kids find times of rest.  This is something we all need.  He gives a few suggestions for helping your kids disconnect from the pace brought on by school, homework, sports, electronics, clubs, and even church. Here are a few thoughts from the book.

We need to help our kids rest physically.  Their bodies are their responsibility, but as a parent they may need a few reminders.  Teach them how God has designed their bodies to recuperate by getting proper rest.  They need sleep.  Getting enough sleep is so important.  They need to be reminded that a proper diet renews their bodies, gives them energy to do fun things, and it promotes good mental health.

We must encourage our kids to put down the electronics and allow their minds to be renewed.  They need mental rest.  Time to dream, plan, think, and interact with the family.  Creativity is heightened when a child is allowed to renew their mind.

We also must help our children to build new relationships and deepen the ones they have.  They need emotional rest.  We are social creatures.  To allow kids time to just make new friends and play with others should be high on a parents priority list.  Un-structured, creative play has incredible emotional benefits.

And lastly, children need to learn how to rest in the Spirit.  God is in control and the Holy Spirit is at work all around them.  Teach you child that they can go to God about any subject.  Help them learn that God invites us to rest in Him.  Set the example for your kids by living in such a way that they see you totally relying on God and His Word.  God can be trusted.  Relax, Gods got “this.”  Whatever “this” is.  Maybe you are like me, in that, my example of “resting in the Lord” has been somewhat skewed because I’m still trying to learn how to do this myself.  Even though this has been a constant challenge for me I must continue my quest in trusting God fully.  I encourage you to do the same.

So, let’s teach our kids to rest.  A rejuvenated spirit will follow and the benefits will be bountiful.  Don’t let business, productivity, or the temptation to “keep up with the Joneses” keep you from the quality of family life that’s waiting.

Check these out… Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 37:7, Psalm 62:5, I Peter 5:7

Ric Callahan

Pastor of Families, Westwood Baptist Church, Alabaster, AL