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Rest: Model it, Teach it

When I first started learning about what rest really is, I was pretty desperate. My husband and I had an infant and a toddler of our own, I had a part-time job, and every other weekend we lived with twelve disadvantaged boys, helping them do their chores and homework, cooking for them and getting them to their activities. I thought if I just maintained my 8 hours of sleep every night, I was doing pretty well taking care of myself. But I was still losing my temper with those I loved most, turning to comfort food more than the Comforter, filling my calendar with running here, there and everywhere, and generally feeling the need to be all things to all people at all times. In truth, I wasn’t doing any of it well. My ADHD symptoms were out of control - I was forgetting appointments, leaving a trail of clutter in my wake, unable to make decisions, and my emotions were ruling me. I knew something needed to change, but when did I really have time to take care of myself?

Maybe you can relate. Rest requires so much more than sleep, but it’s countercultural to take time for it. We are taught to be constantly on the move. Most people even admit to needing a vacation from their vacations, because they haven’t actually rested. The truth is, we have to make an unpopular decision to sacrifice some important things for this one essential thing - taking care of ourselves. Sometimes, as a mom, the best motivator for me is thinking about what’s best for my kids, so I ask you, if you have kids with ADHD, how are they going to learn to rest well unless you model it yourself and train them to do it as well? This was the deciding factor for me.

So, if you’re ready, let’s put it all together. Here are all the Steps Towards Flourishing covered in our study of rest for the month of November:

  1. Download the guided study (here’s the link), make a copy or print it and take time to complete it.

  2. Incorporate Sabbath rest each week. Close your eyes and picture yourself engaged in an activity which brings you closer to God. Where are you and what are you doing? How can you replicate those circumstances?

  3. Take Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith’s rest quiz here to find out your rest deficits as well as some strategies for getting more rest in these areas.

  4. Decide on 2-3 ways you want to regularly incorporate rest and set SMART goals. Schedule time on your calendar for these goals and make reminders for yourself to begin to create rhythms of rest.

As you begin to get in the habit of resting well, your kids will take notice. You can adapt each of these steps for them, depending on their maturity level. Here are some tips for teaching rhythms of rest to your children:

  1. Read the verses (Matthew 6:30-34, I Peter 5:6-7, and Romans 12:1-2) together every night for a week and talk about what they mean. Ask your kids some of the questions in the guided study.

  2. Set aside a few hours on Saturday or Sunday for family Sabbath rest. Write down what each person identifies as an activity that will help them grow closer to God and work together to make it as restful as possible.

  3. Talk about the seven types of rest with your kids and as a family discuss which types you think each person can work towards improving and how. Set 1 SMART goal for each person and keep each other accountable to that SMART goal.

If you’re like me, you’ll read this and have every intention of doing these things, but life will get in the way. Today is the last day to register for my live rest workshop where I’ll be walking you through these steps while we practice rest. But, I’m also going to be creating a course for you and it will be free for a limited time. Keep your eyes on your email and the Facebook group for more information about that.

Need more help? Book a free Discovery Session here to find out how my Flourishing Home Framework can help your family flourish. Subscribe here to get your free guide “Ultimate ADHD Resource List”.

The content found on Flourishing Family Coaching’s website and blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding ADHD, anxiety, depression or any other medical conditions. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.

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