GFK044: Mental and emotional health for your children through creating an orderly life (Christian parenting)
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HOSTS: Carey & Mindi Green
Transcript follows (not corrected)
The Importance of Being Organized
[0:45] I am Mindy Green. And I’m Terry and we are back with you again.
So I have a question to ask you parents.
How hard is it for you to be organized in your life? There’s a lot of different areas that you could be organized in.
Maybe some areas you’re more organized, other areas you’re not at all.
Yeah, I know a lot of people who are able to be organized at work, but not at home.
Yeah. And I just wonder, have you thought that being organized is very important?
Have you ever thought, is it very needed?
Well, we want to talk to you about the importance of being organized and running an organized home and leading an organized home with your children.
Our Heavenly Father is an organized God. In the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 14, when Paul’s dealing with some issues within the Corinthian church where things were a little disorderly, he gives them some instructions, practical things for how worship should happen when they gather together.
And at the tail end of that, he says, for God is not a God of disorder, but of peace.
And so, his whole argument is built on the fact that God is orderly.
[1:58] And so, his people should be doing things in an orderly way.
Creating a Daily Routine for Children
[2:01] And I love how it brings up peace.
Because I think if we are honest with ourselves, that when we are orderly, we do feel a sense of peace. Absolutely. would guess that every parent out there listening wants their children to be at peace.
[2:19] I mean, I want to be at peace. When I’m not feeling at peace, I’ve got to figure out why and fix it.
Yeah. And just imagine, and some of us don’t have to imagine very hard, how we would feel if our child is always struggling with anxiety, or always struggling with fears, or always struggling with just a sense of being out of control in their life, and everything’s scattered. Our heart goes out to them, and we really are hurt for them. Well, we want to talk to you today about some of of the basic things we can do as parents to help our children develop an orderly life, and out of those things flow things like peace and mental health and emotional health from the core from the inside out simply because we’ve put schedules and organization in place.
And this is very important because we’re hearing a lot about mental illnesses, panic attacks, Unhealthy emotional state with children. It really is sad that at young ages, Children in school are having panic attacks and it’s almost just a common thing like oh, I think I’m coming down with a cold it’s oh the last night I had a panic attack and.
[3:30] It’s too common and we believe that some of the things that we’re going to be talking about has a lot to do with why our culture is more mentally and emotionally unstable. Yeah, we basically have chopped this down into six different areas that we want to address. Surely there are more, maybe there’s less depending on the context. But first we just want to talk about daily routine. Just the basics of a daily routine. And parents I want to remind you that you need to have a daily routine so that you can be that example to your children and so that you can help your children with their daily routine. And so So when we say daily routine, what do you have in mind when you say that phrase?
[4:11] That I have the main things I need to get done organized and planned.
For me, I would write it down on my day timer years back.
Now I have it on my phone, on my calendar on my phone, so that the things that were most important would get accomplished.
When I got those things accomplished, it felt good. I felt at peace.
So when we started having children, Carrie and I sat down and planned out what their daily routine should be.
Yeah, and I remember this even when our kids were toddlers, planning, okay, they’re going to wake up at this time, they’re going to have their naps at these times in the day, they’re going to have playtime for this stretch of the day, they’re going to have meals at these times.
I mean, it sounds very rudimentary, but that kind of a predictable schedule sets your child up for a sense of confidence in life. It may sound funny to say that, but as they learn Learn to manage their day in a systematized and in-control manner.
[5:17] They learn that they are the steward over their own life God has given them the power and the ability to, organize things and accomplish things and do things and confidence flows out of that and Assertiveness flows out of all kinds of things flow out of that right just like the universe flourishes Because of his order the Sun rises and sets this same way every day way, so that helps the plants to grow.
The world flourishes because of the order that God set up.
So if you parents can think of it like this, that the foundation of order that you have in your life is going to help you to flourish as the person that God has intended you to be, you leading your kids in this is going to help them to flourish to be the people God wants them to be.
It’s really kind of amazing how, I think we’ve heard the phrase, we’re creatures of habit.
[6:10] Really saying we’re creatures of order. I laugh at our dog who, it’s amazing how she knows, our routine. She already knows her mealtimes, but she knows that at a certain time that, Carrie and I are going to say it’s time to go on a walk. And if we’re not doing it at that time, because something different happened, she’s just sitting there staring at us.
[6:34] She’s not resting on the bed. She’s staring at us because she knows. But after we’ve gone on on a walk, what does she do? She lays on the bed for three, four hours until lunchtime or dinnertime.
So order brings a sense of security and a mental and emotional peace.
Yeah, and I think this is needful to say, every person, by the way they’re wired, your children being no exception, are going to handle this differently and are gonna have different either strengths or struggles in regard to a daily schedule.
Some children will find it so comforting and so appealing and it gives them such security that they become control freaks and their personalities kind of bent that way.
And if everything’s in order, they’re happy. And if things get out of order, they just can’t stand it. They freak out.
Well, you as a parent have to learn how to disciple them through that.
But the basics of having an orderly routine are not the problem.
It’s how the child is learning to handle the out of order things when they come up because life is messy sometimes.
And the child who’s more free spirited, maybe learning to have an orderly lived life is gonna bring them balance and help them to flourish even more so.
So let’s talk about some of the practical things that would be helpful to put in your child’s daily routine.
[7:56] Well, first and foremost, what’s highest priority on our list is having time with the Lord.
So that’s one of the things that we would schedule for our children would be to have quiet time.
And think about this, parents, on the same order as every morning they’re going to brush their teeth. It’s part of a routine that you want to build into your children’s life from the time they’re very young, so that this doesn’t become some dreaded obligatory thing. And a few episodes ago, we talked with her daughter Faith about how she handled that as she got older. But as you can see, it can develop this comfort and familiarity with the fact that I have conversations with the Lord every day. I read his word every day. I’m gaining wisdom every day. That really builds.
[8:41] A solid foundation in life.
Miriam That’s so good. And remind our children why quiet time is important. Tell them why you have it and tell them why you want them to develop that habit. When they’re little, you can have it with them. You can make it five minutes, two minutes long. When they get a little bit older, you help them to know how to do it at that level. You can do it with them a few times. And when they get teenage years, you can maybe help them find a deeper study that they can go through and maybe do it with them a couple times so they know. So all along the way, you’re training your children in and how to do relationship with God.
And it’s a beautiful thing, as your children learn, and before you know it, they’re gonna be doing it on their own.
Yeah, and in all those phases, you’re touching base with them along the way, just like you would about them brushing their teeth.
Did you brush your teeth before bed? You’re not gonna be nagging about it, but you’re gonna be checking in.
You’re gonna be seeing if they’re hitting any roadblocks, seeing if they’re having any struggles of, well, yeah, I read it, but I don’t really know what to do with it.
You need to investigate and find those things so you can help them through those processes.
[9:50] Another thing in a daily routine or a weekly routine for your children would be household jobs, Assigning jobs to them when they’re young it just you make it simple As they get older you add more and the reason for this is so that they can learn how to, Keep cleanliness in their surroundings, you know the responsibility of cleaning up their room, Cleaning their bathroom putting things away around the house house, doing dishes, trash, whatever, that’s for their good and for the order of the home.
And what do you know, when those things are done and the home is in order and clean and things are done, it is a peaceful, joyful environment for everybody.
Yeah, we actually physically feel a sense of peace and ease when our surroundings are not cluttered.
There’s psychological studies that show this to be a fact.
Teaching Discipline and Order in Daily Routines
[10:46] So when we’re teaching our children, even from a very young age, okay, it’s almost bedtime, time to pick up the toys and we sing the clean up, clean up song or whatever we used to sing, you know, and we make it fun and we get the kids involved and we, we have everybody pitching in and if someone’s moody and doesn’t want to pitch in, well, there may be a disciplinary situation you have to deal with, but you’re requiring this because it’s good for them, And it’s healthy for them to develop the discipline to keep their environment orderly.
Yes. It’s so it’s developing not only desires for them, but it’s kind of a brain training.
Their brain gets used to order and cleanliness.
And we’ve just talked about cleanliness in terms of keeping the environment orderly, but there’s all kinds of other household jobs, you know, feeding the dog, doing yard work.
[11:40] Helping dad out in the garage with something, you know, there’s all kinds of things that might come into life depending on the child’s age and the things that are going on in your life.
But the point behind them all is that you’re teaching your children how to maintain order, how to establish order.
Sometimes it’s helping them develop a schedule for something that is their responsibility and helping them walk that through and know how to actually do that in a practical way.
Yeah, that’s very good. And another part of this is the mom and dad taking advantage of teaching their children different skills, teaching them hard work.
It's amazing how many things in our lives can cause a scattered or stressed attitude to hover under the surface, when this one, simple thing - wisely applied by godly parents - can set our kids up for health and happiness long-term.
Teaching Hard Work and Skill Development
[12:15] The mom teaching her daughters how to bake and cook in the kitchen.
Even her sons, her sons need to know that too.
Yeah. Don’t want to be like me when you go to college and all you know how to make is macaroni.
Yeah. Or ramen noodles. Yeah, ramen noodles.
Hey, both of those are pasta.
[12:31] There’s a theme there. Or the dad asking the son, let’s work on a project this weekend. I need your help in the garage. You’re teaching your children hard work.
It’s rewarding. It’s a good thing. And so many of our young kids in this day and age haven’t learned that. And a lot of it is because I’m afraid to say that parents haven’t felt like they could enforce their children to learn these things. But we just want to encourage you parents, this is your right, this is your role, this is how you best love your children by teaching them these things to learn and to have as a part of their life. That’s right. And don’t underestimate your children, especially at a young age. Don’t make excuses for them that they, oh, they’re not going to be able to do that or they can’t.
It. Don’t shortchange your kids. They can and will accomplish lots of things that you teach them how to do. Obviously you don’t want to teach them how to mow the lawn when they’re three years old. There’s danger. There’s all kinds of wisdom needed for that, but you can do age appropriate things and get them going on organizational habits.
[13:47] Yes. And another important thing when your children are in school age, you need to schedule homework time for them. I think it’s very good to be able to let your child have some down time when they get home from school.
Not having to get right to their homework, but give them a little bit of downtime in whatever you feel is best in that way.
Maybe talking with them and reviewing the day. A little bit of a snack.
Yeah, and just encouraging them about the day, helping them talk through things that might’ve happened with friends.
And then have a time for homework and enforce it for them to finish their homework, to get done what they need to get done. You be ready to help them.
That’s important, because so many times, that’s where kids fall short in being responsible.
It’s because they don’t have a planned time when they get home.
They have good intentions of getting their homework done, but they’re tired, they want to watch this show, they want to play video games, a friend call, they’d rather hang out with them.
But when you have things set in place, as far as what their routine is, then your child can say to their friend, let me finish my homework, then I’ll come and hang out with you.
[15:04] That brings order to their life. And in the long run, they’re going to be peaceful and happy because they’re getting good grades. They’re not feeling guilty about not getting things done, but they still had a good time with their friend, but they kept it within the bounds of their schedule. Yeah, or they don’t have this, what I would call psychic stress going on in their minds all the time because they know they have something they have to do.
[15:29] It’s in the back of their mind somewhere, but there’s no plan for how it’s going to get done.
And so just that, that weight of responsibility is on them all the time. And we want to set our kids up for success in these areas. We want to help them get organized. I remember when I was a kid, it’s just dawning on me as you’re talking, we had a rule. You can’t go out with friends on school nights. You can’t go to birthday parties on school nights, you know, and I understand now Now, why that was, that was homework time there.
My parents are setting us up to have the space to get our schoolwork done, so that we would be not only able to get it done, but then to be fresh in the morning for school again.
[16:06] That was a good routine your parents did. So the things that we talked about in a schedule routine for your kids is quiet time, household jobs, scheduling homework, planning out projects, special projects to teach your children. And so there’s another thing, another area that we think is important that you plan out for your children.
And it’s actually biblical. Yes.
It is biblical. It’s something that people don’t normally think to schedule, and that is scheduling play time and or rest time, meaning just free time.
Our kids loved this. They’re like, yay, I’m done with my jobs.
I’m done with my schoolwork. I’m free to do whatever.
They would have TV time. They would play with toys.
And when I say TV time, that was another thing we scheduled.
We allowed them to have a certain amount of TV time or video game time that we determined was healthy so that their playtime wasn’t always in front of the screen, because we, knew that wasn’t healthy.
So that was another part of their routine, which kept them balanced.
So it’s important, parents, for you to plan playtime for your kids.
[17:29] They need to know that this has got to be a part of life. It’s part of what balances them out.
There is a proverb that says, hope deferred makes the heart sick.
So in other words, if there’s something you’re hoping, hoping, hoping you’re going to get to do, but it never happens, you’re going to get discouraged.
You’re going to get down.
What Mindy’s talking about is planning that playtime, planning it so they know when you’re done with your homework, then you have your free time. That’s a motivation.
It’s a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, the dark homework tunnel, you know.
Or the job tunnel or whatever. One way that we planned this is that we gave our children a day off.
Six days they had their routine, they had their jobs that we expected them to do in an orderly fashion.
The seventh day it was off. They were free from everything, except they did have a lot of the amount of screen time.
We didn’t want them to watch screen all day or do video games all day.
And this may sound familiar, and it should sound familiar if you spend any time in the scripture, but this is the principle of Sabbath.
And it’s very interesting. I grew up in a church tradition where anytime Sabbath was talked about, it was talked about as a day of worship.
[18:51] And Mindy and I, at a certain point in our lives, were introduced to the Sabbath in a different way.
And me being a Bible teacher, I was skeptical that the way it was being introduced to us was really biblical. So I went and I did this study of every time in the Bible that Sabbath was mentioned.
And what the guy was telling us was absolutely true. That Sabbath, when it’s mentioned in the Old Testament is always mentioned in a context of rest, and only once out of about 45 times is worship even a part of the context. And the reason I’m making that distinction is not because worship’s a bad thing and we shouldn’t worship on the Sabbath, but it’s because if we’re thinking of it as, okay, this is my day of worship, that can become another obligatory thing in our hearts and in our minds. It can become another thing that we feel is a responsibility we’ve got to put in the schedule just like everything else. When the point of God giving us the Sabbath, is that we as human beings get to rest because we need to rest. Our bodies need it, our minds need it, our emotions need it. We need that day to decompress from the responsibilities and pressures of life. And God being good has wired that into his system.
[20:07] And he’s such an awesome, perfect God, he knows what we need.
And so think about this, parents.
If your children are living an orderly life, getting their jobs done, even having their times with the Lord, they’re starting to feel good because the things that they’re accomplishing and getting done, and then they got a day off, or they’ve got a half a day off, however you’re able to plan it out.
You’re going to start seeing balance in your child’s life, and they’re going to start feeling peaceful, joyful, they’re emotionally going to be more stable, mentally they’re going to be healthy.
This simple practical planning of your child’s life brings healthy mental and emotional children.
The Dangers of Overloading and Lack of Rest
[20:55] And I think that’s very well said. And a way that I’ve come to think of this is if you were to take a rubber band and stretch it to its fullest length and leave it there, it’s going to become taut in a way that is going to eventually lose its elasticity. And you take it off of there and it’s not going to go back down. It’s going to stay all stretched out and it’s going to stay all out, out of shape, so to speak.
Well, that can happen to the human soul if we just heap responsibility and cram things into schedules and don’t ever allow for rest.
We don’t compartmentalize things in ways that we know they can actually get accomplished.
Our very being can become stretched beyond recognition to where things like panic attacks and mental disorders and emotional unhealth are the common thing rather than the exception.
And we don’t want that for you.
[21:50] We don’t want that for your children. And more importantly, God doesn’t want that for you.
He wants your family to be following the example that he has set for us, that he is a God of order.
And go back to the passage, even in the context of worship, he wanted order because he knew it was best for the worshipers to be orderly in the way they were going about things.
The Purposeful Orderliness God Wants for Our Lives
[22:15] I just had a thought that as we read the Bible, we discover how purposeful God is.
Being a God of order shows that He has purpose. He sets things up in an orderly way for certain reasons. The same for us, we need to be purposeful in our life. The example Kerry talked about with the rubber band being stretched, that is one way we could go in our lives and not having order, it would cause us to snap.
Another way we could go in our lives is being completely lazy and just floating through life and just whatever happens, whatever. I’m just going to get up and do this and then this and, whatever I feel like I need. And if we’re allowing our children just to do whatever.
[23:02] And we’re thinking to ourselves, I’m going to let them learn responsibility through consequences that they naturally will receive and let them just decide what they want to do and when they want to do it. You’re actually allowing your child to grow into kind of a lazy, slobby floater. That is dangerous because in that mindset, they’re not being purposeful either. Their mind is not being trained to be purposeful, to be orderly. Just like the other person that Carrie described who is just It’s flooded with tons of to-dos and responsibilities, but they’re not orderly and it’s not balanced.
Do you see how you could go both ways and that the same problems in your mind and your emotions still happen?
Yeah, because as you said before, we are creatures of habit.
[23:59] And if you develop habits toward the lazy side, you’re going to have the struggles that lazy people have.
All you have to do is read the Proverbs and pay attention to the verses that talk about the lazy man or the slothful person and all these terrible consequences that come into their life.
We don’t want our kids to be that, but at the same time, we don’t want our kids to be, these driven, stressed, panicked people because they just have so much on their plate.
We want to teach them balance, and we do that through teaching them how to create an orderliness to their life.
Just like God has ordered the solar system, that was a great example, by the way, we need to teach our children how to order their lives as good stewards of the life God has given them. Very well said.
Dear Lord, thank You for being our greatest example of living orderly lives and being purposeful. Thank You for being our peace and our emotional stability and mental stability, just in Your example.
And I ask that You will give Your wisdom and discernment to these parents listening to be able to bring more order into their own routine, and to give them wisdom and discernment in how to help their children be more orderly, just in their daily routines and with all the different responsibilities their children might have with school and sports and outside activities. Whatever it is, I just ask that You will give them wisdom in how to order their lives so, that their children can be more peaceful in their emotions and in their thinking, Lord. And I just ask, Lord, that You will have this not be a fearful project that the parents, attempt, but that You will give them Your confidence and Your promise of Your faithfulness to lead and guide them in this. in Jesus’ name.