Today on my Life and Spirituality blog I shared a bit about why balance was important. Like balance rest times are really important too. I know that many parents panic about having their kids home all summer and not doing anything, but the truth is that kids, and us adults too, need down time. Is it bad to be couped up in the house all day all summer? Yes, the kids do need to get out occasionally and do stuff, but being scheduled from wake up to bed time isn’t what summer is all about. So let’s start with the going out and then we’ll get to the staying in.
Summer is a great time, with the relaxed schedules and less responsibilities for kids, to check out some really cool scientific, historical, literary or cultural locations, activities and things near you and near wherever you go for vacation. For me personally I loved the historical and cultural detours we took on family vacations as a kid. The theme parks were cool too, but I always looked forward to seeing the strange, the different and the past fit right in with modern life. Yes, your kids will want to do the “cool” stuff and may complain when you suggest the other stuff, but seeing that history and culture first hand can make a big impact on their future.
But when it comes to rest we’ve gotten so good at going that we forget to stop. It used to be easier when we didn’t have electricity to get up and go to bed with the sun, but that doesn’t really work anymore for most of us. And with the internet we’re able to get things done anywhere at any time practically. So since we don’t have an automatic off switch anymore, we have to be extra conscientious about stopping and taking time to rest. Yes, our bodies and minds have adapted over the years to how busy we are and how much going we do, but that doesn’t take into account the need that our bodies and souls have for rest.
So this summer I encourage you and your family to take time to rest. Don’t plan out every minute of every day, don’t plan things for every weekend, but take time to rest, relax and be together as a family.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” John Lubbock