Teaching Children To Wait By Learning To Wait Ourselves


Waiting with kids in a waiting room is nerve racking.  Every silly bone comes alive in them and their ears turn off.  Chairs become diving boards, coffee tables become trampolines, and magazines turn into airplanes.  Out of boredom they make farting noises and fall out on the floor belly laughing.  

And there are times that waiting turns kids into whining crickets or angry sharks. 

Waiting rooms with two extraverted kids makes my head spin with frustration.  I bribe them to be quiet, I threaten them to sit still, and I quietly growl you are making me so mad.   I’m ready to scream by the time the waiting is over.   And honestly sometimes I do.

Why can’t they just be still for a few minutes?  Why can’t they just be content with the activities I bring for them to do while we are waiting?   Why don’t they just enjoy being in the moment and respecting those around them?  Why don’t they just be thankful and patient?

I take these questions to the Lord and I revert to a wailing baby, kicking and screaming.  Why God don’t they just listen to me? 

Every time God gently reminds me to be still and His presence calms me down.    

What is it about God’s presence that causes us to rest in Him?

As I contemplate this question, it occurs to me that I am no different than my children when it comes to waiting.  I don’t jump on chairs in waiting rooms, but I become a complainer.  My introverted self turns to the jungle gym inside of me and I do cartwheels.   I spin around doubt and my anger turns into depression. 

We need to learn how to wait patiently. 

No one likes to wait because our sinful nature wants what it doesn’t have.  We focus so much on what we want that we overlook what we have.  We turn into grumpy grizzly bears instead of sing songs of praises like tiny finches do on the branches outside of our windows. 

What would our days look like if we sang songs of praises with our kids while we wait?   

What if we made lists of the things we are thankful for while we are in the waiting room with our kids?

I feel like I am in chains when I dwell in want. 

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying.  They were also singing hymns to God.  The other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was a powerful earthquake.  It shook the prison from top to bottom.  All at once the prison doors flew open.  Everyone’s chains came loose.  Acts 16 : 25 and 26

My kids and I have been discussing the scripture in our Bible time together. 

We made a jail out of chairs and sheets.  We wrapped toilet paper around our bodies as a way to represent that we were in chains.  We played a game with music.  When I turned on worship music they praised God and when they least expected it I banged pots and pans together to represent an earthquake.    

The kids loved this. They tore down the jail and broke out of their chains when I banged the pans.  

There is a lesson in all of this for us moms.  Let’s start by showing our kids that we can handle waiting in waiting rooms with them.

We teach our kids how to wait.  How we react and respond in waiting rooms with our kids does matter.  We can either show patience or be grumpy.  

It’s wise to have a bag of fun when we are with our kids in waiting.   Pack Bible stories, bring paper and pencils for them to color pictures of the things they are thankful for.  Encourage them to write a letter of thankfulness.  My seven year old son likes to write letters to God.

What are some things you can think of to pack for your kids while you are all waiting in the waiting room?  Please share in comment section.  

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4 thoughts on “Teaching Children To Wait By Learning To Wait Ourselves

  1. Careful there, Lisa… you’ll give me flashbacks! All kidding aside, this is a thoughtful post indeed. It made me think about how difficult any kind of waiting can be. Being out of control seems to trigger all kinds of junk that I need to take to the cross. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patience comes for me when I exhale and look at them for a split second longer and ask them a silly question. Make up a rabbit trail silly story, one kid after another (adults too). Busy bags, pen and paper, and eye spy. Love your jail story! Those are the best days and the best learning.

    Liked by 2 people

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