Fear is a powerful force that we all have to deal with.
Right now, we are all facing a different “normal” with social distancing, lock downs and quarantine. Many families are facing the reality of loss of jobs and figuring out what “distance learning” is. All of this, while our children watch.
As a parent, it is especially challenging when we begin to see our children struggling with the fear these circumstances may produce.
We want to push an “easy button” and turn off the fear, however, we can’t control our child’s thoughts, so we can’t control their fears.
We have to teach our kids to control their own thoughts of fear and that is anything but easy.
Here are three steps for helping kids deal with fear:
Turn Off The News
Be mindful of news reports on the radio and T.V. when your kids are around. It is important that we know what is happening, but you can find the news out many different ways. Your children don’t need to hear it too.
Change What You Think About
Fear is a product of what you are thinking about. Here is something inspiring that Fred Rogers said:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
Mr. Rogers is telling us to stop thinking about the bad things happening and think about the good people are doing. I know this is incredibly simplistic but it works and it is Biblical.
Philippians 4:8, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Have A Scripture Ready
I like to think of it this way. I need a quick sword to use when fear comes up unexpectedly. If I have one scripture that I can pull out and use, then I am armed and ready. By having a scripture handy it is also building my faith, where I am weak.
A good scripture for kids is, “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4 (KJV)
It’s not wrong to feel fear, but it is wrong to let fear control your decision-making.
Talk it out. Let your kids tell you what is bothering them. Kids need to know that you are not going to be shocked. When you take the time and allow them to voice their thoughts and put their fears into words it can actually bring things into perspective.
Remember – Be the calmest one in the room.