Fear is something all humans face. From the time we’re babies, there are things that scare us—real or imagined. For children, fright can be an overwhelming emotion! It’s hard to be courageous when our knees are trembling!
During the elementary years, anxieties turn from imaginary circumstances (such as scary monsters under our beds) to more internal concerns. Thoughts about rejection from friends become predominant. Many children are involved in team sports or other highly competitive activities, where their self-esteem may drop if they don’t feel accepted. Whether or not the concern is real, believing that everyone is against them is a paralyzing emotion.
Teaching Tips for Tough Times:
Pray Together – Pray aloud with your child about the concerns and fears he’s experiencing. This helps your child know you take his thoughts and emotions seriously, and that you trust in God to help him. Remember, right now you’re the greatest person of influence in your child’s life. Modeling prayer for him will go a long way!
Talk Together – Conversation with your children is something that will never be wasted! These precious early years of their lives are the foundational time of building life-long relationships with them. Take advantage of the brief moments you have together to get in touch with your children’s feelings about the events going on in their daily activities. Share with them about times in your own life when it’s been difficult to be courageous, and how you learned to trust in God to help you.
Read Together – Take time to read a few key Bible verses and biblical stories with your child about those who also faced fearful situations. Moses and Daniel are a few men in the Old Testament who faced fearful situations, but stood boldly with God’s help! The Bible is full of encouragement to children about God’s faithfulness to comfort us in our times of need. One Bible verse that is easy and helpful for children to remember is, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3).
Remind your children that regardless of where they are, or the circumstances they encounter, God is always with them. They can trust Him to be their protector in every situation.
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