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Support and tips for parents of elementary school aged children

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20
Part 2 of Walking Your Child Through Fear
June 20, 2018

Recurring bad dreams, stomachaches before school, anxiety before a new event, and fear of the uncontrollable are some of the fears our kids are facing. Even if their fear seems unreasonable to us, your kids' fear is all too real for them. So, instead of glossing over their fear, or telling them, “Just don’t worry about it,” we're discussing the best way to walk your child through fear, anxiety, and worry.

The best way to deal with fear is to overcome it. Although there is such a thing as healthy fear, 2 Timothy 1:7 clearly tells us God has not given us a spirit of fear. Instead of telling kids, don't be afraid, try some of these tools to help them overcome their fears:

  1. Acknowledge the fear. Even if their fear seems silly to you, it’s real to them.
  2. Respond with confidence. Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7. Say it over and over again until you and your child believe it. Children sense anxiety, so if you know they’re feeding off your fears, get yours in check first.
  3. Direct their thinking. Help them replace scary thoughts with new ones. Help them figure out what to think about to help switch their focus. Help a bad dream pass by reminding them of a great vacation memory or some upcoming fun thing.
  4. Be present. If they're worried about some upcoming event, help them be prepared for it. Be calm and honest. Don't give them more information than they need. Assure them that they are safe and that you're there to help them, that you will get through this together. Even if you can't be there, you can assure them that God is always with them and that God loves them. Tell them you will pray for them before or during the upcoming event. Follow through with any promises you make.

A child's sense of safety is developed through structure. Be sure to maintain some routines for your family. Make sure it includes down time for great conversation, especially at night time.

1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

One of the biggest ways to help kids deal with fear is to create security. Tell them often how much they are loved by you and by God. Perfect love casts out fear. Dwell on the perfect love of God as you help your child understand they were not created to fear.


With blessings,
Angie

Filed under: Parenting Children

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