Your Child and Fear
We all want our children to live life fully. One of the joys of childhood is the innocence that allows them to live with reckless abandon. As our children get a little older they begin to see the “real world.” Accompanying that can be some real fears that take hold in their lives.
How do we as parents help them confront fears, deal with them, and move past them so that they don’t control our child’s mind?
Recurring bad dreams, tummy-aches before school, anxiety before a new event, and fear of the uncontrollable are some of the ways our kids are dealing with fear. Even if their fear seems a bit illegitimate to us, you can guarantee it’s very REAL to them. So, instead of glossing over their fear, or telling them, “Just don’t worry about it,” we want to walk you through the best way to walk your child through fear, anxiety, and worry.
The best way to deal with fear is to OVERCOME it. Many of the emotions God has given us are from Him. However, fear is NOT one of those. 2 Timothy 1:7 clearly tells us God has NOT given us a spirit of fear.
So instead of telling our kiddos, don’t be afraid, here are some great tools for helping them overcome fear:
Acknowledge the fear. Even if their fear seems silly to you, it’s real to them.
Respond to your child’s fear 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.
Replace the “stinking thinking” with good thoughts. Don’t dwell on the fear (if it’s a bad dream, don’t ask them to describe the dream), this just fuels that anxiety. It’s also not enough to tell them to STOP worrying. They need to REPLACE those thoughts with new ones. So help them figure out what to think about. Replace worry with a verse like the one in 2 Timothy OR Isaiah 41:10.
Help the bad dream pass by thinking of a great vacation memory.
For a child safety is developed through structure. Create routine 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; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection 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 he/she was NOT created to fear!