Much as we would like to protect our children from everything, they pick up on what is going on in the world around them and feel anxious just as we do. Often it can be harder for them to express and harder for us to know how to help.
Trusting in God with our own anxiety is a great way to start helping our children, we don't have to always get it right, but as we rely more on God, they will see the changes we make and the way we handle things. Have a look at the "Support for Anxious Adults" page for some resources to help you if you are struggling with your own anxiety.
My experience of parenting is that it takes time, but reiterating God's truths to our children over and over, helps those truths sink deep into their hearts and really makes a difference to their lives.
When talking about God's words, the Bible says "teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:19
Making time to read Bible stories with your children and pray each day, talking through their worries and praying about them with your children will make a difference to them. My favourite verse as a child was:-
"Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you". 1 Peter 5:7.
With every worry that our children have, we can ask them and ourselves, what do we know about God that will help us in this situation? He is kind, He loves us, He knows us, He is in control of the whole world, therefore He must be in control of this situation, He loves it when we talk to Him, we can ask for His help.
We don't have to know all the answers, but we can turn with our children to God who does and He will hear them and He will answer.
Katie Croft (Children's Work Coordinator)
Resource 1 - Children's Bible Story Books
If you don't already have any children's Bible story books, or daily Bible reading books for families or children then have a look on either 10ofThose or the Good Book Company websites. They are full of ones to choose from and I feel happy to recommend either site, knowing that they specialise in choosing Biblically based books.They also have very helpful staff who can help you pick. Have a look at our "Daily Bible Times for Families" page for more ideas.
Resource 2 - Books on Anxiety and Fear
"Zoe's Hiding Place" by David Powlison is a book written specially on the topic of anxiety for children. I bought it for a friend who has said it is very helpful. It tells the story of anxious mouse Zoe who is worried about a school trip.She learns how she can tell God all about her fears.
There is a tear-out page included for children with verses to carry with them and a section of help at the back for parents.
"The Moon is Always Round" by Jonathan Gibson, is a book that addresses the questions of God and suffering. It eavesdrops in a conversation between a father and his son after the sad death of a new baby. It compares the different phases of the moon to the different phases of life, but just as the moon is always present, so God and His goodness are always with us.
"Why do we say Goodnight?" by Champ Thornton, is a book that deals with bedtime fears and reassures of God's presence with us even when we're afraid.
Resource 3 - short, helpful blogs on the topics of worry and the coronavirus
Faith in Kids have published a short, helpful blog on worry. It's a lovely account of a parent responding to her child's question and gives practical, encouraging advice on how we can help.
The advice of Amy Smith in the Faith in Kids blog on worry is great, have a go at reading these with your children, talk about their worries and what the Bible has to say about God and how much He loves us. Then have a go at praying, how ever much you stumble over praying out loud, your kids won't bat an eyelid and will be encouraged by your example.
Resource 5 - Music
Music is a great way to sing God's truths into our hearts and there are some really brilliant songs out there for kids to listen to.
Go to our "Learning God's Truth through Music" page for some suggestions, but here is also a link to a lovely Doug Horley song that's all about trusting God is looking after us and being able to sleep in peace. We sing Doug Horley songs in the Sunday School, so you may recognise his face on the video. The song comes with lovely sign language actions, but also very outdated outfits!!
Here is another song that I particularly love. It's by Cityalight and features Colin Buchanan. It's called "Jesus Strong and Kind".