As a parent, how can you help your kids cope with the fear and worry that the statistics and predictions on the nightly news might stir up? It’s normal to experience concern during unsettling times, but we need to make sure your kids feel secure.
If you or your children are feeling worried, learning how to deal with that anxiety in a healthy way will help the whole family be more resilient, both now and when the current situation that we are in are finally over.
Here are some ways in helping our kids to cope with fear and worry:
Keep Calm and Communicate
First, remain calm. Children tend to model their parents’ emotions and if you communicate in a calm manner, that will likely help reduce your kids’ fear. Talk to them only if they bring up the subject or you know that they’ve been exposed to information and are confused or scared.
Assure them that they’re safe and that you know what to do if someone in your family becomes ill. Remember that children of all ages may become fearful or overly worried, so be sure to have age appropriate discussions with each of your children. Sometimes, adolescents and teenagers can be more fearful and worried than younger children.
Explain that you’re trying to be cautious and wise, not acting out of fear. This situation offers a great opportunity for you to explain that it’s always best to be proactive rather than reactive. Your actions now are intended to prevent future problems, not necessarily to cope with current problems.
Use This Time for Family Fun
If you decide to isolate as a family, have fun spending time together. Emphasize the opportunity to slow down, hang out, and enjoy each other’s company. Also, encourage your kids to engage in physical activities and creative experiences, both known to be helpful for easing anxiety.
God is Still in Control
Pray with your children. Emphasize that you’re trusting God for His guidance. If your kids are old enough to read and understand scripture, read and discuss Psalms 91:1-3 together:
Those who go to God Most High for safety
will be protected by God All-Powerful.
I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
You are my God, and I trust you.”
God will save you from hidden traps
and from deadly diseases.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Trust that no matter what happens, God is in control.