As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
This past week, Gracie and I were scheduled to go to Washington D.C. to see Cinderella at the National Theatre as part of our 2 Year Musical Journey. If you’ve been following our journey posts, then you know that Gracie loves musicals and looks forward to each and every one that we have on our upcoming schedule.
However, in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and the threat made by ISIS to attack D.C. next, Gracie was afraid. To the point that she asked me to cancel our reservations. Gracie’s not the type to show much fear. She’s gotten up in front of big groups of people to perform musically, and she rarely even seems nervous, let alone afraid. But, she’s very in-tune with the news and current events, and she’s a deep thinker. And, as much as I’d like to protect her from what’s going on in the world, as a teenager she’s going to be exposed to these things via friends, media, etc.
When I think back on my own childhood, I don’t really remember being scared of anything more than the dark. I’m sure there were scary things going on in the world; but, before the internet, we weren’t so aware of these things and it was much easier for parents to shelter their children. So many times over the course of the past few months, I’ve heard myself reminding Gracie that she’s not supposed to worry so much – she’s just supposed to be a kid and enjoy this time! But, that’s easier said than done, I’m afraid.
I’m sad that we parents have to raise our kids in this time of so much unrest and cause for fear.
So, what can we do to counteract that fear?
Remind them that this is not the first time that the United States has been under attack (and probably won’t be the last).
I’m reminded of this quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s from his 1st Inaugural Address on March 4, 1933. So often, we only hear the last part of it and don’t realize what it’s in reference too.
This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Focus on what you CAN control.
For Gracie, this is things like her schoolwork and her music. For your child(ren), it might be something very different, such as sports or art. But, in any case, it doesn’t do us any good to dwell on things that are totally out of our realm of control. In fact, it’s not healthy. Worry causes stress, and stress can do all sorts of horrible things to our bodies. (Ask me how I know!)
Encourage them to talk to someone.
Whether it’s you (as a parent), a pastor, a youth leader, a teacher . . . anyone that your child feels comfortable with to open up about his/her feelings. Sometimes it helps just to talk it out with someone.
Read the Bible.
The Bible isn’t just a book written in the past for the past. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is alive and active. That means that it’s still applicable today! Here are just a few Scriptures that are appropriate and helpful in our current situation:
God is with us. Matthew 28:20b
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Do not be afraid. Jeremiah 42:11, Isaiah 41:10
Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
War is inevitable. Matthew 24:6
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
God is in control of those in authority. Romans 13:1-5
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
We are promised eternal life. John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us that we should pray without ceasing, or pray continuously. And Philippians 4:6 tells us to not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
These truths don’t just apply to our kids, either – they are applicable to everyone and are great reminders during these difficult, trying, and scary times.
I’d love to hear how you are talking to your kids about current events and what you are doing to help them through their fears.