Parenting Pre-Schoolers
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20
Monsters Under the Bed: Part 2
June 20, 2018

Recurring bad dreams, bellyaches 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 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're discussing the best way to walk your child through fear, anxiety, and worry.

Here are some notes from last session's video:

  1. Try to understand your child's fear
  2. Talk to your child
  3. Give the right message
  4. Do not ignore their fear
  5. Don't force it
  6. Patience
  7. Model being brave
  8. Protect
  9. Reserve judgment
  10. Reward brave behaviour
  11. Know when to seek help

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:

  • 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.
  • Help them to not dwell on the fear. If they've had a bad dream tell them they're safe and that the dream can't hurt them. Help them replace scary thoughts with new ones. Help them figure out what to think about. 
  • Switch their focus. Help the bad dream pass by reminding them of a great vacation memory or some upcoming fun thing.
  • For a child, the sense of 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 they were not created to fear.


With blessings,
Angie

 

Filed under: Parenting Pre-Schoolers

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