Have you ever felt more helpless as a parent than when you can't fix something for your child? When they fall down and get hurt, or when someone says something mean to them that stings even more? Parenting is HARD! Especially in today's times, it seems there are things we have to consider as parents that our parents never had to worry about, like technology and social media. It's a blessing and a curse, lets be real. Another thing that has continued to climb at a dramatic rate is anxiety in children. I see it so often, hear about it from other parents, and have had a burden for our kids on this very topic.
Here are six things you can do to help ease your child's anxiety. I understand every child is different and I may not understand the circumstances surrounding the source of anxiety, but I believe these small adjustments in our lives will help with our kids’ anxiety.
- Pray for your children. I know it sounds simple, but I believe that there is a spiritual battle being waged for our children's minds that they do not even know about. We need to lift our children up in prayer!
- Talk with your children. One thing that causes anxiety is the unknown. They fear something. We need to have clarity of expectations and be open with them about where we are going, what they will be doing, etc.
- Share with your children. Share when you are struggling with anxiety—when it’s appropriate. Transparency with them will help them learn how to better cope with anxiety and can be crucial to overcoming the burden they feel. Talk with them about turning to God in those moments. Scripture tells us in 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
- Love your children. Of course we all love our children! But we need to show them that love and even tell them! The imagination is a crazy thing and sometimes kids begin to believe things that aren't real. We need to be present and show them real love. That is what builds a lasting connection; one where they feel comfortable talking to you!
- Pray with your children. We need to demonstrate that our help comes from God. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Through good and bad circumstances, we need to show our kids how to trust and rely on Jesus.
- Encourage your children. We need to provide positive feedback and encouragement for our children. This helps build their confidence and self-esteem. Insecurities often feed anxiety, and if children are confident in who God created them to be and secure in the love of their family then they will have less anxiety.
Father we pray that you will intercede in the lives of our children and fill them with your Spirit to direct their path and calm their minds so that they may focus on more important things. We thank you for your constant love, compassion, and ever present help. Thank you that you are a refuge for all who seek. May we find great comfort and peace in your awaiting arms. In Jesus name. Amen.