How To Help Our Children Overcome Fear
The powerful web of fear can envelop us and zap our natural spontaneity and joy at any phase of life. A lot of young children struggle with vivid, fearful pictures springing from their imaginations. As they mature, their fears grab at them in diverse ways. They become fearful of the world through stories they hear, shows they watch and real life situations they encounter. Children have different perspective of the world than adults. It is natural for children to develop fear at one time or another. Helping our children overcome their fears can alleviate emotional stress and promote a sense of mastery. This we can achieve by:
Helping them develop the ability to trust: Trust is like a spiritual umbilical cord which allows nourishing emotional resources to travel to and fro between souls. Children who are raised in an environment with love, warmth, and stability and are free to honestly express their feelings develop a healthy capacity to trust and have faith in others. This also enables the child to be able to freely lean on God completely. We can build trust and confidence in our kids when we demonstrate respect and understanding for what they feel.
Helping them identify their feelings: When we help our children acknowledge their fears, we help them overcome them and embrace boldness. In order to do this, we mus
t discover and destroy the underlying belief that sustains it. For example, a child with low self esteem will probably be hurt when ridiculed. Helping your child discover who they are in God disarms fear and builds confidence. Be sure to display a high level of understanding for their need to be understood.
Encouraging them to come up with solutions to their fearful situations: Often times, our parental instincts drive us to run amuck and solve all of our children’s problems. However, when they sense that we are limiting their abilities to think for themselves or gain independence, they rebel.
Being an example to them when faced with uncertainty and fear: Children learn most from what they see us do. Sometimes discussing our battles against fear with our children can teach them how to handle their anxiety. For instance, we can let them know that being afraid is a part of life which we encounter from time to time but in those moments, we find strength in talking to God about it and we believe that our God who is always with us will help us overcome. God always advised Joshua not too be fearful but to “be strong and courageous” because he knew that fearful times will always come. (Joshua 1).
Be aware of what your children are exposed too: It’s important to control the flow of fear-provoking information that our children receive especially from the media. Information can be a heavy burden for kids. It is extremely important to limit their exposure to frightening news coverage, movies and video games.
Never forget that the spirit of boldness that God has given us if for us and our kids to walk in.
Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude.