Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes, For the Lord will be your confidence. And will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:10-11
In light of the recent movie shooting and other acts of violence recently reported on the news, parents need to know how to help their children not live in fear. Here is my advice:
1. Ask yourself: How you are coping? You communicate whatever emotions you experience to your children by your words, actions and emotions.
2. Do not overburden your children with too much. Make your discussions age-appropriate. Listen and answer their questions.
3. Don’t avoid talking about world events and how they impact us. This is your opportunity to present a biblical worldview.
4. Talk about good and evil from a biblical context. Children may have been taught relativism, which is anti-biblical. There is good and evil traced to two sources: God or Satan. The devil is real, his minions are real and there is a war with principalities and powers.
5. Provide the hope God gives us to overcome evil through His son Jesus Christ. Jesus always triumphs over evil.
6. Keep routines and structure going. These make children feel safe.
7. Talk about all the people who help and do good when there is a traumatic event. Feature the good side of humanity to your kids.
8. Be physically affectionate with your children. Touch (i.e., a comforting hug) is reassuring and makes them feel connected.
9. Limit exposure to trauma. Exposure to graphic images can cause psychological damage.
10. Reassure them that you are doing everything possible to keep them safe and that God’s presence is always with them. They can call His name anytime they feel afraid. His name is powerful!
Verses to teach your children:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. I John 4:18