Helping Your Child Cope With Tragedy and Fear

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As I write this my heart is broken over the abduction/ murder of Jessica Ridgeway. I know many mothers are reeling in fear and are trying to answer questions from their children about how to make sense of this tragedy. When violent crimes hit so close to home, children naturally begin to wonder, “Where is God?” While I don’t have any easy answers, I have a few suggestions;

Allow them to ask questions: Though the questions of children can raise anxiety in a parent, it’s much more profitable for your child to be able to verbalize their thoughts and questions. Try not to give easy answers but don’t over explain. Guide them back to the central truth: God loves you and is constantly present. You might explain to your child that violence makes God very sad and that He cries with those who experience violence.

Teach them to pray: At the youngest age possible, teach your child how to pray. Teach them that they can talk to God wherever and whenever.

Help them memorize Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”

Hold them close and pray over them. Often parents underestimate the value of praying over their children. From the moment of conception the greatest gift you can give your child, is to pray over them. Use scripture when praying. When we combine the power of prayer with the power of God’s Word the results are phenomenal! Some of my favorites to pray over children I love are: Luke 2:40, Psalm 23, Psalm 27:1, Psalm 91.

Fill your home with praise music. When fear is crippling you as a parent, fill your home with praise music. As you praise God along with the music you will find that you are praising your way out of panic. Peace will begin to fill your home and your children will benefit.

Finally, praise God that He loves your children even more than you do and that He is constantly with them and at work in their lives. Ultimately, God wins. No evil force can stand against Him.

You may have other ideas. I’d love for you to share them here so that other Mothers of young children can also find encouragement. Please leave a comment.

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