There are time-proven ways to help children in scary times.
Did it seem a little odd to you, too? When we first heard the advice of public health officials about how to stop the spread of COVID-19, did you think, That’s it? Really? Wash our hands? Don’t touch our faces? Social distance? It was hard to believe the initial strategic global plan was found in our bathroom sinks!
You may feel the advice I’m going to give about helping children deal with this season of global panic sounds a little like the spiritual equivalent of “Wash your hands!” But it’s a reminder that there are time-proven ways to help children in scary times.
First, realize that scary times can be much more than scary times.
The “worst of times” can actually be opportunities to establish belief in children by showing them how faith works.
Start by having real, but age-appropriate, talks about COVID-19 with kids. Ask questions to find out what they know, or think they know. Correct anything that is untrue or out of proportion. Explain that a virus or pandemic is widespread, but it doesn’t mean everyone will get sick. We can reassure children that their health and safety are our most important priority and that we will do everything to protect them.
But don’t stop there. Be a disciple maker. Besides reassurances, this is the time to share our God stories of how our faith grew strong in a difficult time. Children grow in the soil of our faith. Exposure to hope and faith from a real person’s life nurtures real faith.
Be open. Be real. Be there. Be full of faith. This is child discipleship.
Then we should make sure that children have a toolbox of spiritual practices and that they know how to use them.
Assume nothing. Do they understand the gospel and have they …Continue reading…