Hey, Did Someone Hit the Pause Button?
So, the other day Ms. Brooke told me I should start a blog. My first thought was, "that's a cool name for something" and my second thought was, "does it involve mud or, even better, slime?" Sadly, it involves neither. (Awww man...) She told me it was basically me just putting all the stuff rattling around in my brain on paper. And yes, there's more going on in my head than just a bunch of stuffing! So, here goes my first attempt....
I don't know about you, but because of the whole COVID-19 pandemic, it sure feels like somebody pushed a great big "pause button" in the sky. It's affecting everyone! I don't get to go to the movies like I used to or hang out with my friends. And as frustrated as that makes me, I know my parents are just as frustrated. Their lives have changed too. When parents are going through tough times, it’s common for kids to pick up on these things and become fearful. I know I do. And that fear can come from literally everywhere! Sometimes it comes from catching just a second of the news. Sometimes it comes from overhearing conversations between teens or adults. And other times it comes from seeing what our parents post and read in social media. So, I started thinking, how can we help each other, especially us kids, to keep from losing hope through all of this? Well, lucky for us, I found some really AWESOME suggestions from some of the smartest, most fun people I know, my friends at Pine Cove...
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 Let them talk about why they are afraid and to the degree that they are able express their fears. Sometimes just voicing a fear to another soul helps it shrink.
EMPOWER THEM TO FACE THEIR FEARS.
This idea is to let them own their decision so that they can own their success.
REASSURE, BUT WITH LIMITS.
Being overly reassuring actually increases fear. Once the fear has been heard and validated for a few minutes, move on.
HELP THEM MAKE A PLAN.
In helping your child work through a fear, break it down into steps and set small goals leading to the larger goal. For example, if your child usually needs you to sit in the room until they fall asleep, first set the large goal: “At the end of the week, you will turn off your own light and fall asleep on your own,” and then break it down into steps. Night one, you’ll turn off the lights and then sit with him until they fall asleep. Night two: you’ll leave the door cracked and sit outside the room. Night three: you’ll close the door and sit outside.... And so on.
Point out the places where they have shown courage and express belief that they can do it again. “You’ve got this!” goes a long way in building confidence and courage.
FOSTER CHARACTER, NOT OUTCOME.
If they faced their fear, but failed at the task, help them reframe that as a success. Let them know you value the character traits of courage, perseverance, and teachability overreaching particular goals.
Parenting is a long game and it’s important we don’t lose the forest for the trees. Small steps over the course of time can make a big difference.
POINT THEM TO THE GOD WHO IS WITH US.
We are courageous not because the thing we face is not scary, but because we trust a big God.
Man, isn't that AWESOME!!!! They really are some of the coolest people I know. And, remember, even if it still feels like that big "pause button" in the sky is still pressed, that doesn't mean that we're not doing ministry (that's what Ms. Brooke calls learning and sharing about Jesus), it just means we’re not doing things the way we’ve always done them, which is pretty cool!
Until next time, Stay Safe!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Thank you so much. I needed this. Keep them coming. Vicki
Great message, Scooter!
Great message, Scooter. But, don't be too anxious to play with slime. When I was a kid I got to play with slime that came in a little plastic trash can. I think it was toxic. Every time I played with it, it gave me a headache! I'll see what I can do about getting you some appropriate blog-goo. Keep up the great messages!
Aaaaaaaand I just cried a little reading this to my kids. Love your blog, Scooter!!!