Helping Children Face Fears

Storms, darkness, snakes, and spiders are common childhood fears. Other kids may be afraid of starting a new school, failing a class, or losing a friend. A few children may face heartrending fears such as a serious medical diagnosis for themselves or a family member, the possibility of a parent being deployed, or parents getting a divorce. Whether real or imaginary, insignificant or life changing, it is important for leaders to take the fears of kids seriously. Here are four ways leaders can provide stability and truth for children in the midst of scary and uncertain situations.

  • Listen. When a child begins to talk to you about something he or she is afraid of, listen without interrupting. Ask questions to show interest and gain understanding of the issues the child is concerned about.
  • Encourage Expression. Some children may have difficulty talking about their fears. This may lead to them withdrawing or acting out. Lead them to express their fears through art or building with blocks or other materials.
  • Share Scripture. There are many verses in the Bible that deal with fear. Share your favorite verse with the children and help them understand that the Bible teaches us not to be afraid. Use a familiar tune to make up a song such as this one based on Isaiah 41:10:
  • Sing to the tune of “Are You Sleeping”

    Do not fear. Do not fear.

    God is near. God is near.

    God will strengthen you. God will strengthen you.

    Do not fear. Do not fear.

  • Pray. Pray for the concerns kids express. In addition, lead them to pray for one another. Send a postcard to a child during the week as a reminder that you are praying for him or her.

 

By Melanie Ehr

 

Back to Top