“My biggest fear used to be of heights. I never went on roller coasters. I was deathly afraid of ski lifts… I’m still afraid of heights. But this is no longer my biggest fear. For a year or two in high school, I guiltily admit that the zombie apocalypse was my biggest fear….As a college student, my biggest fear is a school shooting.” –Jennifer Jaklevic
Jennifer echos many students’ fears.
If a student looks to you for comfort, consider whether some of Molly Wigand’s ideas could be adapted in your conversation, along with the ideas from last week’s post.
Spiritual Tool: Communication with God
God is the only one who understands everything you feel. Talk to God about your fears and in return you will receive peace of mind. That peace can guard your mind and heart from excessive worry. Return to God time and time again. God enjoys you and every conversation the two of you have.
“Since nobody really knows what death is like, a caring adult might want to introduce the idea of ‘heaven’ to the child,” suggests author Molly Wigand. “Many people believe death is the beginning of a brand-new life in a beautiful place called heaven.” One mom, whose 7-year-old boy prayed and asked God to show him about heaven, reports that when he woke up the next morning he told her he dreamed about heaven and he’s no longer afraid to go there.
Spiritual Tool: Communication with yourself and others
“You can learn to face your fears and worries by talking to yourself. Tell yourself that you can handle it, and you will.” Molly continues, “Teens can think about some of the fears they had when they were younger and feel proud for getting over those fears.”
Use your creativity to face your fears. Fears may look and feel less scary when a child puts them on paper. If teens fear a school shooting, they can use creative expression to depict the shooting scene, placing themselves in it and in safety.
Find a relaxing place
Make a special place (in your bedroom, yard, etc.) to relax your mind and body. Do your breathing and feel yourself calming down. Imagine your favorite people all around you Imagine God protecting you with an umbrella of love.insert link
Talk with a trusted friend, parent or other adult. Sometimes when you realize you’re surrounded by others with similar feelings, your fears fade away. Ask them how they handle their fears. You might pick up a new tool to try.”
“Guide [young people] through the uncertainties of these complicated times and empower them to find courage and face their fears.” –Molly Wigand
Click to Tweet: Among the many spiritual resources available to kids is communication with God, others and one’s self. Here are specific ideas to adapt as conversation starters with children. Click to Tweet