How do you handle the monster of uncertainty and its first cousin fear when they inevitably come into your life? How are you teaching your kids to operate in a post pandemic world of school violence as a new school year begins?
I have been thinking about my grandson Gideon who had some practice drills at his school the other day. The teachers and staff explained to him and his schoolmates what they should do if a “bad guy” came to their school. They talked through scenarios and what if’s. Maybe your kiddo experienced the same thing. Perhaps your adult children are teachers who work in our school systems. What our kids are experiencing at school can wreak havoc on their emotional well-being. Here are a few things you can do to help your gobies along the way.
Meet Them Where They Are
Your kid may be unable to express themselves. Find something that works for them. Maybe it’s drawing or painting. Maybe it’s walking outside and talking. Maybe they need to journal and write their feelings to share how they are doing with you. Give them space to express themselves. Once they can share their feelings, meet them right where they are. Open up to them. Guard against downplaying their fears. If you are scared of hearing about drive-by drills, share that with them. Try your best to walk with them as they process. Be honest with them about how you are doing with these tough conversations.
Make Promises You Can Keep
We mean well as parents and want our babies to be safe. If you are a believer, you know that your kids and my kids are God’s kids. They are His, and even in this world that feels so crazy, He’s got them. We can remind our kids of how God protects and keeps us safe. God keeps His promises. We need to be careful and only make promises we can keep. We don’t like to admit it, but we know that bad things can and do happen. When you make a promise to your kids, be sure it’s one that you know you can keep. You can promise that God is always with them. And grab a copy of the 40 I Ams. These are forty promises that God makes to you and me…and, of course, your kids.
Do What You Can
Sometimes we want to do something-ANYTHING- to help our kids. It’s not too late to start the habit of encouraging your kids and reminding them to Whom they belong. The key is to be consistent in the things we say, the things we do, and what we model so that our kids are as prepared as they can be. Do what you can; over time, your kids will find comfort in what they can rely on. Little cards like notes in their lunchboxes may not seem like a big deal, but your intentionality to do what you can makes a big difference.
When you see your kid facing a tough time, be right there with them. Let them know with what you do and what you say that you will do all you can to help them along the way as they navigate the rough waters. Point your kids to Christ. There is no chaos in heaven. Gently and consistently remind your kids of that truth in every situation. God does not change. He is not surprised. Help your kids at every stage of their development live in this truth.
-Toby and Team Goby
I encourage you to listen to this week’s podcast. Bailey and I talk more about uncertainty at school-I know many of you are struggling with that topic. Let’s work together to navigate those waters. You are not alone. God is always with you. And your friends here at Goby are swimming right alongside you.