In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, which has shaken America to the very core, I am perplexed how to teach my youngest daughter not to have fear.
She is obviously bothered by this so much to the point that I have had to ask her to no longer watch the news or to use other media devices to pursue information on it.
She has made the comment, “I pray for safety when I go to the movies so I will not get shot, I fear school, walking to the bus alone and now I have to be afraid of raising money for good causes. I don’t even want to leave the house. I am afraid of everything.” It’s so sad that they have to have these feelings but the world we live in is getting worse everyday. It is not going to get better so we need to provide them with the tools to overcome.
She makes a valid point because I too have those fears. I have sat down and explained that by fearing living life does two things: first, those who have done the bad work of the devil win if we give into fear. We must not let them win. Second, we have God to turn to when we fear. God can provide strength, take away worry, help us to count our blessings and give hope. The other thing I explained to her is that God knows what is in store for our lives. He knows when we are going to take our last breath and how we are going to take it. It also gives me joy and peace to know on that day when I am called home, I am going to be resting at his feet.
It’s important to let them verbalize their fears and for them to know it is ok to have those fears. It is what we do with them that we need to give them the guidance. We need to teach them to pray when they are facing fear, worry and uncertainty. We need to let them know they can come to you when they need to talk and when they do, we should not down play their feelings. Their feeling are raw and real. We need to let them cry and we need to teach them to count the blessings in their lives. Our lives could always be worse than they are. We need to teach them to give thanks to God even in the turmoils of life. And lastly, we need to hug them and tell them how much you love them everyday.