In Psalm 78, God gives us a blueprint for how faith is replicated throughout all generations. He chose to use the family as the primary place to nurture faith. Now that social distancing is the new normal in these next few months, families are spending more time together. It is parent’s responsibility to “tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” (v. 4) We wanted to give you some tips to assist you in loving your kids well during this time.
A WORD TO PARENTS
There are times in our lives when things seem a little crazy or out of control. It seems like nothing is normal. During these times, children will look to the only people they know can bring some kind of comfort and normalcy – adults that they trust. Whether you are mom, dad, nana, pops or auntie, it doesn’t matter. They will be watching and listening.
This is an opportune time to talk about God. He is the only constant in our lives. He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our God only requires us to be real and to trust Him. We can show our little ones and even our teens how we can be real with God with our emotions and still trust Him.
Faith is often caught not taught. So, here is permission to be honest to yourself and to your kiddos. If you are feeling scared, let them know you are scared. However, the most important part is to show how you take your scared self to God through prayer, devotions, reading His stories and most of all by placing your trust in Him. God is with us throughout this journey called life. Let’s invite Him into our conversations, emotions and into our children’s lives. After all, God is not only your heavenly Father but also theirs.
TALKING ABOUT COVID-19 WITH YOUR CHILDREN
When talking about the COVID-19, remember children are able to handle information according to their age. It is possible to overwhelm them with too much information. It is hard enough for adults to process what we can not control. Help your children by protecting them from too much information.
0-3yrs old – They really don’t care. They want to play and enjoy time with you. They are very selfish little ones who are adorably cute. It’s okay for them to be selfish. In these everyday moments with our children, it is parent’s responsibility to express the Father’s love through our actions. When you are patient with your children, they see God’s patience through you. When you get angry, but ask for forgiveness, they begin to understand the mercy of God. Take time to express the Father’s love to your children in this time.
3-5yrs old – They will only be aware of what they see or hear from you. They will imitate you to a tee. They are only interested on how you react. Because of your reaction, your children will mimic you so allow yourself to pause and see yourself in your young child. Ask them why they reacted the way they did, and share comfort to them in hugs, encouraging words, and care. These are opportunity to express God’s care for us, even in difficult time through simple interaction of love. Ultimately, we must keep it simple. Here are some examples of how to communicate the changes and make it interactive for them:
You can’t play with your friends because we are all working on staying healthy.
We can’t go to our friend’s house, but we can call them.
Let’s draw/color a picture to send to our friends.
Let’s schedule a ‘watch the same movie day.’ (It’ll be a watch party from our own homes. Try to have some of the same snacks.)
If they do ask about the virus, keep it simple like ‘People are getting sick’. This is why we are washing our hands, staying home and eating good food. When everyone is better, we will be able to visit friends.’
Elementary – At this age, kids are more curious. They will miss their friends. Try to be creative on staying connected to friends like phone calls, text, drawing pictures, sending pics of their crafts and such. They will care about the why more than the what. Why are they not with their friends, school, teacher, etc. versus what is going on? This is a great opportunity to point them to certain stories in God’s Word that will show that God is in control. He knows what is best. This is why we put our trust in Him because He promises to always be with us and protect us from any harm. Again, keep it simple but with enough information that will help them understand the importance of trusting God by staying home. Here are some examples of how to give enough information but keep it simple:
COVID is a type of flu. Do you remember how it felt to be sick with the flu? This flu is easy to make others sick, too. Everyone is staying home to keep each other healthy. I know it’s different and hard, but God is with us and He will protect us in this time.
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