This blog is part of a series on helping our kids when they feel anxious. If you haven’t already read “Answering our children’s worries”
Kids are sponges, they soak in what is going on around them. They might not be able to understand it, or find the words to talk about it, but they sense it. Right now, they’ll be noticing that there’s more talk about money at home. Maybe there’s debates about the heating, or a parent’s frustration about lights being left on has gone up a notch.
Something big – talk about the problem
Left to themselves, our children might worry that this is their fault. As adults, we need to explain clearly what’s happening and put right any misunderstandings.
Explain that energy –the electricity in our lights, the gas in our heating and the fuel in our cars – costs more money than it used to. Think about when you go food shopping – how does the food get to the supermarket? (In trucks, that need fuel) How was it made, or grown? (In a factory, with lots of machines that need electricity, or on a farm, with tractors that need fuel). When energy is expensive, everything else gets more expensive, too.
At the moment, we have to pay more money for the energy we use and the things we buy, so we are trying to careful. Can they think of some things we do to save money?
Something hard – talk about what we do when life is difficult
Reassure them that it’s good to talk about their worries. It isn’t their job to hold onto worries on their own. God has given them grown-ups to care for them at home, in school, at church, and in all the other jobs that people do to keep children safe. We all feel worried sometimes. When that happens, it’s good to share our worries with someone else. Name someone they know who you share your own worries with. Who do they feel safe sharing their worries with, as well as you?
Something good – remember what God is like
Most of all, we can share our worries with God – he won’t think they are stupid. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to give all our worries to God because he cares for us. We can tell him how we feel when we pray.
Ask them to think of some examples of how God cares for us. Pray together, thanking God for his care, telling him how you feel and asking for the things you need. (Remember to look out for answers to these prayers so that you can thank God for them at another time.)
Praying before bed is a great way to hand the worries of the day to him to hold, so you can sleep safely in his care – both parent and child!