Why is EVERYONE so cross? 

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”

Even if our children haven’t noticed the train strike, postal strike or nurses’ strike, they will notice the teachers’ strikes. While some children love a day off school, others may feel anxious. When children sense frustration or unhappiness around them, they can blame themselves. Let’s help them think clearly about what’s happening.  

Something big – talk about the problem 

Try and help your child understand something about money and government. They don’t need an economics lecture, just a simple outline of what’s going on. (Try not to rant or be sarcastic – it’ll just confuse them!) 

Explain that we’ve been through a tough time as a country with COVID and lots of other changes. Things like food and heating have got more expensive.  Can they think of people who had to work really hard during the pandemic? 

Examples close to home can help them understand.  For instance, their teacher has to pay more for their food and energy bills but the money they get paid has stayed the same. Lots of people feel like this isn’t fair, especially when they’ve been working really hard. They are asking the people in charge (the government) to increase their pay. The government says that there isn’t enough money to pay everyone more. Some people feel like the government isn’t listening, so they are stopping work, to make everyone notice the problem. This is called a strike.  

Imagine playing a game with your friend. If you thought they weren’t playing fair you might stop playing and get someone else to help sort it out. It might be hard for them to work out who is right and what is fair. 

Something hard – talk about what we do when life is difficult 

We shouldn’t be surprised when things don’t seem fair and people are unhappy. Jesus told us that “in this world you will have trouble.” God is not surprised by trouble. He understands what it’s like when life is hard, and he really cares. Even when it feels like God isn’t doing anything and isn’t fixing the problem you want him to fix, he is still doing exactly the best thing. We can learn more about trusting him on a day when the train isn’t running, or we can’t go to school, or we think something isn’t fair. 

Something good – remember what God is like 

We live in a country where we’re free to call strikes and also free to talk about what we believe and live as Christians.  Many people around the world aren’t free to complain about their leaders and they aren’t free to go to church. We can thank God for the freedom we enjoy and pray for people who don’t have that freedom. 

The Bible is full of times when God’s people have come to him with their questions and complaints, times when they felt sad and wondered if God had forgotten them. God wants us to talk to him and bring all our questions to him, even when we feel sad or cross because things don’t seem fair. Psalm 18:30 tells us “As for God his way is perfect.”  We can absolutely trust him to do what is right.