When we first heard that schools would be closing, we were facing a big change in our lives. Yet that has now become the new normal for us. Several weeks on, we hear that schools are preparing for going back, but not all years at the same time. There is so much uncertainty right now for children, parents and teachers, of not only when they will be going back, but what will school look like?
It’s not surprising that some children may be feeling quite worried. Children may have questions like, “what will play time look like if I can’t stand by my friends? Where will I sit in class? What will be our routine?”
These changes could trigger anxiety about the unknown. So how can we help our children through the uncertainties they face?
Find some time to chat with your children, ask how they are feeling about going back to school. What are they are excited about and what are their fears? A possible time to chat could be together at the meal table.
Listen to your children’s answers, then together write or draw their worries on paper.
Remind them of the scripture verse, “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” from Deuteronomy 31:8
Take the papers with the images or words of worries in your hands and screw them up. As you do this, pray together and ask God to take those fears away. Re-read the verse from Deuteronomy. Go to your recycling bin, hold your hands over the top of it and drop your worries into the bin, as a reminder that we are letting go and letting God take control.
Re-assure your children that no matter what they face, God is always with them.
It’s a difficult season for all of us. We don’t know exactly what the future looks like, but we know God holds the future. Let’s continue to find times to talk to our children. Whether it’s as you’re washing up, hanging out the washing, making cakes. As I write, I’m reminded of the T.V. adverts that say “Britain keep talking” and how true this is in our families and even more so with God! Keep talking to your families and keep talking with God.
Written by Fiona Stutton, Children’s Ministry Adviser