“For Parents of Little Ones,” Friend, March 2017
Thunder, darkness, and buzzing bees. Life on earth is still new for young children. So it’s not surprising that they may be afraid of some of God’s creations.
Instead of forcing children to confront a fear, be an example of courage. Gently guide them away from a flowering bush covered in bees instead of running the other way. Invite them to snuggle up in a blanket to listen to the thunderstorm roll in.
Name what your child is feeling: “That bee sure is making you nervous.” Or, “You feel uncomfortable when you can’t see everything in the dark.” This will help them trust you more than if you say, “Don’t be silly. There’s nothing to be afraid of!”
Pray with your child in gratitude for Heavenly Father’s creations and His protecting care.
Ask children if they’re scared up to their ankles or all the way to their ears. That will help them realize they’re only nervous, not terrified. Then invite them to breathe deeply to help the fear drain back down to their toes.
Point out something positive and interesting: “Did you know Heavenly Father created bees to help plants grow? Let’s leave it alone to do its amazing job.” Or, “Did you know Heavenly Father gave us the dark to help our bodies? When the sun goes down, our germ-fighters and owie-fixers know it’s time to get to work.”