I Need Help!
Ask your kids to complete a job that is too hard for them. (Give them a hard puzzle to complete. Ask them to stack ten blocks without them falling down. Give them a hard math problem to complete. Activity will depend on the age and skill of each child.)
As they are doing it (and continually failing), ask:
What are you feeling? (Discouraged; mad; unhappy; want to quit; etc.)
We can easily feel discouraged and lose hope when things are hard. We can’t see how we can ever do it.
Would you like me to help you? (Work together on the puzzle. Take turns stacking the blocks. Show them how to do long division.)
We were able to do a hard job because we worked together. Just as I helped you, God wants to help us with any problems. We can feel hopeful knowing that God wants to and will help us.
Give it to God
Bedtime is a great time to talk about things that may be bothering your child. Find a small box and let your child decorate it, if you like. Draw a picture of a hand on either side (as if the hands are holding the box) and write “God’s hands” on it. Ask your child to draw a picture or write out (or tell you and you write it down) what is troubling her or him .Then place the paper inside the box and say a prayer asking God for help.
Below are a few basic principles to remember when a child seems anxious or depressed:
- Know your child. (Is there a sudden change in mood or behavior? Is there a pattern? Know what upsets him. Know what helps.)
- Listen to your child.
- Hold your child, if that helps.
- Tell about a time you were afraid or anxious and what you did—and how your fears sometimes were worse than the actual concern.
- Don’t punish the child for being anxious (Don’t say, you shouldn’t feel that way).
- Talk to your child’s teachers for ideas and to share your ideas with them.
- Talk to your child’s doctor, if the anxiety persists.
- Offer distractions. (Exercise, play a game, read together, etc.)
- Pray with your child.
- Be patient—what may seem irrational to you may be very real to your child.
Make creation placemats for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Give the kids a large piece of construction paper and have them draw things they are thankful Jesus made.
OR make a creation centerpiece from the items you collected on a nature walk. Arrange them in the middle of the table using a basket or decorative vase.
Before the meal, let each person tell what they are thankful God made.