Do you have a worried, anxious child? Get this free printable to talk about what God says, and how to help an anxious child.
By the time I was 11, I was that anxious, worried child. Among other symptoms, I would be unable to sleep, wake up with my stomach hurting, struggle to eat, and get sick if I was going to have to do something new or face an unknown. This was due to many factors—some of them physical—but largely due to a habit I had begun years before. That habit was one of anxiously worrying about situations I had no control over.
These worries would take over my mind and replay over and over until I couldn’t think of anything else. I didn’t really understand what was going on, so I didn’t tell anyone or ask for help. I was a kid—how could I have known what was going on? But any time something happened that was unexpected or not what I had planned on (like when my parents left me to spend the night at my grandma’s house because I fell asleep before they got back), it ruined my day and caused a meltdown. I had nightmares because I feared uncontrollable situations so much. I didn’t know how to handle the worries that overwhelmed me and capsized my little boat in a sea of anxiety.
Because this is my experience, I can only tell you what helped me. I’m not a medical professional, and I don’t want to play that role in your life. But let me tell you, as far as anxious worrying goes, I know there is help for your worried, anxious child from God’s Word! That’s what I would like to share with you today.
How Do I Help My Anxious, Worried Child?
Figure Out the Root Cause
Though it may seem random or out of the blue, anxious worry often comes from a root issue almost all kids struggle with in some way. As it was for me, for many kids, the root cause of worry is fear. Whether it’s fear that something will change, fear of not being safe, fear of being embarrassed or uncomfortable, fear of not being in control . . . the list goes on. These fears only grow as our kids meditate on them, continually turning them over and over in their minds.
Sometimes, these fears might not even be conscious fears they have acknowledged and named. Maybe our kids are picking up on the lack of peace or stress they feel around them, whether from friends, school, or in our own homes.
Yes, your kids may actually be fearful of things they don’t understand going on at home—even if they don’t seem scary to you! Fear related to a schedule change, recital, sports game, or an overheard conversation without context can cause BIG worries to enter the hearts and minds of our kids. And very few kids know how to deal with these worries once they’re inside.
Teach Them Truth
So what can you do to help your anxious, worried child deal with these fears? Once we understand the root cause, it’s time to find the truth to help our kids! It is knowing the truth that helps us refuse to let the worries overcome us. And by talking through and meditating on truth in our minds, we CAN break this cycle of endless worry. This is how we “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)!
Truth gives us something to meditate on instead of the fearful worries we have. Rather than continually and fearfully thinking about the things that cause them to be worried and anxious, our kids need truth to fill their minds. And this isn’t just for fears! Filling our minds with truth is the full-time job every follower of Christ must embrace to live a life that pleases our God.
So where do we find this truth? Well, it is God’s Word that reminds us what is actually TRUE! We can answer our child’s fear of not being safe with the truth that God keeps His children safe (Romans 8). The truth that God is always caring for His creation reminds our kids that He is always providing for and caring for our needs as well (Matthew 6:25–32). The truth that we can cast our anxieties on Jesus (1 Peter 5:7) tells our kids what to do with the worries that fill their minds. I encourage you to start memorizing verses that address your child’s fears!
How to Help an Anxious Child
We understand how hard it can be to figure out where to begin and what truth to share with our kids. That’s why we created a free printable My God Says lesson specifically for moms who want to help their kids deal with worry and anxiety through truth!
This free printable talks through what worry and anxiety can look and feel like, what God says about it in His Word, and how to practically deal with worry and anxiety every day. This fun, truth-filled lesson will also encourage your child through the true story of Paul Brand, who chose to depend on God through situations where he could have given in to worry and anxiety. Sign up today for your free download of this lesson! I recommend printing it out on cardstock to make it extra durable.
Just like jewelers who know real diamonds so well that they can spot fake ones, knowing truth helps us realize when we are not believing truth in our minds. As we help our children learn the promises God gives us in His Word, they will also learn to recognize fear, worry, and anxiety for what they really are. I pray this resource helps your children learn to give their worries and cares to the One who cares so much for them!
Ever since she was a little girl, listening delightedly as her mom read books and poetry out loud to her, Jessica has been enraptured by the power of words. When she is not reading or scribbling down poems of her own, Jessica can most likely be found hiking with her husband or trying out new recipes. She has yet to discover at what point plants, journals, and coffee mugs become *excessive,* but is sure she can still find room for one or two more. Through her bachelor’s degree in English Literature, opportunities to write for various small publications, and experience as a Staff Writer for Not Consumed Ministries, Jessica has grown in her passion for writing and desire to share that passion with others. As she seeks to show the goodness and beauty of God in her calling as a writer-wife-homemaker, Jessica hopes to encourage you in your relationships with family, friends, and most importantly, in your relationship with Christ.