She mentioned that he still likes to sleep on the floor of their bedroom.
And it wasn’t all that big of a deal, but perhaps I was a bit surprised.
It’s just that he had his own room, and he was an older boy now.
But what do I know?
It really wasn’t until she told my the why, that I grew concerned.
He’s afraid to sleep alone. Just like me.
She admitted that she had a number of fears from her childhood, and now he had his fears too.
She had passed on her fears to her son.
Naturally, we want to share many things with our children, but here is one thing we do NOT want to pass on.
Our own fears.
Based on our own insecurities and bad experiences.
Maybe you’re afraid of the water because you had a close call when you were a child.
Maybe you’re afraid of being left alone because someone you loved left you when you were small.
Maybe you were afraid of the dark when you were young . . . and still are deep down.
Now don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being afraid.
But rather than sharing our fears with our children, we should communicate courage instead.
Pass On Courage Instead of Fear
Teach your child where to turn when afraid.
God tells us to look to Him when we feel weak or afraid. He promises to give us strength and aid when we’re in need.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
Teach your child why there’s no need to be afraid.
He has not given us “a spirit of fear” – fright doesn’t come from Him. Rather, He has given us both love and power! (This is a good verse to have your children memorize. One of our sons has it hung up on the wall by his bed.)
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
Teach your child to be strong and courageous.
No matter what happens or what we face, we can stand strong because Almighty God is right there with us.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6
Recently my oldest daughter and I were staying at my parents’ home while they were away on a trip. Just she and I were alone enjoying a private retreat at the home I grew up in.
Everything was so peaceful . . .
That is until she told me she was going down to the basement to exercise.
I gulped. I was very uneasy about her going down there all by herself.
Yes, even though she is going on 20 years.
The girl read right through me and started laughing.
What, Mom? Are you afraid the Monsters are going to get me down there?
And she wasn’t too far from the mark. Here I am, a grown-up adult – a very grown-up adult – and I’m still afraid of that dumb, dark basement.
But she sure wasn’t.
She was unafraid.
Just like we’d raised her to be.
And I thought about how freely she lives.
Because it’s only the Enemy who wants us to be fearful. To be afraid to try new things or step out from our comfort zone. To worry about what might happen and what might be out there.
But not our God.
He says, Fear not.
So why not live that way? And teach our children to do the same.
In His grace,
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