Helping your children cope during this stressful election season.
“Mom, a kid in my class said that if Hillary Clinton gets elected we are going to have a war called World War 3 and we all are going to die from nuclear bombs!”
“Dad, I heard at practice that if Donald Trump becomes president our country will fall apart and nothing will ever be the same because he doesn’t know anything about being president. Are we in trouble?”
These are things that your kids are probably hearing and thinking about. If they come to you with worries like this what will you say?
In this age of instant information, (where both fact and fiction are presented equally) our children are bombarded with dark messages on every turn. Friends hear things from other friends who in turn heard something from their parents who in turn heard it from the news or social media. When I was a kid we used to play the telephone game where one person told someone something and that information was passed down the line through several others until eventually, when it finally made it to the last person, the statement was nothing like the original. Well, imagine kids playing that game today, only playing it now with statements from political news that are often ridiculously “non-factual” in nature (having been taken from our national news and the ever trustworthy social media). As you can imagine, by the time these crazy statements get passed through several children the end results in an irrational fear within our kids minds that says, “Hey, maybe the world as we know it WILL end after election day!”
We as parents can’t stop the rumor mill, or what our children hear on a daily basis about what might happen, but we CAN alleviate their fears over the future.
How? By helping them understand that the One who is truly in charge (of not just our own nation but the whole world) is trustworthy. That the God who created all of us has an eternal plan that is being worked out on this planet and that nothing man does can stop His plan from coming about for those who love Him.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord established their steps.” Psalm 16:9
We may not always understand His plan (in fact most of the time with our small human minds we won’t), but we can trust that when we follow God with our lives He will lead us individually exactly where we need to go.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Therefore there is no reason to be afraid. Instead, we must teach our children to always remember who is really in charge, God, and to trust that He has great plans for those who love Him, both on this earth and for all eternity.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
As the election nears, do not let fear and worry be a controlling factor in you or your child’s life. Instead, be proactive and consciously remember who’s truly in charge of our future. This is the only true way to have peace in life.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Talking Points For Parents
Questions and comments to use in a conversation with your child:
- Did anyone at your school mention the election coming up?
- What did they say?
- How do you feel about it?
- I don’t know who is going to win the election but I do know who is ultimately in charge – God.
- We can trust God with our lives no matter the circumstances or situation in the world. Even when the world seems crazy, we can have peace because God is in control.
- I am going to vote and I will be praying for everyone involved.