Written by: Sophia Roman
Article source: JOY! Magazine

Most adults have been navigating how to manage life in the “new normal” that we have all been forced into. This “new normal” that everyone has been referring to since lockdown is not in the distant future, nor is it a state of being after Covid-19. No, the “new normal” is here.

Many are struggling mentally
Mental wellbeing has been one of the greatest concerns and challenges for many in the last few months. The mental health of so many people has been affected. The effects are obvious all around us. Job losses and salary cuts have become the order of the day, leaving communities in dire need of food and basic essentials. The home has been affected in so many ways. Parents are struggling and finding ways to survive. Children are finding it challenging to understand what is really happening. Their school system has changed and many have become isolated with homeschooling.

Children’s reality
But how are our children really doing? Excessive negative talk increases a child’s anxiety. We hear reports around us of children having emotional meltdowns, anger outbursts, fear, and even experiencing anxiety attacks. Furthermore, many young children have had to experience the loss of family members and, at times, more than one family member due to Covid-19 deaths. How do our children really manage when adults hardly manage this very stressful lockdown and whole pandemic? How much can children really handle while witnessing personal struggles in the home, financial stresses, sickness, death, mourning, domestic violence, depression, and the list goes on… Transference of emotions takes place and eventually children will model what they see and sense from adults.

How are our most vulnerable children really coping in this pandemic?

My story
I experienced emotional trauma with my daughters when they were only 7 years old and 9 years old. I knew that their young hearts were so fragile and their emotional state was sensitive. As a mother and adult, I had my own outlets and a safe space of unloading. But, what about my children? I made it a daily point to check in with them through a time of prayer. I was intentional to create a place of safety and security by having a time of family altar or family devotions consistently. I allowed them to pray in their own words.

A pace that is comfortable for children
The Holy Spirit spoke to me so clearly and directly in Genesis 33:13-14 through the story of Esau and Jacob.
…we will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. Master knows that the children are weak and that travelling is hard on children. If they are driven hard for one day I may injure them and the animals will die. (Paraphrased)
I completely slowed down on my personal involvements and activities and started to move at the pace of my children.

May we as adults consider the children in this difficult season.

Through the Word of God, let us:
1. Validate their feelings
2. Respond to and acknowledge their feelings
3. Reassure them that it is okay to feel the way they do, and to identify with their feelings.

God’s promises
Tell them stories of how God brought you through in the past. Read the Bible to them of how God has been faithful. Point them to prayer and reading of the Word of God. Parents need to be rooted in the Word of God. In Isaiah 54:23, God promises, “And all they children shall be taught of the Lord and great shall be their peace.”

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Date published: 03/09/2020
Sophia Roman is a pioneer, visionary and life transformation coach. Sophia and her husband, Theo, pastor the West Reach AOG Church in Mitchells Plain.

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