How to Help our Children Fight Fear

Many times when God was about to do something or call someone to a specific task of faith, He would send an angel with the important “do not be afraid” message (2 Kings 1:5, Matthew 1:20, Matthew 28:5, Luke 1:13, Luke 1:30, and Luke 2:10). And, when faith is required, fear usually shows up. 

Faith and fear are not friends, in fact, fear is our greatest foe.

We all struggle with fear, whether real or imaginary. Some believe our fears become our reality and for me it did.

The enemy always comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And when one of those is experienced, the fear that the enemy will attack again is real. The best way to fight this battle of anxiety and fear is to place our trust in God and the promises of His word. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).

Loss often brings with it the fear of further rejection, abandonment, or failure. 

When children experience the death of a parent, the enemy plants the bitter seed of fear deep within their hearts. They often become afraid that something will also happen to the other parent leaving them orphaned. Even though these fears are normal, we do not have the ability to know the future and certainly cannot promise our children that nothing will happen to us. Instead, we must use fear as a teachable moment to encourage our children to place their trust in God, who cares deeply for them.

9 ways to help children when they are afraid:

  1. Acknowledge their fears. Let them share their fears with you – monsters in their room or someone potentially breaking into the house. Share a time when you were afraid or even something that you fear currently.
  2. Affirm their fears and show empathy. Use phrases like, “I can see why you are afraid.” 
  3. Applaud them for their courage to share their fear. Then trust God to protect and help them.
  4. Assess the situation. – Is their fear real or imaginary? Do not assume you know until you have listened, observed, checked sources, and prayed.
  5. Abolish fake fear. Offer comfort and protection while showing them how you are handling their fear with them. Turn the lights on to show them there is not a monster in the room. Take extra security measures when needed. 
  6. Assist without enabling them. – Help them take the steps needed to overcome their fear (trusting God and being courageous).
  7. Accept the reality of the battle. Fear is our foe and stands against faith. And, fear knocks on the door for everyone. Our struggles are not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), including the fight against fear. This is one of the enemy’s greatest weapons.
  8. Ask God to help and come to your aid. Mom, you may be afraid too. Give your fears to God and look to Him as your Defender.
  9. Assure them of God’s promises:

God will strengthen me

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:10, NASB).

God is with me

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4, NASB). 

God will help me

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1-3).

God fights for me

“Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you (Deuteronomy 3:22, NASB).

God says I am valuable

“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7, NASB).

God will not fail me

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you…The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:6,8). 

Fear is our foe but can become your friend if it brings you to the Lord. 

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and rescues them” (Psalm 34:7, NASB).

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You in God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4, NASB).