Anxiety has been on the rise amongst children for years. We’re at a point now where calling this an “epidemic” is not too strong a word. This past week, author and counselor Sissy Goff came on Wire Talk to share some tools for helping our kids overcome the anxiety they experience, and of all the wisdom she had for us, I’d love to see you put this one thing into practice in your homes this week:
If you have a child who struggles with worry, Sissy suggested giving their anxious thoughts a name. With younger children, Sissy uses the name “the Worry Monster”, but you could call your child’s worry anything – Bob, Suzy – anything! Ask for their input and come up with a name that is somewhat silly but memorable. Then, when they begin to go down a path of worry and anxiety, you can gently ask, “Is this you talking or is this your Worry Monster talking?”
Naming their anxious thoughts will help your child (and you) recognize that their thoughts do not have to control them. Their worry is not their true self! Naming helps distance your child from their unwanted thoughts and helps them evaluate if they are good and true thoughts or thoughts that are untrue or just silly.
This idea is biblical. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul instructs the church at Corinth to practice this habit. He says,
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
I love that modern psychology teaches exactly what Paul taught 1st century Jesus followers! We can teach our kids this idea that our thoughts can be true or untrue, Godly or ungodly, and that we have the power to change what we are thinking! And after you’ve taken the worry monster captive? Check out this list of truths you can replace it with.
Karen Stubbs, Birds on a Wire – Motherhood Tips & Encouragement Editor
Karen Stubbs is the founder and leader of Birds on a Wire, a ministry designed to equip moms through truth, encouragement, and community. Karen is the wife of Greg Stubbs, they have four children, Kelsey, Emily, Taylor, and Abby and reside in Cumming, Ga. After graduating from Auburn University, she and Greg moved to Virginia Beach where Greg served in the Navy as a fighter pilot. The Navy was where Karen gained her passion for motherhood and grew in her reliance on God to get her through the tough Navy years as a young mom. She is passionate about challenging moms to experience motherhood in the way God intended it for them and their families.
About Birds on a Wire:
Birds on a Wire is a ministry designed to encourage moms and equip them with Godly practical advice so that they will be able to parent with confidence and feel confident in their ability as a mom. As a mother of four, I know firsthand how difficult raising a child is in today’s society. A mom can feel isolated, ill-equipped and unsure of herself and her mothering skills. BOAW pulls alongside moms to give practical advice and assure them that their heavenly Father is with them in this journey. If you have little ones or teenagers or any age in between, join us on this journey of motherhood.