With Halloween coming up fear seems to be around every corner. Whether you celebrate or not, youn really can’t escape it here in the U.S. Every Target run is filled with little gasps as we pass the giant grim-reaper lawn ornament as I just try to quickly grab some laundry detergent on aisle 9. Uhg. And don’t even get me started about that creepy skeleton DJ hosting a party right by the toy aisle this year! For real, it’s the WORST! And with my 3 year-olds greater awareness of the world this year, it seems like everything causes fear. From Target to the monster in her closet, it really is a struggle. And I’m sure I’m not alone. It can be hard to parent a toddler in the U.S. around Halloween. Fear is not a pleasant emotion. It can be helpful for avoiding actual danger, like running into traffic and tricky people. But during my Target run, not so much. So how do we deal with this? And how do we help our little ones cope with their fears, both real and imagined (because to them it’s all real). Here are some of our favorite Christian resources and tips for helping little ones conquer fear.
When searching for resources to help little ones cope with big emotions, I’m looking for something that will help give them coping skills they can take with them the rest of their lives. I also want something they can relate to and engage them in an age-appropriate way. Here are a few of my favorite Christian resources that show little ones that God is bigger than our fears, and gives them a coping skill to help cling to that promise.
–Where’s God When I’m Scared by Veggie Tales
What 90’s Church Kid didn’t grow up with this Veggie Tales? This may not be the newest resource on the list, but it is one of my favorites. I LOVE this Veggie Tales episode, because it’s so relateable for little ones. Junior finds himself scared after watching a monster movie. Yikes! Monsters, the dark, creepy things, all normal toddler fears. And with the help of Bob and Larry littles learn God is bigger than their fears. They also teach them a super cute song which could be used as a coping skill. They also show where God has shown himself bigger in the Bible with the story of Daniel and the Lions. Bible story, coping skills, toddler-relatable. This resource is totally a win in my book.
I’m Not A Scaredy Cat by Max Lucado
This is another resource I love, because it teaches coping skills. This book is about a little cat who claims he’s not a Scaredy cat…but he actually is. Throughout the story we see different things he fears, but during each scary situation he teaches little ones the mantra “God, you are good. God, you are near. God, you are here! And, God, you love me.” This mantra can easily be turned into a coping skills for when little ones are scared.
Quinn’s Promise Rock by Christie Thomas
I LOVE “Quinn’s Promise Rock.” Christie Thomas has such a gift for storytelling, and shows how God is our refuge, our hiding place, and always with us with the help of a little Owl. In the end, Quinn uses a tiny stone she carries with her to remind her of God’s faithfulness. Littles can also use this coping skill by finding or painting a special rock they can carry with them, just like Quinn.
This sweet printable and discussion guide is such a useful tool for helping little ones process their fear and learn that God is bigger than anything we are scared of.
“Adios Al Temor” (English: “Bye, Bye, Bye“) by Yancy
I love this song by Yancy. And I LOVE that it is also in Spanish! This tune is a great song for little ones to remember when they are feeling scared (ahem. Coping skill). Singing it with your little one whe they feel scared will help build a habit of singing and remembering God’s promises throughout life.
Point Them To Scripture
We can have all of the resources in the world, but our most important resource is scripture. Hebrews 4:12 describes scripture as a weapon “sharper than any double edged sword.” It had power, and as we work to instill it’s truth into the hearts of our littles, we can trust that the Lord is working, and that this work will stay with them the rest of their lives. Here are a few of my favorite scripture passages to point littles to when they are afraid.
When I was little, my mom used to sing this verse to me using the song “When I Am Afraid, I Will Trust In You” by Steve Green. Not going to lie, I used to HATE it! Whenever I was afraid she used to sing this, and I’d be like “are you kidding me, can’t I just sleep with the light on?!” But you know what? As much as I used to hate it, I remember it, and it is one of those verses that has walked with me through scarier circumstances than the dark or monsters under the bed. So, thanks mom. Love you. And you were right.
I love With Harp and Lyre’s version of Exodus 14:13 for helping littles (and adults) memorize this promise. It reads “Do not be afraid. Be strong and see how the Lord will save you today.” May this truth sink deep into the hearts of our little ones. May they know that the Lord stands with us in our fears and delivers us.
Teach your child about David and Goliath
What preschooler doesn’t love the story of David and Goliath? Seriously, a little guy who defeated some big monster dude? But even greater was that he put his trust in God and God delivered him. This story can be so helpful in helping little ones conquer fear, because it show that when they put their trust in God, little people can conquer big, scary things.
Teach your child about Daniel and the Lions
Teach your little one about Daniel and the Lions. As mentioned in the Veggie Tales resource above, this is a wonderful story that shows sometimes God doesn’t keep us from scary things, but he is with us in them, and he provides protection. May our little ones see that if God has power over the lion’s mouth. He has power over the monster in their closet.
Finally, and probably the most important thing we can do is pray. Fear is a spiritual battle, and to fight spiritual battles we need spiritual tools. The enemy would have us and our children live in fear. But God has called us to live in peace. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and of sound mind.” Let’s pray this for our little ones. May they find the power that God has placed inside of them to have courage when fear strikes. May they be so deeply rooted in the love of God that they know the boogie man can not touch them. And may they have peace, as only God can give. May we claim this for our children, and may we pray this for ourselves.
Let’s pray for our families:
You care about our children more than we do. Fill them with your love. May they be rooted deep in the knowledge that you are bigger than all their fears. Give them courage. Give them peace. May this season be a time that you instill in them a deep trust that you alone are Lord of all.
For your glory,