WHEN OUR CHILDREN STRUGGLE - Lisa Clark
I have been made aware recently of many preteens/teens who struggle with depression and anxiety. I’m so thankful for summer for many reasons, but mostly so that our kids can relax and unwind. There is way too much pressure on them to overachieve and be better than the rest.
When our children do take off the mask and make us aware of their struggles, we can react in several ways. Many parents will try to hide their children’s struggles so as not to draw attention to the fact that they might have dropped the ball along the way. Some parents will try to minimize it and chalk it off to relationships, school, sports, whatever, in hopes that it will all go away. And then some parents will take action and get their kids help.
In a small group recently of 12 high school students, I heard 8 share that they’ve dealt with depression and feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Does that mean they all need professional help? Probably not. But it does mean they need someone to talk to, relate to, and to show them biblical truths that can/will help them with their struggle.
I remember several years ago, my 22 year-old daughter shared something with me that helped me in my parenting. She called from California and said, “Mom, I’m only going to tell you this because I know you’ll go straight to Jesus with it and won’t worry.” Wow. That spoke volumes. I WANT my children to share their struggles with me. I don’t want them to wear a mask and act as if all is good. But I want them to share with me because I will in turn share with Jesus.
Moms, no matter what your child’s struggle, we have a Savior who can help them. Please don’t feel inadequate or inferior when your kids hurt and struggle. As I tell my girls, “The struggle keeps us on our knees.” Without the struggle, we get dependent on self and feel as if we don’t need God. That is not where we want to be.
Continue in open communication with your children. Talk about everything. Keep it all on the table. This promotes an environment within your home that makes it safe to talk. Don’t carry your children’s burdens. Lay them at the feet of Jesus. Talk to a professional if your child’s struggle merits it. Be encouraged. WE ALL HAVE STRUGGLES. Let me say it again…WE ALL HAVE STRUGGLES. As long as you have skin, you will struggle. Praise God for the struggle and trust Him to bring you through. God bless you!
Sky Ranch SkyMom's Parenting Mentor