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The Best Year Ever

Children living through the challenges of 2020 are going to need some extra TLC. As 2021 rings in, the people of the world are still wearing masks, social distancing and constantly washing hands. Our youngest ones will, perhaps, be forever changed by these actions. "At the most crucial developmental stage of their life, children in 2020 were forced to stay at home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no physical school, no interaction with friends or peers, and a historic event looming over their heads that some understood, and some didn’t.”[1] Children coped in the first few weeks. They adapted to most of the changes. Then the weeks became months.

Adam D. Brown, PsyD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone and member of its Child Study Center, described some reactions young children may have to the trauma of the pandemic:

*Your child may replay certain thoughts or images in their mind or have an increase in nightmares.

*Your child may struggle with a range of negative feelings including sadness, hopelessness, irritability and anger, or numbness.

*Your child may avoid, or become agitated or distressed if unable to avoid, people, places, and things that remind them of what happened, or what is happening.

*Your child may startle more easily or feel like there is danger or a threat [iis] present.”[2]

These are serious reactions that are worrisome to parents. How, then, can we calm the storm in the middle of the storm? Wisdom from I Corinthians 13: 4-8 is a great start. Patience and kindness may go far to chase the sadness. Being slow to anger and honoring one another can sooth young hearts. Reassurance and protection can encourage hope that things will get better.

Daryl Evans shared some practical tips on raising children in a Christian home. He reminds us to put Christ first in our lives and model what a Christian looks like. Make our family a high priority and teach about God; use the scriptures; connect with a church and other family and friends of faith; and encourage and pray for each other.[3]

These are sound tips at any time and especially now when it is so easy to watch endless television and let opportunities with your family slip by. Instead, exemplify the richness of Christian living and be grateful for what you have. Challenge your children to be creative and point out that Jesus is the Great Creator. One family reported that they assembled a miniature golf course in their home. Each family member chose a room and used items found in that room to build their “hole”. After completing the course, the family played mini golf through the house. Sharing activities like that gives you ample time to show the patience, love and kindness that will help dispel some of the current anxiety children experience and make new happy memories together.

Maybe 2021 can be the best year yet.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

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