At the age of ten I should have been outside playing with my friends, embracing the warmth of summer and enjoying the innocence of a child. Instead, I was thrown a curve ball that put a huge halt on my childhood all together. When I found out my fourteen year old brother David had passed away, life as I knew it was over.
For the rest of my adolescent years, our home was shrouded in grief. This grief has played a huge role in shaping me into the mother I am today. After experiencing the great loss of my brother, it completely warped my reality into always expecting the worst.
Without realizing it, when my parents were in survival mode after losing their son, they became very over protective of me. My parents unknowingly instilled fears into me. Those fears were so deep in my subconscious that I didn't realize or even deal with them until I was much older.
Now that I am a mother, I still fear many things. Losing my child is by far my greatest fear. I believe as mothers, we want to protect our children and shelter them from harm. But, this cycle of instilling fear can be stopped.
Parenting a certain way because of our fears will actually instill those same fears into our little ones.
What do you want to instill in your child?
Though I am still growing as a mother, these steps are guiding me to pass on a legacy of love to my child instead of fear.
1. Soak up God’s Word and become a Pray Warrior. Pray that God would release you from the bondage of fear. Let God take the weight of your burdens; ask Him for complete healing and restoration. Pray for God to comfort you during those times when your fears come.
2.Stop dwelling on the past. Replaying past tragedies or your worst fears in your head are not healthy and will only cause you to worry more. If we are focused on God and He is filling us with His peace and comfort than our children will see that in us.
3. Allow your kids to be kids. Let your kids play, even though they may fall down every now and then. This is so hard for me. I am the definition of a “helicopter parent”. I’m that Mom at the playground circling my child at all times. With God’s grace, He is showing me how important it is to allow your child to fall so they can learn how to get back up. Being too cautious will make your child fearful. So let them play.
4.Avoid certain phrases. Avoid phrases that make your child feel that they are constantly in danger. Saying, "Don't be afraid" will most likely make them more fearful. Instead say, "There is nothing to worry about, you are safe." We want them to be cautious of course, but there are some things we don't necessarily have to share with our child. Childhood is so brief and we must protect our child’s innocence.
5. Have Fun! The best way to eliminate fear and worry is to enjoy yourself. Many times laughter is the best medicine. Make sure you and your children get your daily dose! Encourage your child to take risks, to live free of fear and instill courage into your child by telling them, “I believe in you”.
Liss has a passion to empower believers to be bold, courageous and to live authentically for Jesus Christ. She is a pastor's wife, stay at home mom, photographer and coffee lover. Liss blogs with her husband at www.loveuncensored.com where they share real life experiences through ministry, marriage, fitness and parenting.