Ep.1126: How Do We Cope With Anxiety and Depression in Our Kids? (Part III)
Learning to accept and manage our kid’s emotional challenges
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Theme Scripture: James 1:19
Life can be a real challenge when we are pressed by personal anxiety or depression. These things can not only burden our days, they can constrict and suffocate our very moments. As difficult as living is under these circumstances, think about the overwhelming confusion anxiety and depression would bring to a child. They begin to see the world through eyes of fear and uncertainty. They lose interest in things that used to excite them and have no idea why this is happening or what to do about it. Our kids withdraw, they lash out and they feel alone.
Anxiety and depression in kids is a real thing. It is far more common than we would like to think. For parents, it is a fearful and confusing issue of life. How do we deal with it and try to understand it? How do we become the best parents possible to help our children to cope?
What do we do?
There are a few experiences in life that every parent absolutely never wants to have to face. These belong in the “Please, anything but this” box of life events, as they represent dread and uncertainty. Having our kids experience serious emotional issues or mental illness are two items from the box. Seeing these things emerge into our real-life experience feels like a nightmare come true. It is a “this can’t be happening” moment. Our reality changes, and we now have to do something. But what?
In a recent podcast we talked to a social worker who specializes in treating kids who are experiencing depression, anxiety and other issues. Taryn’s expertise and experience with kids and their families were like bright lights in a dark and threatening cave of uncertainty. Taryn didn’t take away the actual issues and challenges that are inherent with these emotional difficulties. She did, however, give us a foundation of understanding and a pathway to follow. She provided hope because she shined a light on the issues.
Listen. That was the overriding theme of her expertise and experience. Listen, learn, validate and apply. As a parent, any kind of mental health issue with our child can go from overwhelming to manageable if we participate in this process. This takes both humility and courage because the path to a healthy family is winding and often steep.
When you think about it, these messages and lessons are in the forefront of our Christian experience. As Christian parents, we know the value of seeking input from the Bible. We know the value of fellowship and vulnerability when faced with hard challenges. For the sake of our kids, we need to apply these spiritual principles to our families so we can guide them appropriately. Check out our May 18, 2020 podcast, “How Do We Cope With Anxiety and Depression in Our Kids?” for more. We take five basic principles of strong Christian parenting and apply them to managing these deep emotional issues. With Taryn’s help and a strong scriptural base, we find powerful hope and direction. Please listen to the rest of this timely series: Part I and Part II.