As much as you try to protect kids from bad news and tough circumstances, it’s amazing what they pick up. Even infants can sense when transition is happening or when a parent is tense and on edge. And both transition and tension are what we all have a lot of these days.
The novelty of living with covid-19 has worn thin and kids are getting tired of the new normal forced on them. All they can think of is how it affects me.
Why can’t I play with my friends?
Why do I have to wear this mask?
How am I going to spend a whole summer without playing baseball?
Why can’t I spend more time on the computer; there’s nothing else to do?
This just isn’t fair!
You can’t dismiss their feelings. After all, who wouldn’t feel frustrated?
As a parent, you can empower them by listening, empathizing and encouraging.
- How are you feeling?
- What’s on your mind?
- Can I pray with you about anything?
You can work with them to come up with creative solutions—for seeing their friends, for celebrating a special milestone or birthday.
A couple of weeks ago, we invited my niece over for a campfire for her fourteenth birthday. We roasted hot dogs, made s’mores, and played games (all socially distancing of course). Not exactly the birthday she’d had in mind a couple of months ago, but she was fun!
BUT you can go one step further and hand your kids another weapon against frustration, confusion and worry. The power of “magnifying” God will help them get a different perspective. Why does it work? They’ll find out in this magnifying glass object lesson.
Just for fun
Discovery for younger kids – Use a magnifying glass or a pair of reading glasses and examine several objects (piece of candy, a leaf, back of someone’s hand)
How do things change when you look through the magnifying glass?
What can see better that you couldn’t see before?
Relay for older kids – ideally use a pair of binoculars. A magnifying glass works too. Time kids to see how fast they can move from one end of the house to the other only looking through the binoculars. It’s harder than you think! Fastest time wins.
How did looking through the magnifying glass (binoculars) change your view?
Make the Connection
Whatever you look at with a magnifying glass (binoculars) looks closer and bigger. A Hershey’s kiss doubles in size. An M&M becomes the size of a cookie. Your little toe swells to the size of your big toe. What you thought was a worm in the garden looks more like a small snake.
The Bible, God’s Word, says you can “magnify” or praise God.
I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30
Not with a magnifying glass of course, but by using your words. Praise works like a magnifying glass. When you focus on God and tell him how awesome he is, he feels bigger and closer. But God doesn’t just seem big; he really is big and powerful.
When you praise God he seems bigger than any problem or bad news: the annoying fact that you can’t visit your friends–again or that soccer’s been cancelled for the season. Praising God helps you think about him and what’s good. He grows bigger and problems seem to get smaller.
Ideas in Action
Be filled with the Holy Spirit,singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…and give thanks for everything to God. Ephesians 5:18
When you feel like bad things are looking pretty big, focus on something good. Here are some ideas…
- Tell God five things you’re really thankful for.
- Turn on praise music and dance.
- Read a psalm – Psalm 100 is a great one to read.
- Shout – “God, you’re awesome!”
- Text a friend about something God did for you today.
You can be real with God about how you feel. But the more you focus on him, the smaller everything else will seem. That’s the honest truth!