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Intentional Parenting: Teaching Courage

Fear begins in the heart of a child and remains in the heart of the adult. The face of it changes some, but it is there all the same.

If we can teach our children to call on God immediately when he is afraid, he will retain this response as an adult. Fear binds and ties us. It keeps us from forward-motion. It is not meant to be. It is God’s enemy. Our children need a plan of action. You can give it to them.

Using Philippians 4: 6-9, you can give your child steps to follow when fear crashes her heart or creeps up from behind. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Decide to choose courage (We are not supposed to fear.)
  2. Tell God exactly what is bothering you. (He cares so much about this.)
  3. Ask Him to do something about it. (He wants to save you.)
  4. Thank Him. (Think about all the things He has done for you—like giving you puppies and pies!)
  5. God will send you peace. God says He will keep your heart safe from fear. It won’t find a home there. (Do 1-4 each time the fear comes back. “Over and over again” is the key to forming a habit.)
  6. Think about or do good things. Things that you have seen and heard that are pleasing. (Like your birthday cake, Christmas morning, swimming, vacation, kittens you’ve played with, puddles, how you can rest, sing a song, read a book, color a picture, help someone else who is afraid.)
  7. God’s peace will stay with you when you do #6.

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