“I’m just so worried”
“It made me really sad”
Hearing kids say these things is hard. Sometimes you feel sad and wish you could comfort them, while other times you may be rushed and just want to solve the problem and move on—especially if this is something you hear frequently.
How should we help kids who need comfort? Most importantly, we want to show them where—or rather, Who—they can always turn to for true comfort, because we won’t always be there.
Here’s five quick ideas you might try with the kids in your life:
First, pray about it with them. After kids share their situation—even if it seems insignificant, talk to God about it with them. Keep your prayer simply worded and sincere.
You don’t have to wait until kids tell you their worries to model this. A quick “Dear God, please keep us safe as we travel in the rain” or, “thank you God for being with me when I’m sad, and giving comfort,” will help kids see how they can turn to God for comfort.
Second, use positive activities with a godward focus. Think about what gives pleasure to this child. Does she like to color, play outside, read, or talk with a friend? Think of creative ways to use it to point her to the ultimate giver of comfort. For coloring, encourage her to draw something that shows God cares about that concern. For outside play, you could send her on a scavenger hunt for things God made and then talk about how everything works together in the ecosystem because He can work all things together for good. For reading, gather short books that point to God. CEF has a booklet by the title, Do You Wonder Why? For talking with friends, encourage the grieving child to pray for her friends or, if she’s comfortable, pray with her friends about why she’s sad.
A third idea for comfort is to challenge kids to look for “God things” in the situation. For example, if the struggle is with a bad grade, remind them God sees their hard work, understands their disappointment, and created them according to His perfect plan—and their grades can’t change that. Speculate with them on all the ways God could possibly use the situation for good. Follow up with that in the future once the situation fully unfolds.
Kids can find comfort in music. Play songs that kids can remember in times they need comfort. Songs about prayer, praise, or God’s presence are a great place to start. You can visit the CEF YouTube channel, U-nite, to find songs that cover all of these topics, including this comforting one, “I Look to You.”
The fifth and last idea is possibly the best. Work with kids to memorize verses that bring comfort. Scripture is powerful and God uses it in the lives of His children. Some good verse to start with include Psalm 46:1, 1 Peter 5:7, or John 14:27. And you can use music as part of THIS idea too! You can find all of these verses as song downloads at CEFpress.com. You can create a playlist of verse songs and have them available for kids to go to when they need comfort.
One last note about comfort. When helping children learn habits for finding comfort, it’s important to remember that comfort isn’t the same thing as relief. Sometimes situations will always hurt. Children might always miss a family member who passed away, or have a friend who will always have a disability. Even if things don’t change on the outside, they can change on the inside. We need to help the kids in our lives build habits of turning to God and finding His peace that passes all understanding.
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