Whether it was fear of the dark, the bad guys or bad dreams, both of my kids have gone through seasons where they struggled with fear at bedtime. At first, I tried to convince them there was nothing to be afraid of by checking under the bed and in the closet, turning the lights on and even resorting to “Monster Spray” (a spray bottle of water that was supposed to keep the bad guys away). Sometimes it worked, other times not so much!
Often, I found myself laying in bed with them until one or both of us fell asleep, more often than not I would wake up and have no idea how long I had been there! It occurred to me one night that although there are times it is completely appropriate for me to snuggle with them in bed, I wasn’t teaching them how to FIGHT their fears.It’s natural to want the presence of another person to comfort us when we are afraid and as parents we naturally want to comfort our kids.We should comfort our kids when they are afraid, but we should also equip them to FIGHT fear with prayer and perseverance.Click To Tweet
They will want to give up, they will want your physical presence, but your job as a parent is to prepare them to leave your home as a emotionally healthy adult. So that means we comfort them and also equip them with the tools they need to fight their fears. We are training them to go to battle armed with God’s truth to conquer the darkness! It’s important that they learn to call on their ever present God who can bring the ultimate comfort & peace to their heart!
Here are some practical ways to equip your child to deal with bedtime fears:
- Get a blank journal – write out specific prayers and scriptures & let your child write some of their own. Pull it out on the hard nights and remind them that this journal is always a place they can turn to when they are feeling scared. They can even write out their fears as a prayer.
- Take out their bible and use tabs to mark some scriptures about fear. Read them aloud and have them repeat those scriptures back to you.
- Write fear scriptures on index cards and give them blank cards to write them out themselves, keep them on the night stand handy for bedtime.
For Readers & Non-Readers:
- Pray over them before bed. When praying, don’t be afraid to pray against the evil that is invading your child’s mind. Speak God’s truth over your child & their room, remember God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind!
- Play soft worship music, an audio version of the Bible or spoken prayers as they fall asleep. You could even record your voice praying or reading scripture over them.
Lastly, on those hard nights, comfort those sweet ones, equip them with tools to FIGHT, pray with them and LEAVE the room knowing you have done your job Mama!
That’s right, PRAY & WALK AWAY! It may be hard to walk away those first few times, but as you train them, it will get easier for you and for them. Stay the course, it’s a fight worth fighting!
“I PRAYED to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” Psalm 34:4
Do you have tips that worked to calm your kids’ bedtime fears? Share in the comments.
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This website was birthed out of Christy's passion to see women become intentional in their lives. She is passionate about helping moms discover their purpose in their homes, churches, communities & world!