From Scary News: 12 Ways to Raise Joyful Children When the Headlines Are Full of Fear

Our desire to protect our children is deeply rooted, with good cause. It helps us to fulfill our caretakers’ role. In that sincere desire to protect, we can strap on protective padding until our little ones can’t move, or we can immobilize them with fearful warnings of life’s dangers. But all that worry and fear will kill the joy life holds, for adult and child alike. We must do what we can with the knowledge that when they are not within the safety of our arms, they are held in the arms of their Divine Mother and Father. Visualize your children surrounded with light and lift them up, mentally, to the Christ center, the point between the eyebrows. Offer them into the Lord’s keeping with gratitude and love. Practice this every day and you and your children will learn the security of God’s presence together.

Give Me Light!

It is not just marketing that makes all types of glow-in-the-dark toys popular. Light gives us power against darkness, whether real or imagined. Inexpensive flashlights, such as the squeeze kind that come several to a package, can be used in a variety of games. While the children are out of the room, have a helper scatter small cards around the classroom. Make your own cards with uplifting thoughts or pictures, or purchase small Angel Cards(r) (see Appendix) or tokens. Don’t hide the cards under things, they have to be visible by flashlight. Let each child have a flashlight and hunt for as many of the cards as they can find in the dark. Count them, read them, share them, and then they will probably want to do it all over again. An alternative to the game above would be to use plastic glow-in-the-dark stars, made for sticking to the ceiling. Charge the stars under a lamp and scatter them around the room. They would be fun to find without flashlights. They also lose their glow after a short time, which would challenge the children with a time limit.

Materials needed: flashlights for each child, small cards, or plastic glow-in-the-dark stars

Write it Down

Have the children sit on the floor at least arm’s length from one another. Light a candle on your altar or a small table, where everyone can see it. Repeat the affirmation together several times while concentrating on the light of the candle. You may want to start with the lights on and then turn the lights off. After they know the words well, show them how to "write " the words of the affirmation on the floor with their finger. While sitting in the same spot, turn in a complete circle, writing the words on the floor until you have surrounded yourself with the invisible affirmation. Then blow out the candle and repeat the affirmation several times in the dark. Encourage them to use the affirmation anytime they are worried. They can use the invisible writing technique on their pillow before going to sleep. Remind them that the Divine Light is shining within them and upon them, even in the dark.

Materials needed: candle

Draw a Dream

After looking at the affirmation picture with the children, give them blank paper to draw on. Suggest that they draw a balloon to go over the sleeping child’s head with pictures of what she is dreaming, or draw a beautiful quilt to go on the bed that would help make her feel safe and happy.

Materials needed: paper, crayons, markers

Use Music

Give Me a Light from I Came From Joy! music recording. A song with both power and sweetness. Good for singing in rounds.

Sing Out with Joy! from I Came From Joy! music recording

Tell Stories

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. Monsters scare Max in his dreams until he learns to face them and take control. Then his nights are fun adventures.

Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown. No matter where bunny goes, his mother is always with him, just as our Divine Mother is.

The Always Prayer Shawl, by Sheldon Oberman. Adam’s life changes in many ways as he grows up, immigrates to America, marries, raises children and grows old. Through it all though, he is always Adam and he prays with his always prayer shawl that belonged to his grandfather. He teaches his grandson that some things always change and some things never do. Discuss how our relationship with God is the only constant in the universe, and can always be depended upon.

Psalm Twenty-Three, illustrated by Tim Ladwig. The inspirational poem is realistically illustrated and set in a contemporary inner city setting. An African-American boy and his sister have a safe haven in their home filled with love, amidst the dangers and dark-ness of the city. A relevant and inspirational book for many, but not for the very young.

"Man struggles all his life to store up treasures for himself, to insure his property against loss and his health against the devastation of disease. He rests his faith in outward measures, and sees not that such faith is like asking a wave not to move! Security is his alone whose faith rests in the Lord. Most practical of men is he who offers his life to God, praying, "My safety is Thy responsibility, Lord." This does not mean we should not be conscientious. But after doing our very best, we should leave the worrying to God!" —Swami Kriyananda, Affirmations for Self-Healing

"And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely in the unknown." And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, and safer than a known way." " —Minnie Louise Haskins

"The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." —Psalms 121:7-8

"No coward soul is mine, No trembler in the world’s storm troubled sphere: I see heaven’s glories shine, And faith shines equal, arming me from fear." —Emily Bronte

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