Boston Marathon

16 04 2013

marathon runner
“I can’t sleep.”
What’s the solution? It depends on who’s got the problem.

Adults battle sleepless nights. Young parents literally can’t get any sleep.

Hospital noises may prevent a patient from sleep. Snoring may be the culprit in a marriage.

But, if your child said it the night of the bombing in Boston, you know exactly what that meant. Your child was really saying, “I’m scared. I’m worried it could happen here.”

Parents once again are struggling with what to say to their young children. How can we calm their fears when our own sense of security has been rocked?

Worry consumes our thoughts.
Why did this happen? HOW could it happen? Can we prevent it from happening again?

Experts are saying there’s really no way they could ever guarantee complete safety for an event such as the Boston Marathon. There’s a limit to what can be done.

Likewise, there’s a limit to what we can do to ease the fears of a child. We can assure them adults are working to keep them safe. But, we can’t give them what they desperately need: complete peace.

When our son, Chris, was in elementary school, I felt similar helplessness. I couldn’t guarantee his safety when he went off to school. He often got bullied (as many children with ADHD did). I reassured him that adults were there to help. And I prayed with him.

In high school, Chris suffered a break from reality. He received help from a psychiatrist and entered a psychiatric unit. After his release from the hospital, he received homebound instruction.

When he returned to school, I worried he might be too mentally and emotionally fragile.
What if he becomes fearful or gets distressed? What will he do? Where will he go? Who will help him there?

I gave him a Pass It On® Message Card to keep in his pocket. He could pull it out anytime he needed reassurance from his heavenly Father. The card reminded him God was with him. Each message would restore perfect peace.

Chris learned that the Bible truly is the best weapon for worry. God’s sword can battle fears. There is power in the Word.
The bombing in Boston may have ripped through your child’s peaceful thoughts. In addition to what you’re doing and saying, pass along a scripture message. Your child can cling to God’s strong hand whenever or wherever you’re not there. By reading the powerful message of hope you lovingly tuck inside the pocket of his pants.

The Average Child

10 04 2013

average child
What’s good about being average? Is it a problem if a child isn’t the smartest or fastest? What if a child works harder than most and is—well—average?

From a teacher’s perspective, I viewed those students as precious jewels. They often possessed a silent humility, were quiet leaders, and exuded refreshing charm. Their goal wasn’t to outdo others, but to support and encourage peers. Qualities not often celebrated.

This is not to say that talented and academically superior students can’t display those qualities. Nor is it to say that all children who are average demonstrate those special character traits.

In my experience, however, many students who are average play supportive roles. They may have satisfactory academic performance and age-appropriate abilities in music or sports. But, their very presence in a classroom is an asset. These low-maintenance, selfless children enhance their community of learners. They demonstrate respect, determination, and diligence.

It seems that the average child goes unnoticed. The misbehaved student demands attention. The struggling learner gets help. Exceptional children receive accolades.

Students who excel academically receive awards. Superior athletes, gifted musicians, and talented artists get trophies.

What awards are there for the average child? There are no categories for extraordinary character. Where’s the award for a child who is compliant, supportive, attentive, thoughtful, helpful, pleasant, reliable, and considerate?

Why are no awards bestowed on such children? Surely, God is well-pleased with them. The Bible is full of exhortations to love others. That’s precisely where many average children shine.

Here’s to kids with fine character! And to their parents who teach them by example!