After Abraham sent Ishmael and his mother Hagar away, they wandered in the wilderness until their water got finished and when it seemed they were going to die of thirst, God heard the voice of the lad Ishmael and then He opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well of water.(Genesis 21:17-19)
God heard Ishmael and helped his family manage their stressful situation by showing his mother a well of water. She drew from it and they did not die.
Therefore, for family stress management, teach your children to talk to God in prayer for He listens to them also. Tell them He will listen to their prayers just as He listened to Ishmael for He does not discriminate against them based on their age.
Incalcate this habit of praying for stress management from an early age because the solution that your family may need to manage its stressful situation may come through the prayers of your children.
Even if your family is going through a lot of stress and facing many problems such us debt, disease and divorce, tell your children not to worry or waste time comparing their family with those of their friends.
Instead, urge them to pray and trust in God with all their heart and not to lean on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) or lack of it.
A simple prayer that you can teach them to begin with is the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:10-14.
A child’s version of the Lord’s prayer might be:
Our Father who lives in heaven,
We honor your holy name.
Let your Kingdom come and your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need to eat
And forgive us all the bad things we do
As we forgive those who do bad things to us
Help us not to be naughty
And protect us from the bad devil.
Adapted from Managing Stress for Teens by Dr. Miriam Kinai © 2009