USA (MNN) –It’s March 19, 2020. We’re supposed to be in the middle of March Madness, prepping our elementary school kids for spring class trips, prepping high school kids for band trips and seniors for prom, prepping college seniors for adulting, and filing taxes.
Instead, Americans find themselves joining the rest of the world in a lockdown to combat COVID-19. Nationally, authorities rolled out social distancing measures, schools and businesses closed, and many companies declared working from home necessary.
The never-ending stream of stories on our social media feeds surrounds us 24/7 with information on a global pandemic. Even if we choose to ‘cut the cord’ by disconnecting with most media, there’s constant witness to empty store shelves, stockpiling, profiteering, and general panic. The pandemic has infiltrated our collective consciousnesses.
An alternative message
That’s before you get to the isolation that comes with ‘social distancing’. The reality is that we are social beings. Anxiety comes with the insecurity, and fear, with panic. Unfortunately, both are contagious.
As kids watch their parents, they mirror what they see. Keys For Kids Executive Director Greg Yoder says, “There are a lot of kids and even parents today that are dealing with those fears and anxieties. The question is, how do we handle that?” He considers briefly before adding, “I think it’s healthy to let our kids know that we’re struggling too and this is why we need Jesus because we don’t have all the answers.”
Finding the answers
He offers some tips on thriving, not just surviving, during this period. “One of the things that kids seem to struggle with is fear. And so a couple of years ago, we put together a ‘Conquering Fear’ seven-day devotional for YouVersion. It’s seven days of devotions to really help your kids deal with that feel that that feeling of fear and anxiety that they have.”
Kids need structure. Parents can set time limits on activities and take breaks in-between. Yoder encourages parents not only to utilize their daily Keys For Kids devotionals, but also engage their teens with the Unlocked series. The topics covered by the series can stir conversations leading to deeper faith discussions.
WFH is a paradigm shift for many working parents. In this new normal, Yoder says, “Parents are home with their kids.” Sometimes, kids need a distraction. Keys For Kids also provides a downloadable resource kit to help. “We’ve got a lot of activities for kids. It includes the coloring pages, four Keys For Kids stories, journal activities about encouraging others, and then there’s the Prayer Power page to let us know how we can be praying for you.” (Click here to download)
God sees the whole picture
Keys For Kids makes it a priority to pray for the needs shared with their staff, he explains. “Even though we are working from homes, we’re still having our prayer time with our Keys For Kids staff remotely, and we’re upholding your prayers before the Lord.”
The support the ministry offers goes round the clock through the programming they offer via their app. “Just go to Keys For Kids in the App Store. You can actually listen to Keys For Kids Radio, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It’s lots of great music, some great programs and obviously the announcers are talking about this little bit, but encouraging them just to pray and to rely on the Lord in this time of uncertainty.”
COVID19 provides an historic opportunity for parents to teach their children a Biblical approach to crisis. It’s a faith-building moment that will shape the next generation. To that end, Yoder finishes with this thought: “There are a lot of things that we can be praying about. The things that I think are most concerning to me, this stress that’s happening on families. There are so many families that don’t have any income coming in right now; (be) praying for those who are sick; (be) praying for our churches.”
Headline image courtesy Keys For Kids.