4 Steps to Experiencing Growth in Times of Change

August 15, 2018

Reagan Croyle Phillips

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“The one constant is change.”  This saying has some truth whether you heard it from your granddaddy, mama, preacher, or fortune cookie.  So, if change is so constant, why does it seem to still unsettle us and catch us off guard?  You would think we would all be pros at change by now, but we’re NOT.  As parents we not only experience significant change personally, but we also walk with and lead our children through their own seasons of it as well.  All the while, their changes change us even more.

So… how can we stare it down with its mean, soul-sucking, beady little eyes and look at it as a time of growth and refinement?  If you are leading a child through a season of change here are some ideas and truths that can make it smoother.

First, LISTEN, don’t talk. Give your child the freedom and the space to share what is on their mind and troubling their hearts. Acknowledge those feelings. They see things differently than we do.  Don’t project your fears onto them.  Your adult mind is viewing the situation through adult lenses and might see challenges and stressors that a child does not.

Second, after you have listened, share with them what you know in an age appropriate way.  Don’t overshare as to add to their burden, but don’t lie.  The old adage “knowledge is power” is true for our little ones also.  The unknown can sometimes be scarier than the truth.  If they have questions, answer them the best you can with age-appropriate honesty.

Third, model a healthy attitude.  Be honest about your struggles during times of change, but most importantly highlight the positives through the situation. Be sure to point out the ways in which they are handling it well.  Give them extra affirmation, attention, and affection.

Last and most important, “The one constant is change” may be an old saying, but it is not all-together true.  We, as parents and caregivers, can be a constant in our children’s lives.  We can point them to the One that does not change. Because no matter how prepared you think you might be, there will be moments of change that jerk the rug out from under your feet and leave you struggling to catch your breath. The hope in all of this – change really isn’t the constant at all…it’s in a secure Hope whose name is Jesus. Nothing catches Him off guard and nothing touches us that hasn’t gone through His hands, so we can rest in the comfort that no matter what change may come, the One who was, is and is to come holds US.

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