When it comes to tragedy, there’s often a ripple effect. Some people are directly impacted by a tragic event or circumstance, and the ripples of that tragedy impact those around them. Being caught in the ripples of someone going through the darkness can be difficult and confusing. It can leave you feeling incredibly helpless, wondering what to say, what to do, and how to best be a friend to them in the midst of their darkness. Ruth, a woman who walked alongside a friend in the midst of terrible tragedy, gives us a great example to follow in the Old Testament. As we watch how she walked with a friend through the darkness, we’ll see that sometimes the key to responding to the ripples of tragedy isn’t really about fixing the problem, but sitting with them in the midst of it instead.
PARENT TOOL // CRISIS GUIDE
With teenagers, the pressure seems to increase as their responsibility does. The potential for them to experience a crisis-- whether from bad decisions, rejection or trauma-- also increases. Sometimes it's easy to want to jump in and fix things, but supporting their efforts to handle their crisis helps them more.
Be aware of the signs that your teen is experiencing a crisis and don't take them lightly. Try to understand more than you feel like you know. See them for the adults they are becoming, be careful to respond, and offer more help if they need it.
We've attached the following Crisis Guides for parents of middle schoolers and high schoolers. We hope that you check them out and come alongside your kid(s) as they walk "through the darkness."
Shepherding the hearts of our kids is one of those daily behaviors that does more to refine and challenge me than anything else in my life. In my interactions with my kids, God reveals more to me about my own humanity than I care to know. Particularly in disciplinary situations.
One thing I’ve learned about kids is that I cannot control their actions. There are times when I try. There are times I guide, nudge, remind, even harass… yet, in the end, they decide what action they will take. Not me.
I don’t know about you, but that really gets under my skin. It’s something I have to actively submit to the Father asking Him for guidance and patience. Recently I was reminded of these words in Ephesians 4:29:
“Don’t say anything that would hurt [another person]. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.” (GWT)
It’s a timely reminder for me that my role as mom is to Fight for the Heart of my kids, to create a culture of unconditional love in my home that fuels their emotional and moral health. Approaching discipline in a way that is helpful takes practice, planning and patience.
READ MORE ON THE PARENT CUE BLOG