As a mom, I think one of the hardest things I have to deal with, is watching my kids when they are hurting.
I’m not talking about the typical physical hurts, like cuts and bruises, but rather the emotional hurts that life can bring: Watching them go through difficult situations that break their hearts. Situations that don’t seem fair. Situations that seem overwhelming and unbearable to them.
Usually, these are things that I have no control over, which makes it harder. Because as a mom, I want to protect my kids from hurt. And nothing hurts more than seeing your child in pain. However, I have to remember that going through trials is one of the best ways for them to grow and learn.
10 Things To Do When Your Kids Are Hurting
God uses trials to strengthen and refine us. And although He allows the things that happen in my kids’ lives for a reason, we can trust His reasons are good!
“All things work together for good….” Romans 8:28
Here are some of the things that I do when my children are hurting:
1. Usually I cry with them and for them. My heart breaks for them and their pain. The Bible says to weep with those who weep. When it’s my children, that’s pretty easy to do!
2. I hug them and hold them for as long as they need it. (Sometimes a waterproof towel over the shoulder is a good idea!)
Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Pain
3. I listen, and try to hear not just what they’re saying, but what they’re feeling.
4. I bite my tongue and hold back words of instruction, or reproof. They may be words I need to speak to them, but NOT at that time!
How do you talk to kids when they are upset?
5. I encourage them to go to God. I tell my kids that I know they are hurting, but “No one understands like Jesus”. So I tell them to go to Him and pour out their tears, anger, questions, hurt, and whatever else they may be feeling. God already knows what they are thinking/feeling, but bringing it to Him helps them release some of the emotions, rather than holding on to them and getting bitter, or staying angry or hurt. I often remind my kids of the verse, “Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us”. (Psalm 62:8)
Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Pain
6. I encourage them to listen to good music, that is uplifting and comforting. Music will help soothe their hurting spirit, and Godly music will remind them that He is in control. He can be trusted. He sees their hurt; He cares.
7. I try to spend extra time with them, and do something special, like go out for breakfast, or a shopping trip. That normally includes buying some chocolate, since chocolate makes everything seem better!
How Do You Support A Sibling When They Hurt?
8. I encourage siblings to be extra understanding, and to show extra support and love. I love that when one of the kids is struggling, the others will do what they can to help. My youngest daughter just wrote this poem, because she saw her older sister was going through a very hard time:
There’s just something about
Having your sister there
When everything is falling apart
When life seems so unfair
Tho we’re all very different
Tho we have our silly fights
We’re there when it matters
There thru the darkest nights
Tho we have our different opinions
Tho we’ll never see eye to eye
When one is hurting we’re there
Even if to just sit by you while you cry
Tho we may say hurtful things
We always care for one another
On each other, we never give up
We’re just like birds of a feather
When Your Child Is Hurting, Give It To God
9. Pray for them! I pray for my kids daily, but when they’re going through a hard time, it’s on my mind, and I keep bringing them and their needs before the Lord whenever I think about it.
10. I have found that when none of the above things work, and I’m at a loss for words, the best thing I can do is pray for them as I’m hugging them. Recently my daughter has been going through some difficulties and just cries and cries. When I’m not able to comfort her, I just start praying out loud. I ask the Lord to comfort her as only He can, and thank Him that He loves her even more than I do. I ask Him to help her to feel His comfort & love, and to help her rest in His love; I ask Him to heal the hurt, but also to draw her close to Him during the difficult time. Usually, I cry as I’m praying, and I ask God to give the comfort that I can’t and help my daughter trust Him through the hard time, and give her the strength she needs to get through. After I finish praying, her spirit is much calmer, the sobbing calms, and I can tell she is feeling a little more like she can go on with God’s help.
I’m so glad that as Christian parents we have a God we can turn to for not only our needs, but also the needs of our children. I’m especially grateful that He knows what is best for them, and in the words of the songwriter, “When we don’t understand His plan, we can trust His heart.”
What are some ways you help your children when they are hurting?