Many experts say kids suffering with anxiety or depression is the new normal. We must battle against this and fight for hope for our kids. They do not have to feel helpless when life is hard. In this article, Lori Wildenberg shares how good parents bust hope in their kids. But, with effective parenting techniques, you can offer the antidote to build hope instead.
Anyone who has known me very long knows that I have a passion to bring help, hope, and healing to those who suffer, particularly with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. My first book, Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the Hope Prevails Bible Study recounted my journey through the pit of depression to God’s healing.
On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, I chatted with Lori Wildenberg about depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts in our children (listen here Hope for Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression and Suicidal Ideation – Episode 127.) I asked her to share more with you here about how she holds onto hope, even when it’s messy.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
5 Ways Good Parents Bust Hope in their Kids and the Antidotes
By Lori Wildenberg
Our kids live in a hard world.
Many experts say kids suffering with anxiety or depression is the new normal. Suicide is reportedly the 2nd leading cause of death in young people. Parents, we cannot accept this as typical. We must battle against this and fight for hope.
Parents, we can offer hope!
Our kids do not have to feel helpless when life is hard. They can learn and experience mental health strengthening activities. We can begin by implementing some effective parenting techniques and character training that build rather than bust hope.
In our desire to protect our children from discouragement or disappointment, we often prevent necessary character growth experiences. We bust hope rather than build it.
There are five common ways good parents bust hope in their kids, plus five hope builder antidotes:
1. Hope Buster: We protect our child from pain.
None of us wants to see our child suffer. Most of us attempt to do whatever we can to protect them from hurt. Yet, the Lord tells us in this world we will have trouble. Our kids will experience times of trial.
Hope Builder: Our parental role is to provide empathy and strategies to live with, deal with, and address real life difficulties.
2. Hope Buster: We push past grief.
Watching our children grieve is harder than grieving ourselves. In our attempt to make them feel better we often push past grief instead of allowing them the fully feel their loss. In our children’s lives they will have times of grief. They need to learn how to grieve well. Then, they need to learn how and when to move forward.
Hope Builder: We can help them in their grief by providing an outlet for it and show empathy in the midst of the sadness.
3. Hope Buster: We compare our children.
The measuring stick we use must be unique to each child. Each one has his own skill set, natural talents, and personality. We can do damage to our child when we compare him to his siblings.
Hope Builder: Treasure and value each individual for who s/he is.
4. Hope Buster: We practice conditional love.
Our kiddos need to understand that no matter their performance, they are loved because of their personhood. We love our kids because they are our children, not because of what they do.
Hope Builder: Avoid withholding love when they don’t behave in a way you expected. We can love and correct at the same time.
5. Hope Buster: Focus on personal independence.
This is the biggest reason our kiddos do not seek help. They believe they must handle everything on their own.
Hope Builder: Create an all for one, one for all environment in your family. It is a beautiful thing when we live in a home that provides grace, love, help, and support for each member of the family team.
Parents, we can soften our kids’ world a bit by giving unconditional love and showing appreciation for each individual. We can prepare our kids by providing a realistic view of life.
Life is not perfect and there will be times of suffering and sadness. And our kids need to know they are not walking alone, their family is beside them to offer help. But mostly, our kids need to know that their God, the source of true hope and supernatural help, is with them always.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
What other hope busters and hope builders have you encountered or can you think of? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
If you found this post helpful and would like more encouragement, you may want to read, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation.
About Lori Wildenberg:
Helping families create connections that last a lifetime is Lori Wildenberg’s passion. Lori, wife to Tom, mom of 4, and Mimi to 1, shares her stories of failures and successes, in her books and talks, to encourage and equip parents. As a licensed parent and family educator, she leads the Moms Together Facebook group and page and co-hosts the Moms Together Podcast. The Wildenberg home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Hope for Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression and Suicidal Ideation – Episode 127, Lori Wildenberg is giving away a free copy of her book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you’ve learned about how to build hope vs. bust hope in your kids and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, September 27, 2021. Continental United States only.