May 2023
Loran Tang, recruiter and training coordinator of Children Ministry 

Anxiety! We can overcome it together!

As the pandemic has started to leave behind us, we are still struggling to deal with many aftermath effects at schools, workplaces, homes and even churches. The topic series: “The kids are not alright” from CityNews has red flagged some problematic behaviours that highly alert educators and physicians across BC – significant delay in physical, cognitive and social-emotional development, problem solving skills, high levels of anxiety and disruptive behaviour.

Many kids spent most of their time at homes and isolating themselves from the world during the pandemic, they now feel extremely anxious over simple routines even like going to schools.

I believe these issues are somewhat reflected in BAC as well. As we welcomed many families that sought their new homes in Vancouver in the past two years, we also see the struggles of the new families.

You might have kids who refuse to go to Children Worship because they find it hard to mingle with others. Some of them don’t want to go to Sunday School because they don’t fully understand English messages. Some told us they feel left out. As parents, what can you do to support them and to overcome their anxiety?

Talk it out and pray for them

Kids might not be able to verbalise their fears. However, you can still sit down with them and hear their thoughts. Encourage or guide them to talk out their feelings and pray with them together. Pray consistently can well remind your kids of God’s constant love and guidance. Another helpful tip is to share your concerns with our team – our program coordinators, teachers and helpers are experienced children volunteers and would be happy to work with your family.

Come consistently

Many parents give in to the kids when they have a bad mood and decide not to go to church on some Sundays. However, if you want to support them to overcome their anxiety, coming regularly and consistently is in fact the best way to help them because kids can find comfort when they see a regular pattern and your boundary. Knowing what to expect is an important component to overcome anxiety. When your kids are here every Sunday, they will start to build up confidence, friendship and find funs in our programs, even the journey can be tough in the beginning.

Stay with them if necessary

We understand kids’ anxiety is valid and real. As I mentioned before, our team is happy to work with your family. If your kid needs you to stay around in the beginning, we are happy to offer you to sit in. Parents’ sitting in has a lot of benefits. While your kids can be at ease, parents can see what we are doing. Through this participation, you can partner with us to help your kids to grow their spiritual lives.

Connected to the community

The three-year pandemic has turned our world upside down. Many of us are profoundly impacted. As a church community, we should live out our love and faith to support each other instead of dealing with this hardship on our own. If you kids have anxiety, try to connect with other families as to build up a community and the sense of belonging. You can join Popcorn club, which offers creative arts opportunities to families once a month, or invite other families in BAC for some family funs together. Children Ministry is also striving to build up a strong community. Your ideas and efforts are always welcome!

If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please feel free to connect to Cheryl Li (email address) or me (email address). We love to hear from you.

Reference Links:

Topic series: “The kids are not alright” from CityNews:
Part 1: The Kids Are Not Alright: Growing concerns | CityNews Vancouver
Part 2: The Kids Are Not Alright: Parents' stories | CityNews Vancouver
Part 3: The Kids Are Not Alright: Student struggles | CityNews Vancouver
Part 4: The Kids Are Not Alright - Solutions for the future | CityNews Vancouver

Other helpful resources:

How to deal with anxiety: Understanding and Dealing with Anxiety for Christians - Jesus Film Project
Helping Kids Who Worry: Solutions from the Bible | Cornerstones for Parents

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