Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Train Up Tuesday: Think on THESE Things

Do you have a child with an "obsessive" personality trait? I do. It's my oldest (now 5). The positive side of it is that when he finds a subject of interest (like trains, cuckoo clocks, treehouses, or whatever we are studying in homeschool) he delves in and devours any information I can feed him.

The negative side of this trait? When he finds something he doesn't like - no, more like, is afraid of - he obsesses about it, too. We've dealt with fears of dogs, thunderstorms, and in the pirate skull and crossbones or even just an actual medical-display-type skeleton. Terrified. That's what he is.

Unfortunately, all these fears translate into bad dreams, thus waking us all up in the middle of the night. For about 2 weeks straight, we were waking up every night with him hollering or crying. I was at my wits end. (Have I mentioned we also have a 5 month old in our house? sleep is pretty precious these days.) We tried eliminating television, Leapster or Daddy's iPad games, and food an hour and a half before bedtime hoping this would all help. It really didn't do a whole lot on it's own.

So, then I just prayed more intently. I shared this with a beloved "Aunt". She teaches little ones in Sunday School. For Valentine's she made her class little heart-shaped pillows and told them they could hold onto it and remember that God cares about their hearts. She had a couple of them left and gave them to my oldest 2 boys. The first night they had them, I began telling my oldest that he didn't have to be afraid, but he needed to stop obsessing about things and think on good things.

We now quote Philippians 4:8 before bed time and think of at least 3 "good" things. We are learning that it's not just enough to get rid of "bad" thoughts. We have to replace them with "good" thoughts to bring us God's peace. This has also helped show self-control during the daytime when these worries pop up at home or out in public and try to build into emotional meltdowns.

In the last 3 or 4 weeks of doing this, we have had very few night time interruptions due to bad dreams. It's been a delight.

What has worked for you with your little one's fears? What verses or good habits bring them comfort?

Thinking on the "good" things and trying to conquer our fears,

1 comment:

HPS said...

This is good for mommy (me) too! It's especially one of my FAV verses. My fav part is the promise in verse 9! Good idea to get my 3 year old to memorize and think of 3good thinks in weak moments!