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What to Do When Your Child Feels Insecure

 
Ed Drew | May 16, 2023

Knowing we are precious to another is the foundation of who we are.

The problem for our children is that it is very easy for them (as it is for their parents) to listen to the wrong another. Even those from the most secure, loving homes suddenly feel shaken over the smallest issue. They are left insecure by things that may sound trivial to us but are so, so important to them:

  • No one sat with me at lunch.
  • I didn’t get an invitation to her party.
  • I’m never picked for a sports team.
  • I am the only one without an iPhone.
  • They called me ugly.
  • I hate always being alone.

Our children do need a loving parent, or two loving parents. But they need more than that to know they are precious. They need another who is bigger and better than you and me.

And that is what they have.

What Makes Us Precious

God planned to make you. Then God did make you. And now God says you are the best thing he has made (along with a few others!). God says you are precious. His opinion won’t change on that. 

Anyone who makes you feel anything other than priceless needs to take it up with him (but if you are kind, you won’t recommend that they do): God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

Nothing ever just happens. God made a decision. Without that decision you wouldn’t be here. Nothing else in all of creation is made in his likeness—only people. We are like him. So we are more precious than anything else. 

In the end, then, the question is which “another” will we listen to when it comes to our sense of self-worth and security—God, or someone else?

And which will we encourage and lead our kids to listen to?

There is much about us that is not “very good”. Yet, despite that, it remains God’s settled, clear decision that we are “very good”, because he created us precious.

When Your Child Doubts Their Made-In-God’s-Image-ness

When your child doubts their value, imagine the conversation they are having with God: You invented me and made me a little like you. You say I am precious. I hear that. But I’m standing here feeling worthless because…

  • I find reading hard.
  • my trainers don’t have a swoosh on the side.
  • Billy says I have no friends
  • this arbitrary boy has not yet announced that I am more beautiful than [insert current airbrushed fashionable social influencer here].

Of course, we’re not in Eden anymore. There is much about us that is not “very good”. Yet, despite that, it remains God’s settled, clear decision that we are “very good”, because he created us precious. No sin, whether it’s ours or someone else’s, can extinguish our made-in-God’s-image-ness.

This can make all the difference to you as a parent, and to your kids.

What to Say When Your Child…

  • If your child is the only one of their age who can’t yet speak or read or spell, you can still be certain that they are precious to the one who spoke planets into place. Their own words (or lack of them) will never determine their value because his words already have.
  • If your child is the only one in their class not to be invited to a party, you can explain why God’s care for them matters far more. He made them, and he wants to spend time with them, so he made sure that they were invited to his forever party. Whose invitation would they rather Receive?
  • If your child’s faith marks them out for persecution of some kind (as it inevitably will), of course they will wish that they could belong to the crowd rather than be the outsider. You can explain to them that they can prize their Creator’s delight, so that they need not worry so much about that of their teacher or their peer group.

And in those moments when your child is not being particularly loveable (and let’s be honest, there are those moments) and you are struggling to love them, you can pause and thank the Lord that, in spite of your own flaws and lack of loveliness, in every moment he holds you precious—and holds your kids equally precious too. And then you can tell them about his unwavering love even as you admit the weaknesses of your own.

This article is an excerpt from Raising Confident Kids in a Confusing World. This warm, realistic, and sympathetic book, written by father of three and founder of Faith in Kids, Ed Drew, provides much needed biblical help for parents on the topic of identity.

Ed Drew

Ed Drew is the Director of Faith in Kids, resourcing children's ministry in the local church. Before that for twelve years he was the Children’s Worker at Dundonald Church, South West London. He’s married to Mary and they have three children. Previously Ed was an Engineer and he is still happiest building and fixing things.

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