Saturday, July 14, 2012

I love you, and...

I think it all started in the spring, sometime around Easter.  We told the story about Jesus many times and Manasseh was captivated.  He asked all kinds of questions - he always does.

Around the same time, he started changing his "I love you's".  (He says a lot of them at bed time when avoiding sleep).  Now instead of "I love you".  He started telling us, "I love you, and I don't want you to get captured".  (Jesus was "captured" by the bad guys in his version of the Easter story).

THEN, he learned that Johnny Appleseed was dead and buried in a park near our church.  His new obsession was death - he prayed for many people and animals to "get raised from the dead".  To my knowledge Johnny is still in the park, but I am watching the news so I know if he comes back.  His words of love changed to "Mommy, I love you, and I don't want you to get dead."

We spent a lot of time talking about death, what happens when people die, why do people die, etc.  A month or so ago he said to me, "Mommy, I love you, and I don't want you to get dead" (sigh) "but we all die".  Okay, so I wanted to chuckle at the drama, but it was a serious concern for him and he's still very focused on the fact that everything dies.

Daddy decided a while back that Manasseh needed a little help to move beyond the "death issue".  So he chose to combat it, by responding to, "we all are going to die" and other such statements that he likes to inform anyone about as long as they'll listen, with "yes, but our God is a God of life, we will live."  This has brought on some new discussions about living with Jesus, airplanes crashing into heaven, people falling out of heaven...

Cassius has started to mimic his older brother's "I love you, and..." statements.  This week I decided I would subtly fight back against these "I don't wants" with statements of, "I love you and I want..."

A few things I want for my children:

  • I want you to know Jesus
  • I want you to get rest (often this is sleep avoidance)
  • I want you to be healthy
  • I want you to grow into a gentleman
  • I want you to show love to others
  • I want good things for you
The list goes on.  They're still not quite catching the change, but I believe that if we continue to replace the "dont wants" with "wants", it will help them to shift their thinking about fears into thinking about peace and hope.

How do you address fears with your children?  Do they ever become obsessive with talking about things that make them nervous?


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