How We Can Care for Mental and Emotional Health in our Kids

There is so much unknown and potentially unstable in life right now. With God being constant and faithful we can count on Him through everything. Amanda gives us practical ways to foster mental and emotional health for ourselves and our kids with this in mind.
Play with Purpose

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

Living in a culture driven by the next great social media posts of our friends living a “much better, bigger, greater” life than we are, especially during this unprecedented season, can leave us falling short on taking care of our mental and emotional health.

The Lord created me with a heart valuing details…wanting to make sure things are just right and flowing in a peaceful manor. Growing up with a homelife being a never-ending roller coaster, my controlling heart often panicked and did not know how to respond. I remember feeling heat rise across my body and into my face. 

A counselor pointing things out clearly for me in college began the journey of learning key strategies in taking care of my mental and emotional health. 

  1. Know whose you are and who you are (Isaiah 43:1). When things seem to be out of control or when our kids seem like they cannot see outside of the situation in front of them, remind them of these basic things.  We are the Lord’s and He has created each of us with care. When we allow the Lord to speak into our Identity and put the fear that is over-taking us aside, it gives space for the focus to be on Jesus. Take a few moments and pray this over your anxious child.  And when they feel like a storm is surrounding them, encourage them to take a few deep breaths and pray for the Lord to remind them Whose they are. 
  2. Play with purpose (John 10:10).I recently was wrestling with something in my mind that just kept cycling this fear on repeat. I headed out on a trail and about 5 minutes into my hike and praying with the Lord, my heart and mind were much more at ease and I was able to think through a solution instead of focusing on the fear.  Take a moment and get some fresh air. Go for a walk as a family or play an outdoor game. Taking time to enjoy God’s creation and a change of scenery allows us to let go of things we are mentally carrying through the day.
  3. Spend some time in prayer with scripture (John 8:32). There is so much truth the Lord has given us to think through and chew on. Take some time and search the scriptures about what the Lord says about fear and anxiety. We can go to our Father and he will give us Truth to combat the lies we or our kids might be believing.

Today might be harder than ever to quiet the voices weighing us down or placing fear in our lives…be it perfectionism, anxiety, or comparison. We have a Creator and Father who loves and cares for us. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to take action toward caring for our mental and emotional health. It’s worth it.

Camper Corner:

Read Isaiah 41:10. Are there times when things begin to feel like they are too much or that you don’t know how to voice the fear or concern you have? Take some time and pray that the Lord will take that fear away from you. Find a parent or trusted adult and begin the conversation of what to do when things are overwhelming. 

About The Author

Amanda Patrick

Amanda came to T Bar M in the summer of 2009 as a Sports Camp Coach during Inside Out and fell in love with camp ... so much so that she continued to serve on camp staff for six summers!  And as if that wasn't enough, she also participated in as many mission trips as she could with T Bar M - specifically to Iquitos and Tarma, Peru.  Her love for camp, missions and community led her to join camp's year-long discipleship group called the Timothy Team.  

Amanda graduated from Dallas...

T Bar M Camps

T Bar M Camps is a place creating life-impacting experiences for thousands of campers every year.