This is a difficult time in our world. With COVID-19 impacting all corners of the globe, uncertainty is everywhere. While the virus seems to have the smallest infection rate in young people, they are certainly experiencing its effects at maximum rates. From cancelled school, graduation ceremonies, sports, church and social events, young people are facing the unknown in a way they never have before. Change is never easy, especially when it is unprecedented.
We are called to lead with wisdom and faith, not fear. How can we help young people cope with the anxiety brought on by this epidemic?
- Communicate clearly and precisely. Don't downplay the struggles young people are facing in light of coronavirus. Listen with an intent to understand their thoughts and feelings regarding the impact the virus is having on them. Engage in conversation with compassion and understanding.
- Establish a new normal. Routine is important. Have a discussion with your child about reasonable expectations during this time of transition. Work to hold each other accountable. Be gracious towards others as everyone is learning how to deal with this situation.
- Talk about the important things. In a time when school and activities are cancelled and social distancing blocks young people from the community of their friends, use this opportunity to talk about the importance of faith and family.
- Talk about the eternal things. This virus reminds us just how fragile we are as humans. It is easy to think that we are in control of our lives, yet we are finite beings. As believers we are not without hope. God is still sovereign. He is not blindsided and He is not helpless. Our identity is found in Christ, and because of that we know that whatever happens in this world, our treasure lies in the next. God is still on His throne, even in the face of a pandemic.
For more advice on how to lead students well in the midst of COVID-19, read Tim Elmore's Growing Leaders article.