How can I help my child to trust in God's care when she is afraid at night?

Children and dad reading bedtime stories. Photo copyrighted.

LUCY (a grandparent, asks): I was visiting my five-year old granddaughter for a few days and every night she had these horrible fears of the dark. She wanted to sleep with her grandpa and me. I checked with my daughter and her husband to see if it was okay for her to come in bed with us for a few nights. Then I told her,

I'm going to ask God to help you go to sleep at night, because night and the dark are made for rest, and daytime and sunshine are made for play and all the things that we like to do.

KEVIN (Dr. Kevin Leman): Unless, of course, you are a raccoon.

LUCY: The third night we were there, we were having our prayer time and Tammy reminded me,

You forgot to ask God to help me to sleep.

So we prayed again and I asked God to help her to sleep that night and to get her rest. We spent five nights there and every night she fell asleep better than she had before. By the end of the week, my husband, who had always been on the other side of the bed listening to us pray, said,

You know, I believe that it really helped for you to ask God to help Tammy go to sleep at night and rest.

SALLY (a guest on the radio show): That's a wonderful little story, Lucy, and it reminds me that it helps to mention to children that everyone is afraid sometimes, even Grandma and Grandpa and Mommy and Daddy. One of the best little books I've ever found to read to a child who may be a bit fearful is called Here and There and Everywhere: Jesus Is With Me. Reading it to a young child will help reassure him of God nearness.

Author: excerpt from Parent Talk by Dr. Kevin Leman and Randy Carlson of Family Life Communications

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