The Cokesbury Kids blog is all about ministry!

Our goal is to provide ideas and examples to assist you as you minister to families and teach the gospel to the kids in your community.

Helping Children Who Struggle with Fear and Anxiety

by Erin Floyd -

In this day and age, empowering children to be courageous and compassionate feels harder than ever. News of conflict, war, and violence in society seems to bombard us from all sides, and makes the task of keeping our children safe, both mentally and physically, feel nearly impossible.


While we can’t entirely protect children in our care from seeing or hearing scary things—on the news, on the bus ride home, or at a friend’s house, even while at church—we can help children process and cope with what scares them. For young children, it can be helpful to talk with them about scary images or stories they hear and help them identify whether those fears are based in reality.


Unfortunately, some fears are based in reality. Many children cope with these fears in healthy ways. Sometimes, a child’s form of coping can become unhealthy. Fears can develop into phobias, taking up a disproportionate amount of the child’s emotional energy. Fears can cause obsessive thoughts and compulsive reactions, such as checking and re-checking locks, lights, or homework. Fears can cause a constant, low-level anxiety that something bad will happen.


There are many healthy ways of expressing and facing fears, some of which are named in this book. You can help child in your care name his or her fears and develop strategies for dealing with them. Below are a few resources to help you learn more about healthy ways to respond to fear and anxiety. If your child’s way of coping with fear begins to disrupt her or his daily life, it’s important to seek professional help.


National Association for the Education of Young Children, “Coping with Violence."

Dawn Huebner, PhD, What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (Washington, DC: Magination Press, 2005).


James J. Crist, PhD, What to Do When You’re Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids (Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, 2014).


Here is a list of Bible verses to use to cope with fear and anxiety.


Exodus 14:13-14

Psalm 23

Psalm 46: 1-2

Isaiah 41:10

Mark 5:36

John 14:25-27

Romans 8:38-39

2 Timothy 1:7

Hebrews 13:6


**This article comes from Eek! Said Amy by Jones Zimmerman. Find the book here.