Helping Parents Deal with Difficult Emotions During the Holidays

by | Dec 18, 2016 | what you can do

There’s plenty to be fearful about when you love a son or daughter, or grandchild, who struggles with potentially life-altering issues: substance abuse, self-injury, anorexia or bulimia, a mental health issue (depression, bipolar, etc.), is in jail or prison, struggles with their sexual identity, self-injures, or suffers from thoughts of suicide. In my last post I shared my Christmas wish list and I told you about the idea of a God Box.  This is not my original idea. I heard about it in a recovery meeting, tried it and found it to have a huge impact on 048me.

This strategy can help us hurting parents deal with our fear and anxiety. Putting it into practice helped me trust God more with my daughter and let go of my worries to a greater degree than I had in the past.

When you realize you’re fearful, worried, or anxious about something related to your child that’s when it’s time to use this technique.

Here’s how it works:

  • Choose a box (any kind or size will do). Write “God Box” or “My God Box”  on top. My husband printed a label for me. If you’re creative have fun with it.
  • Put a small notepad and pen inside or beside it.
  • When you realize you’re feeling fearful, anxious or worried about your child go get the box. Take the notepad and write out what’s troubling you (ie. “_________ might get arrested.” “__________ will get drunk and ruin our Christmas plans.” “________will have an episode over the holidays and be hospitalized – again.”)
  • Then fold up the paper and put it in your God Box.
  • Place the lid back on and put it away, maybe up high in your closet or in a dresser drawer.
  • Now walk away and do your best to leave your concerns behind – with God – out of your hands and in His.

I can’t explain it, but there’s something cathartic about writing down what I’m fretting over and putting it in the box. This simple process helps me recognize what I’m feeling and give it words. Placing the paper in the box symbolizes surrendering my worries for my child to their Creator, giving them to Him and letting them go.

In my last blog I urged you to write your parent Christmas wish list for your child and put it in a God box. It took me a few days to find the time, but when I finally did, it was powerful.


Writing the list.

Putting it in a box.

Leaving it there.

Walking away and trusting God.

It only took a few minutes, but gave me a little more peace. Being honest with myself and with God, helped me feel less anxious. What a simple thing to do that had a big impact on my soul.

Please consider giving yourself this gift. Go find a box and get started today. You could also use a can (like an empty coffee container, etc.) and call it your “God Can!” This simple process might help you find a little more peace as you surrender your fears to the one Person in the whole universe who really can help. (no pun intended)

I’m so glad Jesus came into our world so that we might know his divine help and peace in all our struggles with our children.

This scripture verse tells what He came to do for us:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”  (Isaiah 9:6 CEV).