What to Do When Your Child is in “Crisis Mode”

I plopped down on my bed and opened my laptop.

Finally, I thought. I can get some work done.

Small kids were showered and tucked into bed. Chores were done and now it was time to work on my blog.

My door opened as my oldest daughter came in and quietly sat on my bed.

When I finished typing my last sentence, I looked up.

“What do you need?” I asked her. Not abruptly, and not in an irritated voice. But I thought she just needed a quick answer to a very simple problem. I was wrong. She was in crisis mode and I didn’t see it coming.

What to do When Your Child is in Crisis Mode

Between sobs and tears she began telling me what was troubling her.

I closed my laptop and gave her my undivided attention.

Work can wait, I thought. This girl can’t.

It didn’t take long for me to remember a time when I was in “crisis mode”.

My fiancé (now husband) had just told me goodbye as he set off for military training. I wouldn’t hear his voice for over two months and wouldn’t be able to write letters until about 10 days. That meant I wouldn’t even recieve one letter from that special guy until at least two very long weeks.

I thought I was prepared for that moment, but when I returned from saying goodbye, I immediately reached for the phone. That’s when reality sunk in.

My life would be pretty silent without that guy.

Even though my family was celebrating the fourth of July with homemade ice cream, movies and fireworks, I couldn’t enjoy any of it. I ran to my room and covered up with my finance’s jacket and sobbed uncontrollably. I didn’t eat anything for quite awhile. I had no strength, no words and could not expect anyone to really comprehend how much I loved that guy.

Then my grandmother quietly walked into my room and rubbed my back. She then said she understood the pain I was going through.  She relived  the day she had to say goodbye to her son when he left for war. She told me how she prayed for his safety and how much she ached to hear from him.

And you know what? Her words. Her kindness. Her encouraging wisdom from God’s word helped soothe my hurting soul.

And with my daughter? The same scenario happened.

My daughter and I talked about some very serious subjects for about an hour. She asked me if I had went through this same “crisis mode” before and I was able to tell her the truth. Yes, I’ve been through this very same crisis and yes, there is hope, comfort and peace to be found. Sharing the truth in kindness helped heal a young girl that night. My precious daughter walked into my room with tears and sobs, but left with peace and a smile.

She hugged me several times during our conversation and even said, “Thank you, Mom! Thank you so much!”

I wish I could relive that moment over and over.

I really don’t feel like I did that much except listen, care and offer some thoughts from God’s word.

What to do when your child is in crisis mode

But you know what? That’s exactly what she needed during her crisis mode.

She didn’t need time alone to cool off. She didn’t need a trip to the shopping mall. She didn’t need to call up a friend. She needed to have her parent stop life, work and the busyness of life to just listen, care, prayer and offer Godly wisdom.

I told my husband that night that I had just experienced one of the sweetest moments in motherhood. Not sure if I could top the joy and thankfulness I saw in her eyes. Not sure I can ever replace the sweetness in that moment when she leaned forward and embraced me the tightest her super-slim arms could squeeze.

When my kids were younger, sometimes I would worry if I would have all the answers when my child was in crisis mode. Sometimes I was afraid  I wouldn’t say the right words. But it was amazing, how my daughter went into crisis mode and I had no idea. Then, to see her visibly change from a battle of emotions to complete peace.

And honestly, all I did was sit, listen, pray and share with her truths I had learned from the Bible. I’m so glad that she felt she could come to me in her crisis mode. I’m so thankful God showed me that work could wait, but my daughter couldn’t.

I’m not the perfect mom, nor will I ever be, but I now know the perfect formula for dealing with a child in crisis mode. And it’s a simple one. And other things or people cannot replace it. When kids are living under your roof, they need to know their problems are always considered our problems and issues — and yes, work and obligations can wait. And our kids? They can’t.

Next time your child hits crisis mode, remember to listen, pray, care and guide. Don’t worry about saying the right words; with God’s help those word will come.

For more tips on creating a Happier home for your family, check out this amazing 25 Day resource that has helped create happier homes around the globe!




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