When I am frightened, will you reassure me? — from "When I Am Frightened," Hymn 1012 in Singing the Journey
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . The session theme is "Sharing our fears with friends makes us feel less afraid." Using a third party—teddy bears—helps the children talk about some potentially scary situations (being lost, being sick) in a nonthreatening way. Please have your child bring their teddy bear or other favorite stuffed animal to the next session, [date], when we celebrate our last day of Teddy Bear Month with a party!
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER . . . Read some of the books suggested in this session:
- This Is the Bear and the Scary Night by Sarah Hayes, illustrated by Helen Craig, 1992. The story of a stuffed bear who is accidentally left behind at a park, told in simple cumulative verse.
- Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, 2011. What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door?
- I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, 2011. The bear's hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it.
- The Bear's Song by Benjamin Chaud, 2013. Papa Bear is searching for Little Bear, who has escaped the den. Little Bear is following a bee, because where there are bees, there is honey!
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try . . . playing a losing and finding game with the bear. Say, "Let's pretend that Bear got lost." Hide the bear behind you. Say, "Oh, no! Bear is lost! Where is Bear? We look to the left, we look to the right, we look up, we look down, we look all over, but we can't find Bear anywhere!" Pantomime looking for the bear, then reach behind you. Say, "Wait! Bear is right here!" Retrieve the bear. Say, "Uh-oh. Bear looks scared. What should we do for Bear? Would you hold Bear's hand so Bear isn't scared anymore? Would you give Bear a hug and tell Bear that everything is all right? It's so good to see you again, Bear!"
A Family Discovery. Watch the YouTube video "Teigan Gets Lost" for gentle suggestions on what children should do if they get lost. Part I shows six-year-old Teigan getting separated from her mum in a grocery store. Part II shows a police officer talking with children about "safer strangers" and "safer buildings."
Parents, visit "Helping Your Child" on the Kid's Health website for suggestions on how to deal with some typical fears that children have.
A Family Ritual. Invite the teddy bear to join you as you light a chalice together before dinnertime. Say chalice-lighting words, such as, "We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action."