When students are stressed beyond their abilities to manage, behaviors change in unexpected ways. I used to think that staying positive and coaching a young person through the stressful situation would be all that is needed, but the depth of their emotional disruption can be greater than all the best coaching you can muster. You suddenly find yourself living with a child who is angry, and/or depressed, and/or rebellious, and you don’t quite know what to do.
I know from experience that your relationship with God is of utmost importance. When traumatic experiences enter your life, draw strength and healing from talking and praying to God. You might even need to cry out like the psalmist did when he was feeling overwhelmed and overpowered. Use the psalms to express your deepest fears and anxieties, and then hear and receive their gift of hopefulness and faith in God to overcome all adversity.
Prayers for your family are of profound importance, too. Gather a network of ministers and friends who will be praying for you and your children on a daily basis. And if you can seek out (as God leads) prayer counselors who focus on healing prayer or a Christian therapist who can meet with your family, you will find spiritual strength and wisdom to support you through the daily parenting challenges.
When our children act out in ways that inflict emotional, spiritual, or physical harm on themselves or others, it can be human nature to manage the behaviors and not deal with the source of the trauma. However, the more support we can get as parents to discover the wounds that our children carry and then pour God’s love into healing those wounds, the stronger our children and families will be.