Candace J. Semien, Jozef Syndicate Reporter, The Drum Newspaper

With today’s coronavirus pandemic, parents and grandparents are facing a crisis never before seen. From dealing with health fears, sharp shifts to virtual learning, job losses, and political protests, parenting youth today–in a world that’s vastly changing–has become more challenging and overwhelming.

Nearly half of parents of children under age 18 said their stress levels related to the coronavirus pandemic are high, according to a new survey by the American Psychological Association.

“For many parents, it can feel overwhelming to face competing demands at home and work along with possible financial challenges during this unprecedented crisis,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA’s chief executive officer. “Children are keen observers and often notice and react to stress or anxiety in their parents, caregivers, peers, and community. Parents should prioritize their self-care and try their best to model healthy ways of coping with stress and anxiety.”

Louisiana-based family counselor Barbara W. Green said one way to deal with the crisis is to recognize God’s gift to parents.

“A crisis comes for the purpose of reflection, re-turning, and restoring,” said Green. “It takes the Anointing to recognize what to do in a crisis. This anointing is a parent anointing. It is the special, God-given ability to parent that many people already have,” she said.

In 2013, Green published the second edition of, “The Parent Anointing,” which clarifies the unique position God establishes to help adults parent and rear children. Green offers this advice for those seeking solutions and strategies through this pandemic. “The parent who moves in the anointing follows God, the Heavenly Father,” she said.

Within the pages of “The Parent Anointing” and during private sessions, Green urges parents to reflect on God as the ultimate parent and become that reflection.

“The parent anointing is the ‘reflection’ of love of the Father God upon His children. When a parent operates in the anointing (calling and instruction) of the Heavenly Father, the child sees the goodness of God reflected in the love which the parent has for the child,” she said.

She used John 17:22-23 to explain. It states, “And the glory which You gave me, I have given them, that they may be one, just as we are one. {Unity} I in them, and You in me .{Reflection} and that the world may know that You sent me {Representation} and have loved them as You have loved me {reflective mirroring}.”

The parent anointing is not reserved for biological parents only, Green said. A parent is also a nonbiological adult who cares for and guides a child or teen. For all parents, the anointing is reflective from God through the parent to the child and it is present in three significant ways: faith, purpose, and significance.

The way to survive any crisis is to resist the temptation to become selfish, Green said “If a family is to get through a crisis, it is through unified effort in looking out for one another. Not survival of the fittest, but fitting all to survive. And, if the family is to survive, it must be done through one accord, not discord. The family that strives together, remains together, in purpose. And (when) the purpose is to glorify God, the family has achieved added value on earth, and in Heaven, to survive the crisis.”

Green also tells parents to hold on to faith. “It is the one, sure way to please God. More than 2,000 years ago, the Glory that was given to family was oneness in faith. It is the major supplier of anointing.”

She reminds parents that God watched over His son to “perfect the things that concerned Him and, in turn, the Son never did anything without consulting His Father, first. ‘I do the will of the Father who sent Me,’ Christ said.”

The anointing gives parents the power to be like Christ and consult the Father in every decision and do God’s will, especially through this pandemic, she said.

For families to endure, grow, and defeat stagnation during this time of crisis, these three things are needed:

• Purpose Singularity where one person may have the same purpose as another but remains singular in how they achieve their purpose.

• Unity in the agreement of the importance of strengthening the family structure.

• Glory and credit for overcoming obstacles the family members may face during these trying times.

Circling back to John 17, Green said, “It is then, that the child will say, ‘the lessons my parents gave me I have given my children that they may be one just as God and I are one. And I have loved them in the same manner as my parents and God loved me’.”

From her Inner Reflections’ office in Baton Rouge, Green counsels individuals, families, and groups in person and virtually. The Parent Anointing is available in her office and through independent bookstores, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. She is also the author of a children’s book on generational prayers (“The Great One”) and a collection of life-affirming short stories (“a charge to keep”).