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How to Help Kids who are Afraid of Storms

Growing up in the Midwest means summer months are dappled with intense thunderstorms. To some children, they’re sources of awe; to others, they bring about seemingly countless hours of terror. Often kids grow out of this fear as they age, but when they are young it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve to get your little sunshine through the summer storms.

Tips to Help Keep Kids Calm During the Storm

  • Keep your cool. Kids tend to feed off of their parents’ moods so if you remain calm, they will feel more at ease as well.
  • If your child is interested in nature, turn the storm into a science lesson. Explain how the thunder and lightning works. Have you ever noticed how pure colors are right before a storm or how the lightning looks like a giant light show? Point these things out to give them something to marvel at, rather than be afraid of.
  • Keep them busy. There are two ways to do this, and the best choice really just depends on what your child prefers. If your child finds comfort in consistency, maintain a perfectly normal routine. Is it chore time? Do you always play monopoly after dinner on Friday? Show that the storm doesn’t have to change your lives so drastically. If your child needs more than a sense of sameness to be distracted, make the time during the storm special. Have a family talent contest, build forts or assign your child a special job like finding all of the flashlights in the house.
  • Hug it out. Whether it’s you or a favorite stuffed animal, sometimes children just need someone or something to hug to feel more secure.
  • Be honest. If your child asks a question, don’t lie. Briefly address the potential danger of the storm and go on to explain why you are prepared and will be safe. If you have a safety plan or emergency kit put together, show it with your explanation.

Your Child’s Storm Routine

As you very well know, every child is different, so every child will have a different reaction in the case of a storm. If your child gets anxious in severe weather, use trial and error to establish a system to keep him or her feeling safe and calm.

Family and Parenting