How to Handle Children and Fears of Thunderstorms

After a major storm when your kids have been up all night scared and crying, the worst thing to see in the morning is a flooded street girl looking out the rainy windowand basement.  Now you are cranky and tired, the kids have had it, and its time to assess the damage.

Why are kids frightened of thunderstorms and what can you do about it?

Well, loud, booming noises waking a child up in the night is not something he or she is used to and can be anxiety provoking (as it is for many adults).  Kids also may associate storms to bad things because in movies and tv shows, negative and scary scenes are often depicted with storms.

5 Tips To Help Calm Children During Storms:

  1. Stay calm.  If you show anxiety or fear, your children will pick up on it and feel the same way.  If you stay calm your children will also feel more calm.
  2. Make it NOT a big deal.  Tell them it’s just a storm and they must go back to sleep.
  3. Give relaxing options.  If your child truly can’t fall asleep because of constant banging thunder, tell him/her to read in bed.  Many times he/she will fall back asleep.
  4. Make plans. If there is school the next day, try to keep your normal schedule, get them to school and then deal with the damage.  Don’t let your younger children see you stress about the damage as it can cause future anxiety for him/her.
  5. Make it an adventure.  Be prepared with flashlights and anything else you need before the storm.  Then, make it exciting for your children.  Build forts, bake cupcakes and have fun!  Soon your child will start associating storms with happy memories instead of scary ones!

 Click here to learn more about Childhood Anxiety Disorders!