5 Ways to Calm Storm Anxiety for Young Children
It’s that time of year again! It seems we are getting storm warnings daily!
I would probably not care, and maybe even welcome them, if I was at home snuggled in with a great book or a good Netflix series. However, this is not the case as I am surrounded by screaming children. It is very difficult to hide storms from our kids when all they hear is the loud clapping thunder and see the sparks of lightning flashing across the dark sky.
We can’t just tell them to close their fear stricken eyes! (How I wish!)
Instead, there are a few things we can do that are still in our control!
5 Tips to Handle Storm Anxiety
Tip #1 - Watch Your Words and Stay Calm
It helps when we are careful with the words we use when we are talking to other adults. If your children hear hurricane, tornado, thunderstorm, or flood, this may trigger immediate fear. I know when my little one hears “tornado” there is an automatic anxiety attack coming!
This can be difficult with older children as they learn these words in other environments. However, try to stay calm because children feed off of our energy.
Tip #2 - Teach Time
This is a great time to help teach about storms-especially if you love science!
Sometimes when children know how and why things happen, they are able to cope with the situation better. This is also a great time to let them know how God’s work can be so sensational! Turn it into a positive.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." - Psalms 19:1
Tip #3 - Keep them Busy!
One of the easiest ways to calm children is to distract them. Turn up the music (as long as there is still electricity) and have a dance party. The music helps drown out the storm noise and it gives them something to do.
It’s also a great idea to have a bin full of musical instruments where each child can choose what they like. You could have your own marching band!
Tip #4 - Game Time
This works well when a storm has knocked out the power. Make sure you have plenty of candles or lanterns around.
If you do not have a certain place to store your games, find a place in your house where you can keep games that are easy to reach.
Then, if a thunderstorm makes the electricity go out—pull out the games and candles!
For really little ones, simple games, puzzles, or block building can be an easy alternative.
Tip #5 - Be Patient & Honest
It is always best to be prepared when you know any type of storm is coming. Be prepared to answer questions. Remind them they are safe.
If you have emergency kits or a safety plan, explain it to them in words they understand.
If you know that your child might have anxiety about storms, try to be prepared and have emergency kits, games, music, etc. ready in a place that will be easy to find. When there is a plan in place, it helps add a sense of calmness to everyone!