It doesn’t take long for the Spring season to melt into a hot Texas summer and that often means a few weeks of some severe thunderstorms and tornado watches. If you have young children at home, these storms can be particularly unsettling for your little ones and it can be challenging for you to comfort them. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate their fear, there are some easy steps you can take to make the storms feel less threatening.
Just like adults, children are empowered when they have a better understanding of something. A lot of what makes thunderstorms so scary for children is that they do not know what is causing all the flashes and booms. It may be difficult to get through to a very small child about what’s happening. One way to ease their fears is by making up silly reasons for the noises. You can say something like, “Oh! Sounds like the angels are bowling again! Did you hear that boom?” or, “Oh my! God must be taking pictures with the flash on, that was a bright light!” “What else do you think it could be?” Your child will enjoy coming up with silly explanations to describe the thunder and lightning. You can even ask them, “What does that sound like to you?” and listen to them associate the loud thunder with a loud dump truck or some other familiar loud object. For older children, it’s a great idea to get into the “nitty-gritty” of what makes a thunderstorm. Jump on the internet and research storms and how they’re made so when that next time a storm is brewing, you can talk about what’s happening!
In addition to talking about what’s happening, you can also have a “storm game plan” for your house. Structure adds a sense of security and order to your young child’s life, so coming up with a response to severe weather can make the experience less stressful. Have an emergency box filled with water bottles, flashlights and non-perishable foods in case the power goes out. Designate a part of the house for the family to gather if the weather gets bad. When waiting out a storm in the bathroom or in the dark, singing and laughing can often ease much of the tension. Keep the atmosphere as light-hearted as possible for your child and it will likely help keep you calm as well.
At Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Keller, we love taking care of our students. Your child’s safety is our number one priority. This is why we have severe weather procedures in place – such as fire and tornado drills. We also keep parents informed of any early release days or unplanned school closings. Contact us today to schedule your free tour or just stop by and we’d be happy to show you around our facility!