10 Tips To Help Your Child Overcome The Fear Of Thunder
Forget about kids, many of us adults are still scared of thunder and lightning. And not without reason, for thunderstorms can be dangerous if you are outside as the risk of getting stuck by lightening is high. So there is no wonder that many kids are scared of thunder too. Being scared enough to run indoors and be safe is reasonable, but if your child is terrified of thunder even when she is inside the house, then you have work to do! Hugging your child and calming her when there are loud thunders will be the first step to ease your child’s fear of thunder, but it does not stop there. You need to resort to some tips to help your toddler overcome the fear of thunder, and here’s how.
10 Tips To Ease Your Child’s Fear Of Thunder
There are several things you can do to help your kids be calm and face this fear/anxiety:
1. Explain what thunder is:
If you have slightly older kids, you can gather them around during a thunder-storm and explain to them how a thunder occurs. Knowing the facts about a thunder will make it easy for your child to deal with it. By linking science and reason to the thunder, you are slowly calming their fears that thunder is no uncertain, random magic! Moreover, all the lecture will effectively take their minds off, the thunder and their fear!
2. Acknowledge their fear:
Do not ignore or ridicule their fears. If you tell your child, her fear is silly, she will not share it with you next time, bottle it up and be scared and anxious alone. So talk to her about the fear. Assure her that many other kids also feel the same, but also reassure her that there is no need to be scared as long as she is inside the safety of the house
3. Distract the child:
Sudden thunders can startle anyone! Once thunderstorm starts, try to distract your kid by playing with her, letting her, watch her favorite cartoons or painting something together. You could even make up creative games with thunder sounds in the background – for instance, you can play ‘statue’ and the person who doesn’t flinch during a thunder wins. This will reduce the ‘fear factor’ associated with thunder in your child’s mind. Distraction serves greatly in easing any fear
4. Down the thunder noise:
For smaller kids, it is the loud sound that scares them more than the real effects of the thunder. And since they are too small, you cannot explain the science behind it! What you can do however is to play some music or play some instruments like a piano or guitar with your child so as to drown out the sound of thunder. The musical play will also distract your kid. Making funny noises or faces will also ease your baby’s fear
5. Make her a snack:
Start a family tradition! Work with your child to decide on a “thunder snack” which you as a family make and eat during every major thunderstorm. Make sure you pick something the child loves so that she has some reason to look forward to thunderstorms. Slowly, the fear would cease to exist and your child will remember only happy moments. Laugh along your child and see how the fear disappears
Most of us are familiar with the weather patterns of our places of residence. Watch out for local weather forecasts and plan your child’s day ahead if there is a high probability of thunderstorms, especially if you are not going to be home at that time. If your child is small, ensure that she is with someone she trusts instead. You can arrange play dates to distract older kids. In this digital age, getting weather forecast applications on your mobile is a cakewalk
7. Teach them how to stay safe:
Many kids find it reassuring to learn how to be safe during a thunderstorm. Tell them that they need to be indoors, that they need to be out of water bodies like pools and that they should not stand next to big trees during a thunderstorm
If you are raising a God-fearing kid, then praying can be a very relaxing thing for you and your child to do during a thunderstorm. You could even teach her few hymns to recite during a thunderstorm that will calm her and keep her safe
9. Get creative:
Some parents swear by pillow fights, and say that pillow fights, engage the kids so much that they forget about the thunder. Some parents snuggle up to watch a movie, play a game, make noises and explore other ways to deal with the fear of thunder. The more creative you get, the more fun you have
10. Be patient:
Have realistic expectations from your child. As we said in the beginning of this piece, there are many adults who fear thunders still. So do not expect your child to outgrow the fear overnight. She will slowly outgrow it, but you need to keep trying to speed it up by constantly communicating with her about it
It might take months for your child to over her fear of thunderstorm. It might happen in a week too. Each child has a different pace. Do not compare and trivialize your child’s feelings as it might impact her self-confidence. Instead, give your toddler time to cope with the fear, and support him. Appreciate the efforts your child puts to stay brave during the next thunderstorm. Seek the advice of a specialist if despite your best efforts the child remains inconsolable and scared and fear gets deep rooted.