As we enter spring, the grass is getting greener, flowers are blooming, sun is shining, and thunderstorm season begins. We have all been through our fair share of thunderstorms, but the problem is, our children are new to this type of weather and they may not fully understand what can happen. To help our children feel safe and secure, as parents we can remind our children that we will keep them safe and that there is nothing for them to worry about. Remaining calm in a severe weather situation may be easier said than done. What we need to realize is that children can sense that something is wrong and will also begin to feel uneasy about the approaching weather. It may help if we keep children from hearing, or seeing the news so they do not become scared about what may happen. The weather can change very quickly, and what looks like a huge storm can be just a down pour of rain.
Children do not fully understand that storms are part of nature and that we do need the rain. It is best to explain the benefits of having a storm. Explain to your child that the rain helps our plants and grass grow, and the lightning they may see also helps our grass become greener. Keeping the facts simple about nature will help your child to see that it is ok when it rains and it can be a good thing. If your child seems to be upset about the upcoming weather, talk with them. You can use the recommended reading examples below to help them feel at ease. Engage in a conversation about how they are safe in the house, and if they feel the need to find a “cuddle buddy” to have during the storm, or a comfy place in the house where they feel safest, validate those feelings for them. Parents can talk about the feelings they had about storms when they were young to help their own child understand that it’s ok to be afraid. Take the time to sit down with your child to creat a plan for when bad weather occurs. Make a plan for where to go if the weather gets worse, have flashlights, snacks, blankets, their favorite items with them, books, games, etc. Having a plan in place can also help you as the parent feel more at ease when and if the time comes. In the end, it is best to be prepared and to remain calm for safety of everyone in your family.
Here are some activities you can do during a storm with your child: