Well, it’s thunder storm season. Storms can be relaxing if you like hearing the rain dance on your window panes. They can be fascinating if you like watching the skies light up with electricity. They can even be annoying if you’re trying to fall asleep only to be awakened by loud, booming thunder. If you’re a toddler, this time of the year can be really scary. I mean think about it, you’re lying in your bed with your favorite stuffed animal or blanket, quietly and softly drifting into sleep when BAM!!!!!!!!!!! It startles you and suddenly you’re thrown into a state of alertness.
What do you do to help your child face their fear and understand that there really isn’t anything to be afraid of? Here are a few ideas to help ease them into a calm state:
- Make up a story about what the thunder is. Maybe your mom or dad told you that the angels were bowling up above; when you hear thunder it’s the pins falling and the lightening means an angel got a strike. We tell our three and a half year old son that the clouds are hungry and the thunder is their tummies rumbling. The lightening is when they get their chicken nuggets.
- Make a game out of the thunder. If a storm happens during the day make a picnic lunch and lay a blanket out under the table and have a picnic underneath the table. If they’re old enough, teach them to count between seeing lightning and hearing thunder. Again, if you think they can understand you can teach them that the number they get to when they hear the thunder is how far away it is. Make a fort, bring a flashlight in the fort and tell each other a story.
- Take the opportunity to teach them how to control their fear. Because of our faith, hearing thunder has been a great way to teach my son that God is bigger than the thunder and will protect him. Then we read stories in the Bible that have to do with storms like Noah’s Ark and Jesus Calms the Storm.
- Remain calm yourself. Kids are really observant and they’ll follow whatever you do. If you’re nervous then they’ll be nervous. If you’re calm hopefully they’ll be calm too.
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