Help your Child Overcome the Fear of Storms

Few places in the United States are immune to the occasional fury of the weather gods. The recent rise in storms across most of the country, especially the tornadoes in Oklahoma, scared a lot of people including those that live hundreds of miles away. If extreme weather conditions can scare adults witless, you can imagine how scared a child must feel when confronted by the possibility of a raging thunderstorm.

"storm" by whologwhy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Most kids experience anxiety about bad weather and it is one of the things they worry about frequently. If your child has witnessed a bad storm or if your family lives in a storm-prone area, he is at risk of developing an irrational phobia and a permanent fear of storms. Here are some stress reduction techniques to help your child overcome storm anxiety.

Dealing with Anxiety in Children— - Know your Storm

The first step towards banishing your child’s fear of storms is educating him about this geological phenomenon. Your child must become familiar with his area, understand the potential weather risks and learn about storm safety. This is particularly true if you live in an area where natural disasters are a regular occurrence. A good way of doing this would be to attend National Weather Service’s free classes along with your child. Here he will learn about storms and tornadoes, how they happen, debunk storm myths and learn how to protect himself and others in an emergency. Your child gets to interact with emergency management personnel and meteorologists and receives a certificate for attendance. Education is the best way to deal with anxiety in children.

Dealing with Anxiety in Children— - Plan for the Storm

Having an emergency plan customized to meet local needs will relieve your child’s fear of storms to a great extent. Teach your child the emergency drill for an impending storm as well as other bad weather conditions, even if they seem unlikely to occur in your area. Emergency drills should be practiced by the entire family until they become familiar habit. Children are comforted by routine and are far more confident when they know exactly what to do and where to go in case of a severe storm. Have your child pack his very own storm bag with a change of clothes, a favorite toy, snacks and any item that makes him feel secure. Dealing with anxiety in kids is much easier when they have their favorite things around them.

Train your child to overcome his fear of storms but also teach him not to underestimate the risks of severe weather conditions.

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