Major weather systems creates fear and anxiety for children. Here are suggestions to ease their worries.
- Significant storms are common in Florida
- The wind, thunder, and rain can scare children
- Parents can take steps to alleviate some of this fear
- Planning before the storm is highly recommended
Florida is no stranger to heavy storms; thunder, lightning, rain, and high winds are common. Nearly three million homes in Florida are vulnerable to Category 5 storm surge.
For a child, a major storm can be terrifying. Kids don’t necessarily understand weather severity, but the noise and chaos in the house, especially with a power outage, can cause anxiety.
Parents can take steps to ease the kids’ stress before and during storms. Here are eight tips you can follow to help kids understand storms and stay calm.
Discuss the situation beforehand
Talking about an upcoming storm can help prepare children for the situation. During your discussion, ask your kids what they like and dislike about storms so you can better understand their apprehension.
Don’t minimize their fears when your children are discussing them. Instead, try to understand where they’re coming from and why storms bother them. The more you understand your children’s fears, the easier it is to meet their needs during the downpour .
Explain what might happen
Next, explain how and why storms occur, and what could happen. Providing information decreases anxiety because your kids might understand that storms are part of living in Florida. Note that damage is usually minor. Prepare your kids for the loud noises and potential power outages that could follow so they aren’t shocked when it happens.
Create a safety plan
Even if you don’t feel it’s necessary, creating a safety plan can help ease your children’s worries about potential storms. For example, you might create a keyword to use when a storm is incoming to let kids know it’s time to head inside.
You could also build an activity center to use during the storm and tell your children they’ll be safe in that part of the house. Even a simple plan provides comfort and prevents anxiety as the storm gets closer.
Make it a game
A fun way to prepare your kids for a storm’s noise and chaos is to turn it into a game. Provide the children with pots and pans and allow them to replicate storm sounds. You might also provide them with flashlights to mimic lightning or imitate thunder with a noise app on your phone.
Practicing your safety plan while imitating a storm can normalize the situation, reducing fears when a real storm hits your neighborhood.
Keep calm yourself
As the storm closes in on your home, consider your own mental health. Keep yourself calm;, your kids will pick up on your fears and anxieties.
Of course, it might be impossible to stay calm if a hurricane or other major storm is heading toward your neighborhood, but you can still provide cuddles and smiles to put your kids at ease.
Talk through the plan
Once a storm reaches your home, review your safety plan. This step is crucial if you believe your property could be damaged. Ask your kids what to do during storms to ensure they understand their responsibilities. This acts as a refresher and keeps them focused on what could quickly become a stressful situation.
Do an activity
If you notice your kids aren’t in a panic and seem somewhat calm, suggest an activity while waiting for the storm to pass. The activity you choose depends on the space and resources you have; options could include building a fort, reading a book, or doing a craft.
Depending on the time of day, you might also make a snack for your kids or set up a safe spot inside the home to view the storm. Some families prepare activities like board games and craft tables ahead of time, so they don’t have to rush through setup in the middle of the storm.
Finally, avoiding media in the hours following a major storm. Coverage will undoubtedly show frightening images from the surrounding region. While you might eventually show these pictures and videos to your kids, doing so just after the danger has passed could trigger anxiety the next time a storm approaches.
Instead, access weather radar showing the storm moving away from the neighborhood, so your kids understand the worst is behind them and they are unharmed.
Steps parents can take before a storm
Parents could also experience significant anxiety before a massive storm, especially if they feel unprepared. However, investing in a generator or other uninterruptible power supply provides confidence that you won’t be without power if the grid goes down during a bad storm.
Universal Electrical Services can install a home generator and integrate it into your existing electrical system with a transfer switch. This installation can ease your worries during a storm and help you ride it out in comfort. Contact Universal Electrical Services today for more information.