As children, my sisters and I enjoyed thunderstorms! We’d sit out on the porch with our parents and sing songs and play games while waiting for the storm to pass. I’m not sure if it was the safest place to be, but it did certainly help to alleviate storm fears.
Now that we live close to the beach(surrounded by water), I find that the storms are a lot more intense than I remember as a child. I noticed that my children definitely had some fears associated with the storms and I decided to try to help them with their storm fears. Here are some things I’ve found that have worked.
I emphasize safety measure with the children: storms aren’t so frightening if you take the proper precautions I tell them. For example, at the first sign of a thunderstorm, take shelter. Be smart, not frightened.
When I was little, my mother told us jokingly that the sound of thunder was created when angel’s bowled in heaven. We believed her for quite a few years until we found out differently in science class.
I still tell the “bowling” story to my children, but I make sure that they know it’s a joke. I’ve gotten books from the library to explain thunder and lightning.
My mother also taught us a song about two little storm clouds that bumped into each other creating the “boom” sound. When the thunder rolled, we’d sing the storm cloud song. My children are personally not impressed with the storm cloud song, and so we don’t sing it anymore. Perhaps my son will enjoy the song when he gets old enough.
You can also count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder. This way, you can tell how far away the storm is from where you are. For example, you start counting when you see the lightning and count until you hear the thunder clap. The number of seconds equals how far the storm is away from you. If you count up to 10 seconds, that means that the storm is 10 miles away from you.
I think the most important factor in alleviating your child’s fears is to be calm yourself. If your child knows that storms frighten you, then he will be more frightened of them. If you are able to maintain a calm demeanor during the storm, it will help your child immensely.