Last week after the big evening storms as I walked into the center, I passed the Starbursts class enjoying some morning outdoors time. The loud, scary, and dangerous storms that swept through the St. Louis region the night before were all the children wanted to tell me about. It was right around bedtime for many children, so I'm sure routines were disrupted. As the two-year-olds greeted me, they jumped right into what they did the night before during the storm. Some talked about going to a basement, some spoke of staying with mom or dad in their room, and one apparently slept through the entire ordeal.
It was wonderful to hear all the language and excitement the weather brought out from the children, but I wondered what it must have been like for them and their families during the storm. My kids are older and don't worry as much about storms, so I went to the experts, the teachers. I sat down with Brittney, David, & Rashaan in the Startbursts room to ask for their advice on helping young children weather the big spring storms that pass through St. Louis.
Explain the sounds.
Sirens can be loud and scary. Explaining to your children what they mean, why the sound is so loud, and what to do will help them understand and feel more comfortable. Thunder is an obvious noise that can upset children. Part of the reason is due to the surprise. If you see lightning, you can lesses the surprise by counting. Every 5 seconds between the lightning and the sound of thunder indicates the lightning is a mile away. Take time to talk to your children when the weather is calm and explain the weather in terms they understand.
Thunder is loud like a drum.
The simple act of simulating the loud sounds thunder makes can help children cope with the sound and make it not quite as scary. What else can be loud? Help your child know that just because it is loud, does not make it scary.
Songs are a great way to help children through lots of situations and storms are no different. You don't have to sing a real song, or even be able to really carry a tune. Simply sing what you are doing or what is going on. "The rain falls down and the grass grows up." Your children won't care if you are not the next American Idol, it is all about redirection from being scared to having fun by singing.
Post by Jeffrey Pomranka