Most children have a fear of thunderstorms at one point in their early development. Some of these fears can be extreme for some children that will last into adulthood. As a parent you need to be ready to take on these fears of children and do your best to put them in a safe frame of mind. To conquer the fear we must first determine the cause.
Children are usually most afraid of the sound of a heavy storm. Some storms will create such extreme and close lightning that windows and walls will vibrate thus sending the little ones into a state of anxiety. Children may have an even greater fear of storms if they have been exposed to movie and literature depictions showing people getting hurt or killed by violent storms. It is unfortunate if any child should be exposed to such depictions and parents should do their best to deter kids from viewing such extreme natural disaster coverage. I would even recommend censoring kids from watching the weather channel as this weather source has become more sensationalized and interested in extreme weather than just stating the facts. The weather anchors almost seem dismayed when there is an absence of sizable or high numbers of tornado sightings within the reported storm zone.
The fears of children and thunderstorms can be put to rest with a few easy tips. First of all, reassure the little ones that the storms are outside and cannot hurt them in the home. Also reassure them they are protected by the roof, Mom, and Dad. Give them some leeway and allow them to bring some extra stuffed animals and a flashlight to bed. They may even make a tent over their bed with the blanket giving them an extra sense of protection. If the fear still maintains a grasp over the child, consider even letting them play that coveted electronic game or have them climb into bed until the storm passes or the child falls asleep.
If the children are a little older and still afraid, let them know the real reason or science behind thunder and lightning. Have a talk with them about the “bright” side of storms and rain such as the benefit of watering the grass and garden and replenishing our drinking water.
Keep the child at ease by listening to their every question and do not accuse them of acting childish or immature. Fear of storms or astraphobia can be a full blown fear that leads into adulthood for some individuals. It is imperative to treat children’s fears correctly when they are really young to avoid making the matters much worse. If the youngster does not grow out of this state of anxiety, it may be a good idea to mention this fear to your pediatrician who will recommend a doctor to help your child overcome this phobia.