Dear Mayo Clinic: My 6 year old son gets anxious and excited every time a storm hits. Last year I noticed that this behavior was becoming more and more frequent as I had to evacuate for several days due to a hurricane.
What can I do to help my child weather the horrors of the storm? He asks about the weather every time we leave the house, and when the sky darkens, he asks us if we should evacuate for safety.
Do you need to worry? Need to schedule your visit with an advisor?
Answer: Children of son’s age are often afraid of storms. Of course, having to evacuate your home because of a hurricane was probably difficult for him, but there are steps you can take that might ease his anxiety.
If his fear of the storm does not improve, or if anxiety begins to interfere with daily life, consider having him talk to a therapist or counselor.
It is reasonable for children to seek comfort from their parents during a storm. Storms can be scary. Lightning and lightning can be particularly difficult for children who are particularly sensitive to noise and light.
For children who are very afraid of storms, the problem is not with the storm itself, but with the expectations of the storm. This waiting can lead to ongoing stress and anxiety.
As you explain, many children like your son are reluctant to leave home if they think they might be caught in a storm. They may try to avoid outdoor activities. This stress can interfere with other aspects of their life, such as schoolwork, because fear prevents them from concentrating.
Kids want a constant sense of security that storms won’t hit, so it can be worn by parents as well.
There are things you can do to alleviate your son’s fear.
For some children, knowing the plans to stay safe during the storm is comforting. Tell your son what your family has done before and how it has protected you. Share what you’re doing during the storm, whether you’re outside or away from home. Reassure him that he will do whatever he can to keep him safe.
If your child had a frightening experience such as an evacuation, explain how frightening it was and how your family coped with it, and what to do if such a situation happens again. Please give me.
Knowledge is also helpful. Books, websites, or other resources describing the weather are great places for your son to learn more. Learning about the weather and understanding the causes of storms can alleviate some children’s anxieties about storms.
Note that the source of choice focuses on the storm itself, rather than sticking to the destruction the storm can cause.
Likewise, if you are trying to keep abreast of storms that may affect you, be aware of where your son is and what he can hear.
Try to help your son reduce his âsafe behaviorâ. This is what he does to make him feel a little better, but they really don’t do anything to keep him safe.
These actions may include checking the forecast or requesting to go to a shelter. When children rely on these behaviors, it prevents them from learning that they can deal with their anxieties in the face of uncertainty. As these behaviors decrease, children often find they can deal with things they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, and things often turn out well.
Remember that it is important to support and encourage when considering ways to help your son overcome his fear. Don’t punish or despise your child out of fear.
If your fear persists despite your attempts, or if it gets worse or if you experience pain, it’s time to seek professional help.
The remedies used for storm anxiety involve helping children cope with fear. It may just start by talking about the storm. He can switch to reading stories about storms or watching videos of tornadoes, hurricanes or other big storms. Ultimately, this can include taking the child out in the rain or standing safely by the window to watch the storm during a storm.
Of course, one of the challenges is that the therapist cannot cause a storm because of a therapy session. Instead, by planning and staging what kids can do to deal with the storm, they can be sure they know what to do when the storm hits. .. Helping children to gradually cope with fear in this way has been shown to be effective in overcoming anxiety and excessive anxiety.
– Dr. Stephen Whiteside, Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.