Hello, Ed here again.

Yesterday’s devastating tornado in Oklahoma is a somber reminder of the power and fury a storm conjure up. Storms can be a scary experience, but this is especially true for children who don’t understand what is happening or are afraid of the lightning and thunder.

Even when a storm is something that we as adults view as no big deal, children often see these events as a scary ordeal. Of course as parents we want our kids to feel safe at all times,  so what can you do to keep your kids calm during a storm?

During a storm, your child is going to look to you for support and reassurance so the best thing you can do for them is to remain calm yourself! Kids are especially adept at mirroring an adult’s emotions so if you show them that you are not afraid, it can help them to remain calm as well.

You can also distract them from what is happening outside by keeping them busy with noisy and immersive activities. Drown out the sound of wind and thunder with family karaoke, a dance contest or by moving their activities and some toys to a quieter room in the house like the basement or a room without windows.

Once the storm passes, take the opportunity to show them that everything is okay and that storms are only temporary.

Children can be scared by the noise and uncertainty that comes along with a storm. Keeping them calm will make them feel safe and help you manage them better.

Ed Holpfer

Better Kids Institute Contributor