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 frequent as I had to evacuate for several days due to a hurricane.
What can I do to help my child overcome the horrors of the storm? He asks about the weather every time we leave the house, and when the sky gets dark, he asks if we need to evacuate for safety.
Do you need to worry? Need to schedule his visit with a counselor?
Answer: Children of son age are often afraid of storms. Sure, having to evacuate your home for a hurricane was probably difficult for him, but you can take steps that may alleviate 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 especially difficult for children who are particularly sensitive to noise and light.
For children who are very afraid of storms, the problem does not come from the storm itself, but from the storm’s expectations. That expectation can lead to ongoing stress and anxiety.
As you explain, many kids like your son are hesitant to leave the house if they think they might get caught up in a storm. They may try to avoid outdoor activities. This stress can interfere with other aspects of their lives, such as schoolwork, as fear makes it difficult for them to concentrate.
Children want a constant sense of security that storms won’t happen, so it can be worn by parents as well.
You can do a few things to ease the fear of your son.
For some children, knowing plans to stay safe in the storm is comforting. Tell your son what your family has done before and how it kept you safe. Share what you do during the storm — whether you’re outdoors or away from home. Reassure him that he will do whatever he can to keep him safe.
If your child has had a scary experience such as evacuation, talk about how scary it was and how your family dealt with it, and explain what to do if such a situation recurs. Please give me.
Knowledge is also useful. Books, websites, or other resources that describe the weather are good 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 that the storm can cause.
Similarly, if you’re trying to keep up to date with storms that may affect you, be aware of your son’s whereabouts and what he can hear.
Try to help your son reduce his “safe behavior”. These are what he does to make him feel a little better, but they don’t really do anything to keep him safe.
These actions may include checking the forecast or asking about going to a shelter. When children rely on these behaviors, it prevents them from learning that they can deal with their anxieties about uncertainty. As these behaviors diminish, children often find that they can deal with things they don’t know exactly what will happen, and things often go well.
Remember that it is important to be supportive and encouraging when considering ways to help your son deal with fear. Do not punish or despise your child for fear.
If your fear persists despite your attempts, or if it gets worse or you feel pain, it’s time to seek professional help.
The remedies used for storm anxiety consist of helping children face fear. It may just start by talking about the storm. It may move on to reading stories about storms or watching videos of tornadoes, hurricanes, or other big storms. Ultimately, it may include taking the child out in the rain or standing safely near 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 role-playing what the kids can do to handle the storm, they can feel confident that they know what to do when the storm comes. .. Helping children gradually confront fear in this way has proven successful in overcoming anxiety and excessive anxiety.
— Dr. Stephen Whiteside, Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Anxiety about storms is common in young children – Reading Eagle
Source link Anxiety about storms is common in young children – Reading Eagle