A young boy holds an umbrella in the rain. It's important to know how to comfort your kids on stormy days so that they feel safe and secure.

Comforting kids on stormy days is important when you have an anxious child. My younger children still jump at loud thunder and feel nervous when lightning races across the sky.

As parents, it’s our job to help our kids feel safe and secure when the world seems scary. In this article, I’ll talk about why these days can be challenging and what you can do to help comfort your kids.

Why stormy days can sometimes make kids feel anxious:

There are multiple reasons your kids might feel nervous when the weather outside is unsettled. Here are a few things that can contribute to kids feeling upset when it starts to storm:

Loud noises: Thunder, lightning, and the sound of heavy rain can be quite overwhelming for kids, especially if they’re not used to it. The sudden loud noises can startle them and trigger feelings of fear and unease.

Disruption of routine: Stormy days often mean a change in plans. Outdoor activities might be canceled, and the usual routine may be disrupted. Kids thrive on structure and predictability, so when unexpected weather interrupts their routine, it can lead to feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.

Safety concerns: This is a big one! Kids may worry about their safety during storms. They might be afraid of lightning strikes or strong winds. Once, we had a strong wind storm that knocked down one of our trees, after that, my children were more anxious about bad weather when it happens.

Sensory overload: Stormy weather can create sensory overload for some children. The sound of rain hitting the windows, the darkness caused by cloudy skies, and the change in atmospheric pressure can all contribute to a sensory overload experience. This can heighten their anxiety and make them feel overwhelmed.

So, what can we do to help our little ones during stormy days? The first step is to acknowledge their big feelings surrounding bad weather. When we ignore their fears or minimize them, it doesn’t make their anxiety go away. Here’s how to address in the situation in a productive way.

How to comfort your kids on stormy days

  1. Provide reassurance: Reassure your child that they are safe inside the house. Explain that storms are a natural occurrence and that you are there to protect them.
  2. Explain what’s happening: Talk to your child about the storm in a calm and age-appropriate manner. Explain why it happens, how it’s a normal part of nature, and that it will pass. Understanding the science behind storms can help demystify them and alleviate fears.
  3. Listen to your child: Allow your child to express why the storm is upsetting them. Try not to interrupt until they have said everything they need to.
  4. Create a cozy environment: Make their surroundings as comforting and cozy as possible. Close the curtains to minimize the sight of lightning, play soft music. Create a safe space where they can cuddle up with their favorite blanket or stuffed animal.

Remember, every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s important to be patient and understanding, offering support and comfort in a way that resonates with your child.

Even if your child is comfortable with storms, the next challenge you may run into is that they quickly become bored staying inside all day. Here are a few fun activities you may want to try with them.

What to do when kids are stuck inside

  1. Blanket forts: Nothing says cozy like building a fortress of blankets and pillows. Help your kids create their own little hideaway where they can cuddle up with their favorite books or toys.
  2. Indoor treasure hunt: Give you kids something fun to do by organizing an indoor treasure hunt. Come up with some clues and hide little surprises around the house.
  3. Movie marathon: For those who aren’t screen adverse, rainy days are perfect for snuggling up and watching movies together. Let your kids choose their favorite films, pop some popcorn, and relax.
  4. Arts and crafts: Unleash their creativity with arts and crafts activities. Set up a craft station with colored paper, markers, glue, scissors, and any other art supplies you have on hand. You can also try DIY projects like making paper airplanes or creating your own finger puppets.
  5. Bake something yummy: Rainy days call for delicious treats! Gather your little ones in the kitchen and bake something together. It could be cookies, cupcakes, or even a homemade pizza. Not only will they love the process of baking, but they’ll also get to enjoy the tasty results afterward.
  6. Dance party: Crank up some upbeat tunes and let loose with your kids. You can show off your best moves or learn some new ones together. Dancing is a fantastic way to get some energy out and lift everyone’s spirits.
    • Indoor picnics: Bring the outdoors inside by having a picnic in the living room. Lay out a blanket, pack some sandwiches, fruits, and snacks, and enjoy a fun meal together.
  7. Board games and puzzles: Dust off those board games and puzzles from your shelves and gather the family around the table. Enjoy some friendly competition, or do something cooperative like solving puzzles together.
  8. Conduct a weather experiment-Create a simple weather experiment like collecting and measuring rain water, or making a pinwheel to see how fast the wind is blowing.

Final Thoughts

Our children need the reassurance that we can provide! When we recognize and address their feelings, will be able to help them through challenging circumstances. Next time your child is frightened by stormy weather, try a little validation and distraction to make things better!

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