After two nights of loud storms waking up children around the metro, many parents are struggling to stay alert. But there are steps parents can take to help ease their children’s fear of the thunder, lightning and hail.
Sandra Davis, of Fort Calhoun, lives with her daughter’s family. Her two granddaughters, ages four and five, are struggling with the loud sounds. “The younger one cried, I mean, she was frightened,” she said, "'because there was a loud crack right over the house. We went in and got her, so we were up."
Robin Houser, National Counselor with Best Care E.A.P., Methodist Health Systems, said, “It's an unpredictable thing, so it's unnerving for children who don't know what it is or have a lot of experience with it in their young years."
Many parents find it easier to let their children climb in bed with them, so they’ll fall back to sleep. "You do what you can do and as long as it's something that's acceptable, that you and your family have agreed on, that's something that's definitely acceptable."
But it may help parents get more sleep, over the long-term, to prepare children for the weather. “Explain to them ahead of time, you know that thunderstorms are coming, or are predicted," Houser said. "Just explaining to them what would happen and remembering that there are loud noises, and trying to relate them to things that are more normal to children like drums, if they have a drum set."
Davis, a former science teacher, brought her granddaughters to a screened in porch to get a better look at what she called, “Mother Nature’s fireworks.” She used the opportunity to teach them about the colors of lightning. “Because it's nothing to be afraid of,” she said. “And it's really beautiful, as long as you're not out in it.”