Storm season can put our young counterparts into panic mode – and very quickly.
Dr. Joyce Noble, a licensed child psychologist with Mercy, says a fear of storms is very common among kids, so when it comes to staying calm and collected, it's up to parents to lead by example.
"If your parent is scared of something, there's probably a good reason," she told KSPR News. "Also, having your pets near (and safe) is critical to easing kids' minds."
Using imagination to make their storm shelter a comfy “nest," "cave” or “hideout” can make it more fun.
"It is important for parents to frequently praise their kids for being brave and being good listeners so the parent can do the things they must," Dr. Noble added.
Playing music on headphones, if possible, or singing can mask the scary noise of a storm as long as parents can hear the radio.
"This is a very legitimate time to allow the use of portable electronics for distraction," she said.
Be honest with your kids about the severity of the situation.
"The main thing is that parents communicate the appropriate level of seriousness, have a hopeful attitude, set the good example by staying calm themselves and just spending that time with their children working it through."
- Know where your safe place is
- Know how you'll all get to your safe place
- Know who's getting what (storm kits, the pet, etc.)
- Find ways to keep your kids occupied
- Know who will do what while you're in your safe place
- Stock the safe place with supplies beforehand (put together a storm bag)
Items for Your Storm Prep Bag
Here's a list of a few simple things you might want your child to include in their storm bag.
- Extra Batteries
- One of Their Favorite Toys
- Bottles of Water
- Coloring or Activity Books
- Deck of Cards
- Puzzle or Small Board Game