In North Texas, we are experiencing severe weather. If you have kids who struggle with anxiety, below are some practical tips to help them stay calm during severe weather.
1) Headphones can block out the sound and their favorite show or music can provide timely distraction. You can also use headphones for you to get weather updates without the news of what is around them increasing their own fear.
2) It’s also a great idea to give them an “I’m safe” mantra to say. Since we are faith based we use the scripture 2 Timothy 1:7. ￼
3) Have them think of a happy place or time when you as a family felt happy or were having lots of fun. I like thinking of nature settings we’ve seen together. Art can help some kids relax so some colors and paper can also give them something to do while waiting in a small enclosed space.
4) Teach them square breathing. Where they trace on their leg breathing in as they make a side for 4 seconds, hold at the corner for 3 seconds and out for 4 seconds as they draw the next side and then hold and repeat.
5) After the storms have passed, express gratitude for safety and offer a back rub to help them get to sleep. Validate their worries but remind them they are stronger than their fear – always!!
For faith based parents, this is a great time to remind them of the power of God and model trust in Him.
It’s also super important if you struggle with your own fears to work on these skills so you can model calm reassurance in front of your children. You as a family might make a calm box for when the next time the thunder gets loud and winds howl so you will all be prepared to work on staying brave even in the midst of life’s scary moments.
You might also consider trying a weighted blanket or this device designed by a 11 year old girl.
I’d love to hear how you and your family stay safe not only physically but also emotionally during bad weather in the comments below.