Helping Children Cope with a Storm

Big storms like hurricanes can be alarming for children.  Adult awareness and support can help children handle  feeling nervous or worried, and get ready to cope with the storm.

Best Ways For Adults To Help Children Cope With A Storm

Watching the Storm
Waiting for the storm

Stay Calm.  Children take cues from adult behaviors and attitudes.  Even if you feel worried, prepare as much as you can, and then stay calm.

Be aware of the storm broadcasts.  Hyped up news reports may increase children’s sense of alarm.  Keep the volume low and engage children in other activities.

Let children know it is okay to feel worried or scared.  Many children don’t like storms and feel afraid. Remind them that you will take care of them.

Tell children what might happen.  Lights and power may go out, winds may be loud, etc.  It helps children to know what to expect.

Let children prepare too.  Is there a flashlight just for them?  Make a storm-time snack bag together.  Choose stuffed animals and cozy blankets for snuggling in case the lights go out.  When children plan and take action, they are less likely to feel helpless.

Plan pleasant pastimes.  Have art supplies, books, and favorite toys on hand. Plan a special storm activity – like making a blanket fort or shadow games.

Print this in case you lose power or have to evacuate. Here is a list of activities to do with children that require very few or no supplies, things to do in the car, and ideas for games to play with little or no light.

Providing information and listening to children helps them feel more secure.  Involving children in storm preparations provides real-world lessons in planning and increases their sense of competence.  With support from adults, children can learn to cope with a storm.  For a one-page printable blog-tips handout, click here.

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