Some children’s fears are so extreme that they look like they’re going to have an anxiety attack! Then again, some fireworks are so loud that it really is uncomfortable.
If you have a child that is more on the extreme end, you may want to avoid being outside while you watch fireworks. You can generally find a place close to where the fireworks are and sit in your car to watch. You may have children that want to be outside and some that want to stay in the car. It’s great to take turns with your partner for this. It will show the child inside the car that a lot of people like them.
This may sound a bit extreme but you can use earmuffs! OK, it’s summer and it’s July! But you can go to a sporting goods store and get the earmuffs that are used for rifle practice.
One thing that’s very important is to not belittle your child for being afraid. Just tell them, “Some kids don’t like fireworks and some do.” This doesn’t make them feel bad about themselves or feel different. Don’t try to talk them into it. When they see so many people enjoying them, they eventually come around. It may not be this year but it does happen!
If you have a child with a milder fear but really wants to watch, you could give them some tips ahead of time of what they can do. You could say:
- “Some people like to cover their ears with their hands.”
- “You could tuck your face into mommy or daddy’s neck and just peek at the fireworks or you could close your eyes too.”
- “You could shout, “bang” if it makes a loud sound.”
When children know things that they can do, it gives them some control. Practice some of these things before the fireworks. Make it fun!
One thing that you don’t want to do is go “overboard” in comforting your child. What I mean is don’t draw so much attention to a child with milder fears. Don’t tell everyone that “he’s afraid.” You don’t need to be reinforcing that! Of course you can hold them and provide physical comfort but the less you say the better. Make your own comments out loud about the beautiful colors and wondering what color will come next. Eventually the child that is covering their ears and hiding finally stops!
Give it time and have fun!
You can find more of Alison Astair on her website here at Help Me Alison
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