Not all things that go bump have to be scary

It’s finally officially Spring! We do love spring! It’s such beautiful reminder of God’s forgiveness and the new life we are given in Him. A quick walk around the block can provide a sneak peek to trees and flowers budding and young animals. Oklahomans know the blessings of spring’s warm weather, and we also know the dangers that can come with it. Oklahoma weather seems to get more than its fair share of media attention and seems to become the topic of conversations on a regular basis. Young children aren’t immune to those conversations and media coverage, so it’s important for parents to monitor and protect them from becoming over-saturated with this information.

As Christian parents, we have the opportunity to continue to teach our children about God’s creation. Teaching them about the wonders of weather can help demystify the sights and sounds of weather and help calm the vivid imagination of your preschooler.  While they don’t need to know the hows and whys of weather behaving as it does, younger preschoolers can benefit from having words for the weather-related sounds. Help them learn the words thunder, lightning and wind. It will help them understand that they are part of God’s creation that helps us get lots of rain at one time. Hail can sound especially scary them as it hits the house and can simply be explained as pieces of ice falling. If they are especially anxious, give them some ice cubes to throw into a sink and let them hear how loud it is as it falls. Talk to them about how high the clouds are in the sky and how far the ice must fall to the ground and how loud it’s loud because of that.

The work of parents to protect and teach children begins early and includes many facets of life. It can be helpful to talk to your older preschooler about your family safety plans. Take them to your designated safe place in your home and talk to them about when you may need to come here as a family to be safe. It can be helpful to pack a special backpack for your child to take if this time comes. Pack a special toy, their favorite non-perishable snack and a flashlight just for them. Check this backpack periodically for batteries as well as the relevance of the special toy. If you have more than one child, pack a backpack for each of them.

Will these steps keep your child from being scared during these times? No. Storms are scary for parents too! It will help children have the words to ask questions and have at least a minimum awareness of the needed steps to keep all of the family safe. As they talk about fears, help them pray and ask God to protect them.  If our children can learn to pray when they are scared when they are young, it will be developing a pattern of behavior that will serve them well throughout all the days of their lives.