Braving the Storms

It’s All About the Kids
By Janet McPeek, Ph.D.
President of Crossroads for Youth

Let’s face it. Most of us get a little anxious when potentially dangerous storms blow through our communities. Recently, Lake Orion and Oxford were hard hit by a fast moving storm that uprooted trees and destroyed houses. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. But, now that we are entering the summer season, our chances of experiencing destructive weather will increase.

Storms are a common fear for a lot of kids. Parents must equip children with knowledge on what to do when storms are approaching. They should know to always take weather warnings very seriously. Explain to your children the importance of taking shelter and paying attention to all signs of impending dangerous weather. If the skies look threatening, but warning sirens are not going off, it’s still better to follow your instincts and seek protection from the elements.

In order to prevent anxiety in children, adults often have a tendency to tell them not to worry because it’s just a storm. But, in reality, we shouldn’t say that, because storms can be deadly. It’s important not to minimize their fears or the potential danger associated with thunder, lightning, and high winds. There’s a reason why we have a natural fear of storms. It’s an instinctive way to keep us safe.

Although some storms can be destructive, kids should also be aware of how such events build a sense of community. They may see light poles taken down by high winds and vehicles damaged by hail or downed trees. But, they also will witness how local businesses, neighbors and friends work together to clean up the aftermath in the neighborhood. Eventually, all will go back to normal.

The bottom line is storms are going to occur. Teach your family how to take precautions and protect themselves in case of destructive weather. Never think it won’t happen to you.