Finding the Calm During the Storm

Coping with Common Childhood Fears

When you care for a child who is severely afraid of storms, learning to comfort them in the midst of the chaos is important. In the March 2010 issue of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter we discussed coping with common childhood fears.

Some tips we listed to help keep a child happy during a thunderstorm included: distracting the child with plenty of indoor activities, teaching them about weather so it isn’t so scary, play CDs with storms sounds so they become desensitized to thunder, and read age-appropriate children’s books to the child on the topic.
What tips do you have for helping children that are scared of thunderstorms?


  1. Teach children about about thunder and lightning. For the child who is afraid of thunder, a story might help make thunderstorms less scary. Library books on this subject are "Flash, Crash, Rumble and Roar" by Franklyn M. Branley. and Cutts' "I Can Read About Thunder and Lightning."Nanny Esperanza RodriguezNew Haven CT

  2. I try very hard to repress my own fears!!! — I can't stand lighting and thunderstorms. I know too many weird stories about them. I do remember learning songs about storms when I was a kid. That I will sing with my charges now.I know of an expression though when the thunder roars come in doors.

  3. I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

  4. Deal with the fear and don't simply ignore it. Teach children about weather. Have them identify what is frightening to them. For example, if the child is afraid of lightning, explain that it can't hurt us when we are safe inside. Use CDs or white noise makers with storm sounds so during a real storm that will belnd in with the noise outside. Read children's books on the topic.Of course distraction works too. I like to play indoors on rainy days and make it really special and the kids end up liking rainy days. For example, we have laid out blankets in playrooms and had an indoor picnic lunch. Putting up forts on rainy days is fun. Read books and bring our stuffed animals into the fort with us. I like turning off the lights in the fort and use flashlights to read. Making shadow puppets is fun on rainy days. Indoor obstacle courses are fun too.Playing out in the rain when there is not thunder or lightening (and it's warm enough) is fun too. I have allowed children to put on bathing suits and bring out plastic ships and play with them in the puddles and rivers made by the rain. Kids love finding worms (I know, yucky) on rainy days too. One last thought is to put food coloring on paper plates and let raindrops fall and make designs. If you have fun on rainy days then at least they will keep busy.StephanieGlen Ridge NJ

  5. I have worked with one boy who was severely scared of thunderstorms but as he got older this went away. I think it is perfectly normal. When he would get upset I would just let him know that the storm wasn't a big deal and that we were safe in the house.I think its natural for a child to be afraid of thunderstorms. They are loud, sometimes you can feel rumbling. I think the ideas posted in the newsletter were right appropriate and should really help.Nanny/Housekeeper Manuela VeldezRancho Sante Fe CA

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