Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Thunder Girl

I've got to figure out a way to help Caroline overcome her fear of thunderstorms. It's not that I have a problem that she's afraid of them because a good loud booming storm is a little unsettling to me sometimes, but it's the fact that when there's a storm she CANNOT sleep and will not be alone. So right now, it's 10pm and she's sitting down here behind me reading books while we wait for the storm to pass.

This always becomes an issue as summer starts since we often get storms around bedtime. And then, like last night when we had a middle of the night storm, they wake her up which means we are up too or at the very least not sleeping great while she's in bed with us. It's really the only time I let a kid into bed with us because there's really no other option. And after the storm passes, she's fine going right back to bed and sleep - so clearly the storm is the problem.

We've talked to her about what a storm is and what the thunder/lightning are. We've talked about how if she's in the house with us, that she is safe and doesn't have to worry about anything. And she can repeat a lot of this back to us - I really think the issue is a startling issue in that thunder/lightning kind of sneak up on you and startle you. That is what she doesn't like.

It figures we rarely get middle of the day storms when I think they are less frightening. And it's more frustrating because Bryce doesn't seem the least bit bothered by them. If he's awake he might mention something about it but he always sleeps through them and can go to sleep if one starts at bedtime.

Right now I am ready to go to bed but the storm is still rumbling outside and Miss Caroline is not close to sleep. She's not "deathly" afraid in that she's fine sitting behind me and to do her own thing while the storm goes on. The storm is past its peak but we still get the occasional thunder clap or lightning flash and that's still a storm to her. She even told me tonight that she's not scared as long as there is an adult around because "we would know what to do." I know she has anxiety about the power going out and I've told her that mommy and daddy can handle stuff like that and she doesn't need to worry about that - we're the grownups and that's our job. So I'm hoping that as she gets older these won't scare her as much. I know I had my share of irrational fears as a kid too like the Jolly Roger in Ocean City and I'm not afraid of him anymore.


Katie said...

LOL @ Jolly Roger image. Ha ha ha! I would be scared of that guy too. SO not an irrational fear. lol

As for the thunder, have you tried letting her watch the scene in Sound of Music where they sing favorite things? Just something cute to watch, although I doubt letting her watch a movie clip will encourage her to sleep. It just might cheer her up about the whole t-storm thing.

I think it is a pretty common fear though. I hope she overcomes it soon...these storms are going to last awhile tonight.


Anonymous said...

Kenzie has slept with us 2 nights this week due to the storms - she wakes up scared and will not go back to sleep in her room so I let her sleep with us (this too is the ONLY time she sleep with us) Tori can get through it so that's good for now...........

~ V

Heather said...

Try reading some bookies:

Henry & Mudge and the Wild Wind by Cynthia Rylant

There is a Big, Beautiful World Out There by Nancy Carlson

Thundercake by Patricia Polacco

Franklin and the Thunderstorm by Paulette Bourgeois favorite is to pretend angels are bowling...that worked for me as a kid!

Erika said...

I'll have to check out the books. The only problem with the angels image is that we really don't get into the whole angels/heaven thing, so I don't think that would make much sense.

She actually chose to go back to her room on her own mid-storm. I think she was so tired and the prospect of sleeping on the floor next to my bed wasn't that great. So the next morning I told her how proud I was and how brave she was. I'm hoping the positive reinforcement helps for the next time.