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When the thunder rolls ... tears fall

July 14, 2015
By Betsy Bethel , OVParent

Rain, rain, go away, come again ... in October! Unless you've been living under a rock (in which case, you'd at least be dry), you've probably noticed how wet the summer has been. While the lack of sunshine has me a little bummed and, I wager, has put a damper on many picnics, I'd much rather deal with the slightly cooler and rainy days over stifling 90-plus-degree days. If I'm going to be wet, let it be from rain, not sweat!

My 9-year-old daughter likes the rain, so she says. But all of the sudden this spring she has a quite distressing fear of thunderstorms. The child has never exactly liked lightning and thunder, but she never experienced moments of sheer terror during them as she has this year. (She is one of those "spirited" children - see p.5.) We found several things that help soothe her: watching the radar, so she knows what to expect and when it should be over; being around younger children during the storm, so she can be the "big kid" and reassure all of them; and, when all else fails, being hugged tightly by Mom or Dad.

Lightning should be taken seriously. I know: My father was struck on the golf course and nearly killed when I was a baby, and I lived in the Lightning Capital of the World (Tampa Bay) for seven years. Standing under an open shelter or isolated tree is downright dangerous. So is being anywhere near water. When the thunder rolls, get inside a four-walled building or vehicle. Storms are fascinating to watch, but be smart! And when all else fails, hug someone.

 
 

 

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