For many families, the 4th of July was all about barbeques, being outside and, of course, watching fireworks. I happen to love a good fireworks show, especially if it is paired with a blanket on the ground, a picnic basket and a glass of something cold and bubbly.
Sounds nice, right?
Well, yes, but it was also not how I spent my 4th as I currently have a small child who is abjectly terrified of fireworks. My darling child can’t even watching them on TV without getting scared and immediately diving into my armpit for protection. So, we spent this 4th inside watching the Lego movie and eating popcorn while hoping our neighborhood wouldn’t have any jerks that plan to set off fireworks all night long.
Even though my kiddo has never been to a fireworks show, I can understand the fear. They can be loud and startling, especially for someone who doesn’t quite understand how they work. Kid fears are kind of an interesting phenomenon to me. Sometimes they make logical sense and sometimes they seem so out of left field, like my daughter’s current fear of the broom (she also hates the vacuum, which is in the “loud and startling” category so I can understand that, but the broom?) or my son’s past fear of umbrellas.
I feel like there is always a fine line between wanting to help your children face their fears, especially when those fears seem silly, and taking their fears seriously. I know that the broom is not going to hurt Evelyn but I also know her fear is totally genuine to her and that she is sincerely scared when I pull it out to sweep the floor. As with most behaviors I puzzle over related to the kids, I know that she’ll eventually outgrow this fearful stage (she is also currently scared of kittens, the garage door, the blender, and the Dust Buster) as she makes more sense of the world, but I do sometimes wonder if there is more I can or should do to help her feel brave.
What are your kids afraid of? How do you help them when they are afraid?