The 4th of July is approaching! Cookouts, sparklers, pool parties, and….uh oh FIREWORKS!!!!! For a lot of kids, fireworks are no big deal. But if your child has a hard time dealing with fireworks, then a simple 4th of July party can become a source of significant anxiety.
Here are a few ways to help your little one get through the festivities:
1. Tell your child what to expect ahead of time. Let them know how the day will go and the order of activities. Tell them what fireworks are and how they work. If your child is a little older, go online and have them help you find out about the “anatomy of the firework.” This will help decrease any anxiety regarding the unknown and give your child a sense of control.
3. Let your child sit in your lap if they like and give them big bear hugs, massage their arms and legs, or wrap them tightly in their blanket. The deep pressure is very comforting to kids (to us big kids too) and it lets your child know that you are right there with them.
4. Give them a favorite snack to eat during the firework show. Believe it or not chewy foods are very calming to the body. So, if your child likes fruit leather, dried fruit, or chewing gum, then these would be a great option. If not, a familiar and comforting snack will still help to make your child feel more at ease. For older children, candy or lollipops that they can suck can also be very calming.
5. Bring a set of headphones or ear plugs to dampen the sound of the fireworks. One of those old-fashion sets that cover the ears are perfect for the younger kids! Or sit in the car to watch the fireworks.
6. Be positive!!! Talk about how pretty the fireworks are, what they symbolize, and why you are celebrating. Provide words of encouragement and no matter how they do, praise them for giving it their best effort!
Have a safe, happy, and stress-free holiday!