When she was little, my daughter was often bothered by loud noises. This made having a baby brother quite interesting…but that's another post!
I actually have never liked fireworks myself, ever since there was a newspaper article about an accident with the people actually putting on the official fireworks in our town. I always felt like if the professionals can have an accident, then I really don't think I should be anywhere near them.
I like seeing them from far away but don't feel the need to be nearby or do them myself. So I guess my daughter and I share in our dislike of fireworks.
A few years ago, the 4th of July started early for us, thanks to some teenage neighbors. We had quite a few tears due to the window-shakers going off in our back alley in Chicago.
We have tried a couple different tactics to help our daughter cope. Here are two that we tried and one that was suggested by a friend.
Fireworks Too Loud For Kids? Grab Some Gear!
A friend told me that she was very protective of her daughter's ears, whether or not she was afraid so she has her daughter wear her sound cancelling headphones to fireworks or even to loud events or concerts.
They actually make Hearing Protection Earmuffs for Kids, which obviously don't have the headphone wire attached. So THAT would be one totally perfect solution if the sound is the issue.
I also know that a lot of adults are often either bothered by loud noises or afraid of fireworks, so in case it helps, there are also Hearing Protection Headphones for Adults that would definitely help with at least the sound part of the equation.
If the sound is less of an issue and the booming feeling in the body is what is bothering your child, obviously one strategy is to move farther away but it might be worth considering a child's compression vest (talk to your doctor or occupational therapist to learn about these).
Fear of Fireworks? Focus on the Noise.
When we focused on the boom noise with my daughter, first we talked about quiet versus loud. “Can you think of something quiet? How about something loud?”
Then we practiced making the loud noises of the things she named, like fire truck sirens, rooster crows and dinosaur roars.
I asked her what was the loudest noise she could think of, and she said a dinosaur roar. I asked her to do the loudest roar she could. It turns out this is not very loud at all, but very cute (maybe your kid is better at being loud though?).
When she did her loudest roar, I jumped back and acted goofy-scared. She giggled. I said, “Next time we hear a loud firecracker why don't we scare it back with our LOUDEST dinosaur roar!!!”
The next window-shaker went off and she looked at me with a worried face. I looked back at her as if I was going to laugh and gave my (sorta) biggest roar. She joined me and, most importantly, she didn't cry!
We practiced inside the house for a while any time we heard a firecracker. Then we went to the door with an open window and practiced there. Then we went outside and she kept on roaring!
For us, the parent participation is key, so keep that in mind if it doesn't work right away for you! I had to go in to put baby brother to bed and Daddy was busy grilling. Eventually without one of us participating with her, she did get scared and cry from one.
Then it was dinner time. (Yep, those teenagers sure liked their daytime fireworks!)
Kids Afraid of Fireworks? Focus on the Jump.
If your child jumps, like anyone would, when they hear a loud firecracker go off…turn it into a game!
There is a Yo Gabba Gabba song called, “Jumpy Jump Jump Jump Jump” and somehow it is the only episode we've ever seen of this show.
If you know this song, or any other fun kids song about jumping, just start singing that each time a big boom makes you jump.
No songs come to mind? Try calling out an animal or insect that jumps each time and jump around the way they do.
Either way when you hear a firecracker and it makes you jump, keep jumping!
Give one of these tips a try! If it doesn't work…well…you're probably at the same place you were before you tried! If you have any other tactics or if this DOES help you, I'd love to hear about it in the comments! Either way, good luck and happy, safe 4th of July!!
I hope you enjoy this easy 4th of July tip! Might as well pin a picture to remember or share with anyone who might find it helpful! Please follow along over on our facebook and pinterest pages, we'd love to see you again!