Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stormy Weather Anxiety

I got drenched this evening as I made my usual one-mile-plus walk from the office to the train station.

But as uncomfortable as I am sitting here on the train in soggy pants and shoes, I know my wife probably has it worse.

She has to be with Kai right now.

My son hates storms. Or, rather, he is afraid of them.

I’m not sure when his fear started.

A few years ago, we were at a hotel when they made everyone evacuate the outdoor swimming pool when lightning was spotted a few miles away. Kai did not want to get out of the pool so I had to explain to him the dangers of lightning. Perhaps I explained it too well.

Another time, a couple years ago, during a big storm, we lost power in our house for more than a day. I’d say he developed anxiety from that experience except that I recall him enjoying the simulated camping we did.

Regardless of the source of his fears, he now gets very anxious every time he knows a storm is coming. This past Sunday was a great example.

He had seen the weather forecast from the day before.

“When will the storm come?”

“Is it going to be a bad storm?”

No, Kai, I don’t think it will be too bad.

When the storm finally struck on Sunday evening, he was in full anxiety.

“Is there going to be a tornado, Dad?”

No, Kai, there are no tornados around here in January.

We had company over that evening and sat down to eat. Kai brought his iPad to the table. He played the BrainPop movie that explained about storms and lightning.

That prompted one of our guests, Henry, to tell of the time when he was indirectly struck by lightning.

Kai looked at him wide eyed but did not say anything. He was too busy bringing up the Weather Channel app.

“Dad, I’m scared!”

There’s nothing to be scared of, Kai. I explained that he was perfectly safe inside the house.

We tried to have conversation with our guests, but Kai interrupted every so often to talk about how afraid he was.

After dinner, we decided to play the Wii.

Henry started to design his Mii character to look like himself. As he is bald, he searched for a bald head on the game system. Kai spoke up.

“Is that because of the lightning?”

Ha! No, Henry did not lose all his hair because of the lightning.

Playing the Wii seemed to avert Kai’s attention from the storm outside.

But when it was bedtime, he could hear the rain hitting his window.

He always likes to have Mom stay with him after we turn out the lights, and she usually stays in his room for about ten minutes, or sooner if he falls asleep quickly.

On this night, he didn’t fall asleep. He wouldn’t let her leave as he was afraid of being alone.

It took a long time, but eventually he did fall asleep. But it was only a couple hours later that he banged on our bedroom door, saying he couldn’t sleep because he was scared of the rain.

Thank goodness the rain stopped before morning.

Now we are having another storm.

My wife is probably going nuts listening to Kai voice his fears over and over.

Looks like it will be long night.

I’m going to enjoy my solitude, soggy pants and all, while I can.


  1. haha...yes, soggy pants and solitude can be much better than anxious boy that will not be comforted!

    Oh dear..I'm so sorry! Hopefully this fear will diminish with time. Ironically, my boys have no fear of storms and actually love to watch from the windows.

    They aren't afraid of the dark at all...but if we loose power, they are distraught that non of their electronics work. It can be a truly trying time since they don't understand why things don't work. Ugh.

    Stay dry! Hope the storm stops before you get home! ;)

    1. That's nice that your boys aren't afraid of storms or the dark. I hope Kai's fear will diminish, but it is so hard to predict.

      I'm sure it is stressful when you lose power. Perhaps you can try to find some type of electronic device that runs on batteries that will tide them over.

  2. One way to break an irrational fear is to re-associate the fear with pleasant actions or memorable affairs. A simple game involving trying to predict where in the sky lightning will strike...or pictures in the clouds...estimating distance of strike through delay of sound...etc. Under cover at your home...perhaps a cookout with the family overlooking the storm while eating bar-b-que...is another.

    My dad used to use this tactic when I was very small. Fear of the dark? We would play games in the dark...etc.

    1. That is a good idea, Shiroi. We will have to try some things the next time it storms here.

  3. I am reading this late, how did it go?
    Hopefully better!


    1. That night was not as bad as Sunday night... partly because there was less lightning and also perhaps because he was more tired. We'll have to see how it goes the next time.

  4. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. Linden Method


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...