Here are some tips to have an anxiety-free July 4th!
1. Prepare little ones. Watch movies featuring fireworks displays, explain what they are, prepare your child for the noise, and reassure them that the fireworks are very far away. Tell them not to be scared that the fireworks cannot fall on them. Introduce earplugs and demonstrate how the noise changes significantly when wearing them. This may help them feel ready for what they'll see and hear.
2. Go for a trial run. Visit the location of the fireworks, search online for examples of what fireworks look and sound like. Many communities have fireworks days leading up to July 4th, however, they aren’t quite as big and loud as the real deal. This can still be a good way to gauge your child’s initial reaction and help them get a taste of what’s to come.
3. Location, location, location. If you are going to “venture out” and try the fireworks, find a well lit, not too crowded area that is easily escapable to make a quick exit. If you feel that your child is too scared and cannot handle being outside with the fireworks, try watching from a window (car or house) so they don’t miss out on the complete experience.
4. Make a home-based plan. If you have multiple kids, some enthusiastic some not, divide-and-conquer strategy in which one parent/family member takes the kids who are not scared to watch, while the others stay at home and do something that’s “fun” for them.
Happy Independence Day!