We have learned a few tricks along the way, and I thought I'd share in case someone else could benefit.
- Bring headphones. They don't have to be plugged into anything, because the headphones themselves will block out the loudest noises. Plus, it might make the child feel more secure...at least, it does for my son.
- Explain in detail what is going to happen, if possible. For example, if you know that there will be fireworks at a certain time, you can gently remind your child that fireworks are coming.
- Allow your child to bring a comfort item from home...whether it's a blanket, a stuffed animal, or special book or toy, they can always provide comfort and make your child feel better.
- Decide beforehand what your escape plan will be. Sometimes the situation can sink so quickly that it's best to just remove your child and yourself. Will mom or dad take them out? Will they wait somewhere for the rest of your group? Make sure your child understands that this is not a punishment, but for their benefit.
- If you allow your child sparklers or other small fireworks, remember to watch them at all times. Sometimes, kids can be fearless, even with things that should be feared...like fire!
- If you are with a large group of people, with lots of sounds and smells, your child could easily get overwhelmed. It's important that you are aware (as much as possible) of how your child is feeling. Sometimes kids have a hard time realizing they are getting upset...it's not until after a meltdown that they recognize it. Therefore, it's up to us as parents to help our child what is too much for them.
Hopefully, some of those tips could help you and your child as you start to make plans for the 4th. We are actually going to let Ethan spend the night with my mom and the hubs and I are taking the other 2 kids to a baseball game that has fireworks at the end.