Updated: Mar 27, 2020
Fireworks – we either love them or hate them. For some it’s the noise and the bangs and for others, it’s the fear of something going wrong.
If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember those terrifying adverts about kids and sparklers – but for some of us, a small incident could start a lifelong fear.
This is what happened to a friend of mine this weekend – and she called me on Sunday to get a bit of advice.
She was at a fireworks display with her 7-year-old who loves fireworks, but wears ear defenders because she’s not so keen on the loud noises. Perfect – she’s got around one problem and they still go out!
But…on Saturday night, an ember fell into her daughter’s eye whilst she was looking up at the fireworks. No-one panicked I’m told, the medics came to offer help, but a quick rub and an ice cream seemed to solve it.
But…my friend was worried that the incident might manifest itself as a fear or phobia later on and she’s right, it could, because this is the age when they do often start. My friend was worried that how she reacted would have an effect and she’s right to be concerned – sometimes our reaction does come into it.
So…here’s the advice I gave her, just to help things along and turn this into one of those things rather than a big life-changing incident!
Watch out for any guilt or worry in yourself - as adults we can use logic to be wary or careful, but under age 9/10 we are all subconscious and learn from our parents.
Did it hurt her, or just scare her? A lot of the time it depends on how we react. If we made light of it and joke, they won't learn a fear response from us.
Pictures work very well with kids, so you could use one to show how high and wide they go and if the wind was a bit too strong or the firework too close, tiny sparks (call them sparkling lights a bit like fairy dust) can come down in the wrong place.
When you talk about the night again in the future, don’t focus on this part of the evening. Talk about how pretty they were, which ones were the best and other bits that went on in the evening, especially if you were with friends and there was much more going on before or after it happened.
As parents, we sometimes make it a big deal by always talking about it, when we could just not give it much more thought, saying ‘you’re OK, it’s nothing to worry about’ and that’s that.
And finally, she asked me about taking her out to more fireworks this week which I think is a great idea, because she’ll see very quickly that it’s OK! I’ve told my friend to make sure she’s relaxed and excited as her daughter will pick that up from her.
If you’ve missed the fireworks again this year through your fear or phobia, why not see if you can make a change so that New Year’s Eve is easier and enjoyable for you?
Try my free consultation to find out more – because if you want to change, you can do.