On this week’s ‘Parenting’ segment, one parent is concerned about their daughter developing a “serious fear of weather”.
“We live in the west where we get lots of rain, wind, you name it we get it,” they told Moncrieff.
“It’s only in the last few weeks she’s like this.
“She didn’t want to sleep in her own house for a while because she could hear the wind whistling around the corner of our house at night, so I let her sleep in my sister’s house up the road for a few nights.”
They said their daughter has cut the inside of her ears with her fingernails due to blocking her ears.
“I’ve now resorted to leaving on a soothing music app all night to help her sleep through it,” the parent said.
“She’s an only child and I don’t want her suffering from anxiety over this.”
Weather and Climate
Child psychotherapist Joanna Fortune said a fear of weather is “not actually as unusual as you would think it is”.
“It is something I hear more of in clinical work because children are so much more aware of climate change, of increased severe weather events.
“It's very hard to say don’t be worried about that, because that’s just not the truth, there is cause to worry.”
Joanna recommended the book Weather and Climate by Usborne Book to help the daughter learn more about her fear.
“There's a lot of factual information and positive reframing of the action that can be taken,” she said.
“Actually getting to understand weather and its sounds and its noise and how it works can be reassuring.”
However, Joanna said the daughter might not be afraid of weather, but afraid of loud noises.
“There's something about having her ears cut from putting her fingers in her ears and needing to get out of the house where it’s quieter,” she said.
“The weather is the same in the aunt’s house I imagine.
“You’re finding that this soothing music app is helpful.”
Joanna said the parent can also help their daughter if they have a noise sensitivity issue.
“You could try those noise cancelling or minimising earphones, one that go over the head or these special ones that sit inside your ear, and they don’t eliminate all noise, which is a bit safer,” she said
“You need to be aware of the time limit for using them - I think it’s about 90 minutes and never more than three hours.
“It's enough to get her to sleep, and then you can take them out.”
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