Fireworks, bonfires and crowds having fun, November the 5th is exciting for most people, children especially. It can also bring with it some anxiety, particularly for neurodivergent children.
The anxiety surrounding this night can have a drastic affect on children’s mental health. Likewise, the excitement and build up can prompt a change in their behaviour. So, if you have a child that struggles when a firework goes bang, we have some steps you can take to help them.
For all Children
Talk about their Feelings!
Acknowledge how your child feels and explore with them why this may be. Ask them questions like how does that make you feel? What causes that? How can we make you feel better?
Let them know you understand and hear them, that it is okay to feel how they do and together you can find a way to make it feel better.
Stay Calm and Be Positive
Probably the most important part of helping a child deal with anxiety surround Bonfire Night, is for you yourself to remain calm. This is not always easy when you know they struggle and can bring about it’s own anxieties for you. By being able to remain calm and positive about the events on this night, you will help ease your child’s fears.
Reassure and Comfort Them
Lots of cuddles and kind words, a gentle squeeze of their hand and plenty of smiles. All of this will help your child see that you are there for them and understand. It will put them more at ease, not necessarily eradicate their fears, but certainly help them feel better.
For the Children Who Love Fireworks Night
Keep them Informed & Talk About Safety
Talk to them about fireworks and what you have planned for the evening. You can be brief, but ensure you are concise so they know what to expect.
Chatting about how fireworks work and why we celebrate this night, is a great way to not only engage them, but allow them to think about something other than the loud noises, crowds and so on.
These are invaluable for children who are sensitive to noise. They are designed to allow the kids to hear, so you can still talk to them. They just dull the sounds around them, meaning their brains can focus on what they enjoy, as opposed to what causes them stress.
Choosing the Right Event
Do your research. Is your child sensitive to large crowds? If so, think about choosing an event that is smaller. Smaller events might help with sound sensitivity also, possibly having less fireworks and people around to trigger them.
Think about how your child feels and what effects them, then find a place that would be better suited to their needs.
For the Children Who Hate Fireworks Night
Change Their Bed Time
For younger children this can be a fantastic option. Try to do a special meal, have a fun evening and then get them into bed earlier than normal.
The hope with this is that they are able to fall asleep before the fireworks start. It may be a lot less stressful on the little ones if they don’t have to deal with the noises at all!
Have a Fun Indoor Activity Planned
If an earlier bedtime isn’t an option, or indeed doesn’t work, have something fun planned. Perhaps a games night, pick ones that in themselves can be loud or exciting. Watch a film huddled together under a thick duvet with plenty of cuddles. Dance the night away with your favourite songs. Or perhaps read some books together to take their minds off of the going on outdoors. There are lots of other ideas in our Children’s section.
Whatever you plan to do, we hope your little ones are okay this fireworks night and that some of our ideas help! Do let us know if you have any tips we can share with our readers over on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.