July Fourth Reflections: My Daughter Freaked Out During the Fireworks

Last Fourth of July my kids thought the fireworks were da’ bomb; they applauded with glee as a rainbow of colors lit up the sky. This year, I made an executive decision to avoid the crowds and purchased our own sparkler-type fireworks display. We had what the man at the fireworks store called 'the most harmless and juvenile firecrackers available.' (Yes, we have fireworks stores in Florida.)

The first one we lit off was a spinner. It’s supposed to do just what it says, spin and shoot sparks out. They didn’t mention that it would explode with a roaring crack and shatter into a million shrapnel-like bits. We all jumped back about 10 feet and my daughter, who is five and has loved fireworks since she was a toddler, started a crying jag that didn’t end for about an hour. My son, who’s eight, thought these pyrotechnics Mommy bought were better than the big displays. He lit about 20 sparklers, and stood as close as my husband would allow for the remainder of our show. My daughter ran toward the house each time we lit a new sparkler and watched most of the family-firecracker hour through her fingers.

I’ve found that the key to enjoying a fireworks show with the kids is giving them full disclosure. “Yes, they will be really loud, like thunder. Yes, it may look like the sparkles will rain down on you and you may even see and smell smoke, but that’s all normal. The sound is just part of the excitement.” Watching fireworks with friends whose children have already seen—and enjoyed—them can make the display seem a lot less scary, too.

How did your kids react to the fireworks this year? Chime in below!

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