There are a lot of folks these days who don’t celebrate Halloween. Frankly, I get it, and I’m not a huge fan myself. For me, it’s not so much about religious convictions as it is that I don’t like the idea of mixing scary stuff and kids. I also don’t like how sexy some of the costumes have gotten, even for kids.
The idea of any costume, friendly or scary, is frightening for some children. If your child is one of them, here are a few tips for handling Halloween.
1. Respect your child’s fear by staying a safe distance from people in costume.
2. Don’t laugh at their fear, no matter how silly it may seem to you.
3. Offer comfort and reassurance.
4. Remind them it’s only pretend, but they still don’t have to like it.
5. Let children play with masks and costumes in front of a mirror so they can see the transformation take place. Have them play peek-a-boo with themselves pulling the mask on and off.
Some of these may seem extreme to you. But your child probably will only have these fears while he’s too young to be able to distinguish what’s real vs. what’s pretend. Usually, by school age, kids can tell the difference. Is it really worth scaring your child just for a party or event you want to attend? For me, the answer is no. I can put off going to these Halloween events until he’s old enough to not be traumatized by them.
So that’s my take on Halloween, costumes, and scaring kids. I prefer a nicer, less edgy alternative, even if my kids aren’t scared.
How about you? How do you plan to do Halloween this year? Will your children dress up? Will you? Will you go trick-or-treating? Attend an alternative event at a school or church? Or aren’t you doing anything for Halloween? I can’t wait to hear from you!