A lot of folks don’t celebrate Halloween these days. 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 little ones.
The idea of any costume, friendly or scary, is frightening for some children. If yours is one of them, here are a few tips for handling Halloween.
1. Respect your child’s fear by staying a safe distance from costumed people.
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. Avoid places with people in costumes.
Some of these may seem extreme to you. But your child is probably only going to be fearful while he’s young enough to be confused about what’s real vs. what’s pretend. Often, 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 frightened by them.
I’d much rather focus on fall, pumpkins, harvest and such. There are lots of fun festivals and activities that younger children can participate in at this time of year that aren’t so scary. They provide family fun and lasting positive memories.
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 will you ignore Halloween altogether?