Fears: How To Help Your Kids Cope During Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner, and amidst the fun costumes, parties, and candy…our little ones may be dealing with some “spooky” fears.To help them feel safe and confident around the scary costumes, haunted houses, or the big cobweb decorations displayed in the windows of homes and stores, we have some strategies that walk you through those fears and will help to eliminate them altogether!
Don’t Minimize Your Child’s Fears
Although we think glowing jack o’lanterns and fake vampire teeth are fun and festive, the eyes of a developing child who’s taking in the world everyday may disagree. It helps to be understanding of this as young children are still learning the difference between fantasy and reality. They might not understand the context of a haunted house or an older child popping out to scare them while getting candy. If your child seems frightened or confused, let them know that you understand it was scary and remind them that these spooky tricks aren’t real and are meant to be fun on a day like Halloween! This will help them to learn and enjoy those innocent Halloween scares!
Prepare Them For Halloween
Before the holiday festivities begin, prepare them with books and tell your own stories about what happens during Halloween. Walk them through the traditions you might have had growing up, how fun it is to carve pumpkins and leave them on the porch, or the infinite costume possibilities! If you feel they are ready, show them a fun and light-hearted movie that talks about Halloween such as, “Charlie Brown & The Great Pumpkin.” This movie is a sweet classic that shows the fun activities of the fall season like going to the pumpkin patch and playing in piles of leaves, and it could become your next family tradition of watching it every year when the season rolls around. Get them excited about the pumpkins, costumes, and most of all, make sure to keep it positive!
Keep Decorations Kid-Friendly
As an adult, it is so much fun to put fake eyeballs in drinks and dress up as a zombie for Halloween festivities…but if there will be kids around, consider saving it for a time when they’re older. You can still make decorations less scary and age appropriate. Cobwebs hanging, Harry Potter envelopes flying out of the fireplace, happy faced carved Jack O’Lanterns, fake fall leaves, or spiders with big goofy eyes. You can make it fun for both adults and kids and make it less fear-inducing!
Make Kid-Friendly Plans
If you’re attending themed events as a family, plan to attend ones that are centered around kids to ensure enjoyment is had by all. If you take your child to a scary adult event, you will be tending to their fears instead of enjoying a fun night out . Plan ahead and choose wholesome places to celebrate the holiday such as a community or church festival, apple picking day, hayrides at the pumpkin patch, or a trip to Disneyland during their Halloween dance party events for kids. Whatever it may be, find something within your family’s budget that will make Halloween an incredible experience for your kids so they can leave with memories, laughter, and wanting to do it all over again. If they see other children having a great time with their families, it will encourage them to as well! Set yourself up for success by prioritizing a family trip that is just for the kids. Then you can plan a night where you hire a trusted nanny or relative and enjoy those bloody eyeball themed drinks and the scariest of costumes to your heart’s content!
At the end of the day, all kids grow up to realize what Halloween is all about…FREE CANDY! Making it fun and understanding their exposure to something new, will help them learn how amazing Halloween can be! It really is such a fun holiday and there are so many simple ways to make it super exciting and memorable from year to year! Keep up the great work, and Happy Halloween!