Many children look forward to the beginning of autumn and as it turns to October they begin to get excited over the idea of Halloween, going trick or treating and what costume they are going to dress up in. Yet for some parents they may find their child going through a phase where they are afraid of Halloween or act scared at the idea of going trick or treating or dressing up. This may be difficult for some parents who have other children who are excited about the holiday and who want to participate. Here are some ways to put the fun back in Halloween and help kids overcome some of their fears about this holiday.
Parents should first try to pinpoint exactly what it is their child is afraid of. If it is scary decorations or certain themes of Halloween parents can easily avoid these or direct their child’s attention elsewhere. If there is something more then parents can start to help put their child’s mind at peace and help them find the parts of Halloween and help them start to enjoy it. For example, parents who enjoy decorating for Halloween will do well to skip out on the “scary” decorations and instead put up fun or even funny ones! Some great ideas include pumpkins, friendly looking ghosts, or scarecrows. They can also opt to have their kids help decorate and pick out the decorations.
For children who are afraid of the whole dressing up part of Halloween, parents can try to encourage their child to pick a costume that has a unique theme or is a part of something they really enjoy. For example if they have a child who really enjoys a certain television show or movie they can help them pick a costume that is related to their favorite character from that television show or movie. Not only does this help the child get in the fun spirit of the holiday but it also a great way to get them in a unique costume that is different from everyone else.
Parents should also avoid trying to “force” their children into “having fun” or making them participate in Halloween activities they are afraid of. Many parents make the mistake of thinking they are doing their child a favor by making them do things such as go to haunted fun houses, watch scary movies or cartoons or dress in scary costumes but they are actually doing more harm than good and are in no way helping them enjoy what can be a fun holiday. Parents should instead just ask their child what they feel comfortable doing and if they act uncomfortable with something they should be careful not to push it.
Lastly for those children who still have problems parents should just consider trying a different alternative to trick or treating such as a fun fall festival. There are many churches or other organizations that throw kid friendly events that avoid using scary elements that still allow children to dress up and get candy.
Sources Cited: My Own Experiences