Halloween can be lots of fun but for some children, it can be a little anxiety provoking, particularly if they tend to spook easily. In fact, simply approaching a door to ask for candy can be enough to scare a child. Below are some of the ways therapist Anastasia Pollock says you can make the holiday enjoyable for everyone.
- Ask your kids if they have any concerns about Halloween and related activities.
- Have a conversation either individually or as a family about concerns
- Make sure to validate any fears or concerns. Minimizing a child's fear, no matter how silly it may seem to an adult, can cause lasting damage to a child's self-esteem and trust in adults.
2. Reassure children that they won't be forced to do anything that makes them uncomfortable.
- Discuss how you will handle certain situations (for example, if they do not want to go to a door to ask for candy, ask if they would like you to accompany them or to skip specific houses or trick or treating all together).
3. Prepare them and plan ahead.
- Explain that although they may be seeing some spooky costumes, they are just people wearing disguises and nothing more. Reassure them that you will be with them the whole time.
- If you see someone in a scary costume who may be willing to remove their mast to prove the theory that everyone behind the mask is probably a nice person, the child may be more convinced.
- If your little ones tend to spook easily, avoid houses that have elaborate set-ups with a lot of spooky decorations in the yard.
4. Find alternate activities
- Although many love trick or treating and other Halloween activities, it's not for everyone.
- Consider starting a new tradition:
- Turn out the lights and go have a family movie night instead.
- Keep trick or treating a home activity and hide candy around the house and yard much like the Easter Bunny does at Easter time.
- Throw a kid-friendly Halloween party with kid-friendly costumes.