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It’s the spookiest time of the year! Many people view Halloween as a fun time to put up decorations of witches, zombies, ghosts, and goblins. But some kids may have more of a fearful than festive outlook on the holiday.
If your child is experiencing some anxiety about Halloween, now is the perfect time to help them ease into the holiday. Follow these tips, and your kid will be ready to trick-or-treat without being scared.
For many kids, this year is their first time trick-or-treating. They might be scared of ghoulish decorations and ghastly costumes.
Here are some things parents and nannies can do now to show kids that Halloween is meant to be fun, not frightening.
1. Explain the costumes
Young children (especially those with an active imagination) might be scared when they see someone in a costume, especially if that costume includes a mask. They might be unable to tell what is real and what isn’t. Show them a not-too-scary mask and take it on and off in front of them. Let them try it on, too, so they can see that a mask is just part of a costume.
2. Let them pick out non-scary costumes
Spend time scoping out costume stores and explaining that the people they see are simply playing make-believe. Put on non-scary costumes together so they understand that those scary people they see are just ordinary people dressing up.
3. Scout the neighborhood in daylight
Do a test run (or two) before Halloween night by walking around the neighborhood as if it were Halloween. Point out decorations, including some that might seem scary. They won’t look nearly as terrifying in the daylight.
4. Do a practice run
Talk to a neighbor about having the kids practice trick-or-treating at their house before Halloween. They can get into their costumes, walk to the neighbor’s house, ring the doorbell, and say the magic words. This can help kids who are anxious understand that people are friendly on Halloween night.
5. Watch Halloween movies and TV shows
Pick out some not-so-scary Halloween movies and TV episodes to watch. Talk to your kids throughout the film about what the characters are experiencing. Point out how everything turned out OK in the end, even if the characters were a little spooked along the way.
6. Decorate the house with not-too-scary decorations
Kids who are nervous about Halloween aren’t ready for scary decorations. Instead, use friendly Halloween decorations to make the home more festive. For instance, Halloween pillow covers can signify the season without scaring anyone.
7. Follow their lead
Sometimes, kids need to warm up to the idea of Halloween. With some practice and understanding of the holiday, they will be ready to go trick-or-treating without a problem.
Others don’t like Halloween. Know your kids’ limits, and follow their lead on Halloween and the days leading up to it. If they want to go home after only trick-or-treating at a few houses, that’s OK. Don’t force them to do more than they are ready to handle.
We want to wish you and your family a happy and safe Halloween. We know that this is the time of year when families get very busy.
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