Halloween can be a time for family and fun, but for many children it can be a time of anxiety and fear. This Halloween season help ease those fears in your child so it can be a more enjoyable experience. Take a look below for some helpful tips on easing Halloween fears in children so you can enjoy the holiday as a family and create memories that will last a lifetime.
1. Have a conversation about the fears.
Understanding your child’s fears are one of the first ways you can begin to address them. Have a sit down with your child and ask them what exactly they are afraid of. Is it the trick or treating at night? Is it the costumes? Is it people in masks? It is scary movies? There may be one thing or a whole list of things. Have an open conversation so you can get an idea of their fears and start taking the steps to fix them.
2. Take away the mystery.
Take a trip to the store to show children that the scary masks and outfits are just that, masks and outfits. Seeing these items in the light and on store shelves might take the mystery away and make them feel less scary. Showing them that under the costumes are just normal people might help them feel less afraid as well.
3. Enjoy family friendly activities.
Take advantage of family friendly activities such as pumpkin painting, fall fairs, and church/club trunk or treating. Look for activities aimed towards families and younger children so you can allow your child to experience fear free events they can feel good about. Friends may be able to make suggestions about which activities might be ideal for your child and family, or consult the local news or newspaper.
4. Keep things age appropriate.
Before allowing your child to watch any Halloween movies, specials, or shows, be sure they are age appropriate. One scary scene can upset a child, so you want to make sure you don’t present them with anything that they aren’t ready for. Check show listings for the rating and make sure your child is old enough for the rating.
5. Don’t mock their fears.
Making fun of the child or ridiculing them for their fears only enhances the problem. Instead, let them know you care about them and take their fears seriously. Stress that it is your job to keep them safe and you will do all you can to fill that role. At the same time, don’t allow siblings to mock their fears but instead help soothe them using the strategies listed above.
Halloween can be a scary time of year for kids, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, give these tips for easing Halloween fears in children a try and see how you can make it a fun holiday for them instead.