Trick or Treat! Halloween conjures up visions of autumn leaves, carved jack-o-lanterns, and happy children in costumes. But depending on your own child’s age and temperament, the spookiness of Halloween may or may not be embraced with glee. I have learned a great deal from over 20 years of celebrating Halloween as both a parent and a professional. The following are my tips for making Halloween fun and memorable for your child.
HALLOWEEN IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN! The best way to enjoy the holiday is to allow your child to celebrate Halloween in his or her own unique way. Plan activities that meet your child where he or she is emotionally and socially. Many children wholeheartedly love Halloween and embrace the spine-tingling aspect of the holiday. But if your child is fearful of the idea of monsters and witches, then dial down that aspect. Focus on the purely fun parts of Halloween such as going to the pumpkin patch to select the perfect pumpkin for carving. If your child is a social butterfly, then happily accept invitations to parties or host your own spooky get-together. But if your child is easily overwhelmed by the costumes and activities, then a low-key evening with just one friend, or family only, can be equally celebratory.
CREATE YOUR OWN HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS: Let your child know that there is no “right way” to celebrate Halloween and every family decides how best to enjoy the holiday. Make sure your child knows that you are completely fine if they choose to trick-or-treat or if they prefer to stay home and give out the candy. Enforce a family rule that that there is no teasing anyone about feeling nervous or frightened. Having a “go with the flow” attitude will result in a relaxed and fun holiday for everyone. Keep in mind the only true goal is that all family members enjoy the celebration.
If you are finding Halloween preparations to be overwhelming, let’s talk! Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeri