Halloween is a holiday that can be fun – but also very stressful. Here are a few more tips that can lessen the chaos of the holiday:
PUT YOUR CHILD IN CHARGE: Costume choices are an avenue for your child’s dreams to take flight. Share with your child that costumes can be scary, funny or beautiful. Put aside what you would choose for your child’s costume and give them free rein for this delicious opportunity to wear whatever they like. Have your child start thinking about her costume choice at the beginning of October and be willing to engage in endless conversations about the pros and cons of each selection.
Elementary school age children typically love their costumes and are unconcerned about what their classmates may say about it, but tweens can excessively worry about what their peers will think about their choice. Be understanding because feeling judged is developmentally appropriate for middle schoolers and offer plenty of support for your tween’s costume choice. From my own years of experience, I suggest that you do not finalize the choice until about a week before Halloween unless you are willing to make frequent last-minute trips to Party City when your child changes her mind.
HALLOWEEN ETIQUETTE: The days leading up to Halloween are a good time for a conversation with your child about Halloween manners. Discuss with your child that the only appropriate comment about a classmate’s costume is a compliment. Also, remind your child that some homemade costumes are fragile so no touching other children’s costumes for fear of harming them. Explain that a classmate may make a thoughtless comment about your child’s costume so have them prepare a snappy reply, such as, “It’s Halloween and I love my costume!” combined with a quick change of topic such as, “What is your favorite candy?”
HALLOWEEN CELEBRATIONS AT SCHOOL: Many of our local schools have Halloween carnivals or parades which are fun and festive. Help your child to make their costume comfortable for a possible sunny day but also allow for a warmer layer for night time activities. For younger children, the school celebration may be tiring so a short Trick-or-Treat outing followed by a slightly-later-than-usual bedtime is ideal. Be prepared for your older child to want one costume for the school celebration and a different one for going door-to-door at night.
The easiest way to enjoy Halloween is to be true to your child and make plans that work for your family members’ unique personalities. Don’t get caught up in the competition for best costume or best home decorations. Keep in mind the adage, “Comparison is the thief of joy” and only focus on what works for your family.
If you are finding Halloween preparation is causing you to feel overwhelmed, let’s talk! Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me at email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best, Jeri