With Halloween right around the corner, many children get excited just thinking about costumes, spooky decorations and candy. But Halloween can also evoke fear and anxiety in some. Hearing the scary stories about ghosts, ghouls and goblins can be quite frightening for some kids and that fear can interfere with their quality of life in the days leading up to Halloween.
“While every child is different and it is often hard to determine why something scares one child and not another, one of the most important things that parents can do is to acknowledge a child’s fear,” said Denise Daniels, a child and parenting expert. “Watch for their reactions to potentially scary images and pay attention to what they seem worried about.”
Daniels offered these tips to help parents looking for ways to ease any fears associated with Halloween and make it a fun-filled holiday for the entire family:
•Read non-scary books to kids, while still showcasing the festive traits of the holiday.
•Make Halloween about a harvest if it’s too scary for the young ones.
•Make DIY masks out of paper plates, which are fun and non-threatening such as cute animals or their favorite cartoon character.
•Let your children help choose the decorations and help put them out.
•Carve a friendly pumpkin so children can see the fun side of the holiday.
•Celebrate with the “treats” of Halloween – make cookies, caramel apples and bake pumpkin seeds together.
•If young children would like to greet visitors at the door with you, but are a bit frightened, ask the trick-or-treaters if they could remove their masks. That way you can explain that it is all just pretend. This will help them decipher what is real and what isn’t.