It’s normal for kids to be scared of Halloween – after all, it’s a scary time! But you’ll want to know how to reduce fear on October 31 if your kids are too scared to enjoy trick or treating (or too scared to answer the door for other kids who are trick or treating!).
Before the Halloween tips, a quip:
“Up in the sky, look: It’s a bird; it’s a plane… It’s Superman!!”
And, here are nine Halloween tips for kids…
Kids Scared of Halloween? How to Reduce Fear on October 31
Sharon Silver of ProActive Parenting offers these Halloween tips for kids:
1. Be patient with little ghouls. Try to be patient; your kids will get to the place where “scary” Halloween decorations are really cool. We have 10 homemade gravestones, a couple disembodied hands, and a scarecrow, but I never put most of that stuff out until the little ones have come and gone for the night. You’ll be able to enjoy all of that soon, just not so much with a toddler or a young preschooler – unless you want to risk the possibility of fears or nightmares! (If you’re looking for Halloween decorations, read 7 Ideas for Great Halloween Parties)
2. Introduce Halloween masks slowly. Parents need to know that Halloween masks are really scary for some kids. So don’t be surprised if your children reacts with fear when someone walks up to them in a mask, even if it’s someone they know. To a little child, a mask can seem like someone is taking off their face! Reduce fear on October 31 by showing your kids how Halloween masks work.
3. Consider homemade Halloween costumes. Don’t spend too much money on costumes at this age because your child may announce at the last moment, “I don’t want to put it on” or “I don’t want to go out and trick or treat.” There are hundreds of creative homemade Halloween costumes to choose from!
4. Introduce the Halloween costume slowly, to reduce fear. Practice by letting your child play in the costume for 15 minutes each day, then have them take the costume off. It will be hard to get them to take it off, but it’s better than risking a ripped Halloween costume. Mark October 31 on the calendar to show them the day they’ll be able to have the costume and play with it forever!
5. Consider different types of Halloween parties. Try creating a different kind of Halloween during difficult developmental stages, if the kids are willing. Have a small party with friends and no costumes. Or have a pumpkin carving party with hot chocolate. If your child isn’t scared of vampires, think about a Twilight Halloween party.
6. Go “trick or treating” at home. Don’t forget that just answering the door on Halloween means looking at scary things too! If your kids are scared of Halloween, don’t force them to hand out candy.
7. Introduce Halloween costumes, parties, and activities slowly. Ask the neighborhood kids to come over dressed in their costumes a few days before Halloween. This can help reduce fear on October 31 — they’ll get used to their friends in costume and won’t be as scared of them in the dark.
8. End your trick or treat adventures early. Be willing to come home after five minutes of trick or treating, especially if your kids are very scared of Halloween. Or, be willing to carry your child so they are up at eye level and are less afraid.
9. Consider Halloween from a kid’s perspective. Watch ET the Extra Terrestrial or a Halloween movie, and see what Halloween looks like from a child’s point of view. Putting yourself in your kids’ shoes (or costume) on October 31 is a great way to help them stop being scared of Halloween.