5 Ways to Support Children Feeling Fear and Anxiety Around Halloween
My Papoo (grandpa) and me dressed as clowns for Halloween. I was terrified by his costume as a young child, then ended up wanting to copy him and be a clown, too!
Halloween is most often met with excitement and anticipation of fun! Choosing costumes, decorating, dressing up, trick-or-treating, eating candy, and enjoying the festivities. However, for some children, the eerie atmosphere of Halloween can trigger feelings of fear and anxiety.
It’s important to be prepared to help your child when they feel scared on Halloween, or the festivities and decorations out in their world leading up to it.
Here are five strategies to help you support your child in having a delightful and memorable Halloween experience.
- Listen and Validate Feelings: Encourage children to express their fears and concerns. Listen and reassure them that it's okay to feel scared.
- Provide Comfort: Offer a comforting presence by staying close and reassuring children that they are safe.
- Choose Age Appropriate Activities: Opt for Halloween activities that are less scary, such as pumpkin carving or watching age appropriate Halloween movies.
- Explain and Demystify: Discuss costumes and decorations to help children understand that they are not real monsters or real threats.
- Create a Safe Space: Have a designated safe space or room where children can retreat if they become too scared during any of the festivities.
With love, support, and these practical steps, Halloween can be a positive and memorable experience!
For those who "celebrate" Halloween and it's festivities - Stay safe and enjoy the fun!