With Halloween right around the corner, many children get excited just thinking about costumes, spooky decorations, and candy! Halloween can be a fun time for children, but it 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.
Parenting expert, Denise Daniels, is a source of advice on ways parents can ease any fears associated with Halloween and make it a fun-filled holiday for the entire family.
“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. Watch for their reactions to potentially scary images and pay attention to what they seem worried about.” Denise can give advice and elaborate on festive ways that families can focus on the fun side of Halloween instead of the scary, spooky side. Some of these tips include, but are not limited to:
- 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.
About Denise Daniels
Denise Daniels is a Peabody award-winning broadcast journalist, parenting and child development expert and author who specializes in the social and emotional development of children. Her books have reached more than 15 million parents and children offering practical, simple and essential advice on how to deal with grief, loss and family transitions, as well as the everyday challenges of growing up. Denise hosted her own daily parenting show, Parents Helper, on NBC’s cable network has appeared on numerous morning and primetime TV shows including Oprah, The View, and was a regular contributor on TODAY.