It’s without a doubt that Halloween is a celebration that kids of all different ages get to look forward to each and every year. After all, it’s that one time where they can dress as their favorite animated character, personality, or simply get creative with a costume of their own. But with that being said, Halloween isn’t for every kid. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of kiddos out there that actually get spooked out and don’t want to trick-or-treat with their neighborhood friends.
Luckily, we’ve got a few tricks and tips that will help your kid feel less frightened about the spookiest day of the year. Believe it or not, there are actually kids that suffer from anxiety over Halloween, but just don’t know how to share or communicate their feelings with their parents.
Bonnie Zucker, Psy.D., a psychologist in Rockville, Maryland, and author of Anxiety-Free Kids puts it this way to Parents’ Magazine, “Halloween can present a challenge for parents of 3- and 4-year-olds because this is the age when children first truly show an interest in trick-or-treating, and yet they're still young enough to get frightened or overstimulated."
Dr. Zucker says there are several things that parents can do to help. First, they can demystify decorations. If your kid gets the creeps over the very real looking cemetery that your husband likes to construct in your front yard every year, skip it. Instead, go for family-friendly decorations like fall décor that includes apples, smiling pumpkins or even crepe-paper ghosts.
Also, you and your family might want to chill out on the costumes, so to speak. Sure, dressing up as a family of zombies might make you look like you came straight out of a Brad Pitt movie. But if your preschooler is refusing to participate, that’s a sign that you might be taking things in the wrong direction. After all, he or she is still a toddler under the age of 5 and would probably prefer to dress up as Minnie Mouse or their favorite character from Paw patrol.
Last but not least, adjust your expectations. There are plenty of kids who might be happy just to trick-or-teat at 4 or 5 homes and be done. If you have an older child that still wants to trick-or-treat, have your partner or trusted family friend continue the night with them while you enjoy your treats with your little one at home!