Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.
My youngest son is 5 and this will be his first Halloween to dress up and go trick ‘r’ treating! He’s very excited and I’m happy that he’s looking forward to it. What I’m worried about is that he’s afraid of the usual things for a kid his age; the dark, creepy noises, scary masks, etc. I really want to make his first Halloween experience a fun one while cutting down on as much scary stuff as possible.
If you’re the parent of a young child and are dreading Halloween, then you’re not alone. Many parents fear exposing their young ones to scary things like costumes, masks, movies and such. But breathe a sigh of relief because our licensed mental health counselors and psychologists in Tampa want to offer five tips to make Halloween fun and not scary!
Select the Right Costume
Halloween is great since it allows parents to be inventive with their child’s costume. Click To TweetHalloween is great since it allows parents to be inventive with their child’s costume. If your little one frightens easily, try something fun and more traditional like a:
- Bedsheet-style ghost
- Friendly vampire (without the fake blood)
- Mummy (your little one will have fun wrapping themselves up!)
- Their favorite superhero or TV/movie character
Also remember that a costume doesn’t have to be scary just because it’s Halloween! Here at Rice Psychology Group, we’ve seen countless cute, fun and unique costumes such as:
- Candy corns
- Boxes of Crayons
The possibilities are endless. Be sure to let your child choose what they want to dress as, within reason. That’s part of the fun!
Trick ‘r’ Treating with Others Their Age
It might be best to take your little one trick ‘r’ treating with friends their own age. Click To TweetIt might be best to take your little one trick ‘r’ treating with friends their own age. Older kids may be dressed in scarier outfits, giving your little one a case of the jitters. Reach out to friends and family with kids the same age and make it a group outing. This way, your child will be with others they know and will feel safer.
Turn Something Scary into Something Enjoyable
We all know that horror movies and shows are popular on TV during Halloween. If your child sees something on TV or online that scares them, a great idea is to find what they saw and replay it on mute. Then you can make up your own storyline together. Make it funny, silly and quite different. Watch it repeatedly until it loses its power to frighten. When kids can do this, it helps them master their fear and turns something scary into something enjoyable.
Stay in for Movie Night
Another popular option is to stay in and make it a Halloween movie theme night! Of course, it’s best to choose a movie that is age-appropriate. You don’t want your young one watching something like The Shining. Common Sense Media has a page listing several scary movies that can be great for younger kids to enjoy. Check out the list here.
Hosting a Halloween-Themed Party
Yet another great choice for a home activity is to host a Halloween party for family and friends. Age-appropriate fun for the little ones can include:
- Pumpkin-carving (with adult supervision)
- Candy treasure hunting (similar to egg hunting on Easter)
- Decorating edible treats like Halloween cupcakes or cookies
- Halloween games like bobbing for apples
Helping You and Your Child
We understand that you’d do anything to keep your child safe and happy. That’s why we hope that our tips will help you keep Halloween fun and not too scary. If you’d like some additional guidance or information on how to create a fun Halloween experience, then contact our licensed mental health counselors and psychologists in Tampa today!