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We have a 6 year old son who hates Halloween. He is easily scared and does not want to see any scary costumes this year. He is now in first grade - and at school that day there will be a costume parade - and some of the costumes will, of course, be scary. I cannot shield him from all scary costumes. I have shown him how masks are just rubber or plastic and that is all pretend. I think what might have triggered this extreme fear is that last year I took him to the El Cerrito Community Center haunted house. I even took him to the afternoon one with the lights on. At the end, there was a pretend corpse that was taking off its head. This made a lasting visual impression that took a few weeks or so to let go of and he especially thought about it when he was about to go to sleep. We told him how it was made of plastic, wires, paint, etc, and I think it helped - but now he is already dreading Halloween as it is about 6 weeks away. What should I do? Keep him home from school that day? Try to help him work through the fear? Some happy medium? Thanks! Suzanne
I'd have a conversation with my child and ask what he would like to do for Halloween. In my experence it is not the most academically enriched day in elementary school. If he wanted to stay at home, visit a pumpkin patch, or go to a museum I'd let him decide and spend the day with him. anon
My feelings....Personally I dont' love Halloween (for reasons not necessary to go into here)...so I don't feel like kids HAVE to enjoy or participate in Halloween. Can he stay home from school the day of the parade? You can certainly keep him home Halloween night and turn off your outside lights so no one comes over.
I'm all for helping our kids work thru their fears and not protecting to the point of stifling them, but this is likely something he'll grow out of as he gets older, so why put him thru something that could be traumatic, as you found out from his past experiences?
And, do you really want him collecting all of that candy? He's making that part easy for you! Good luck, I know this is a tricky situation. Best to you, PS After 2 years my guy decided he liked Halloween and wanted to dress up and go out with his friends in our neighborhood. Some of his costumes still give me the creeps when I see them in the closet... Bah humbug about Halloween
My husband and I are having a heated disagreement about whether to take our 3 year old daughter to a friend's Halloween Party. The same friend had a party last year and guests were mainly kids 5-12 and adults. She had fun with the kids and was a little put off by some of the costumes and decorations, but not bad. All was okay until she was terrified by one of the adults, a big guy (friend of my husbands) who was dressed as a gorilla with a scary mask - he had a little too much to drink and thought it was funny to scare her repeatedly and it took me blowing up at him to get him to stop. Over the last year, she has mentioned numerous times that she doesn't like gorillas and that they are scary and by extension, she doesn't like the guy dressed as a gorilla (she understands that it was her dad's friend in a costume, but it doesn't change her opinion). She also recently mentioned that she didn't want to go to the friend's Halloween Party - this was before we even knew they were going to have a party again. We are seeing signs of Halloween all over, so I think she is recalling last year and expressing herself and that we should listen. She also, as is typical of a 3 year old whose world is growing, has recently become much more aware and vocal about ''scary things'' including some characters in books, growling grizzly bears and wolves in Natl Geo, the skeletons/scarecrows/gory masks in windows for Halloween etc...The things she defines as ''scary'' really are understandably scary to a little kid, so we acknowledge and talk about them and try to help her understand that learning about things can help them become less scary and she's usually cool with it. I just don't see the point of shoving the Halloween Party and the unpredictable nature of it in her face. The night before this party, her preschool is having a Halloween Party and the teacher (wisely in my opinion) asked that kid and parent costumes be on the ''light'' side as kids this age can be easily shaken by costumes that are gory or just plain scary. I've told my husband to go to the party and enjoy himself, and that I am more than happy to stay home with her, but he insists that I am being ''over protective'' and ''ridiculous''. We take our daughter everywhere with us including parties and other gatherings with friends, camping, music shows, street faires, etc.. I just feel this particular party isn't really age appropriate for her at 3. Perhaps in another year or two. Would very much appreciate input/opinions from other parents. concerned mom
Empowering our kids to express their fears in a constructive way is going to help them throughout their lives. Of course, I would tell my child that I am there to help, support, hold their hands while they tell the scary thing to leave them alone. I don't think we should trivialize fears (''don't be a baby'') or negate them (''that's not scary'') but we can encourgage even young children to face their fears as much as is appropriate and with our support overcome them by making them go away or discovering that they really aren't as scary as we thought. Your daughter may be too young for it now but Pixar's movie Monsters Inc is a wonderful film about a little girl who overcomes her fear of a particular bad guy and whoops the tar out of him. Something I think we can all appreciate and experience vicariously. Hope it helps. anon
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