Happy or Unhappy Halloween?
A celebration of Halloween can be a fun, special time with family and friends trick or treating from house to house in the neighborhood, all dressed up as your favorite character and enjoying the time to play, but it can also be a time of fear for little ones who might not understand scary masks, TV programs or even decorations. In my own experience with our sons, sometimes Halloween was not so much fun. Older children take delight in scaring younger children, much to my dismay. Nightmares and fear followed for weeks on end. The scary masks in the stores frightened our boys and made them uneasy when we entered to go grocery shopping.
What to do? We always tried to remind our sons that these masks were just that masks and we let them touch and hold a mask to let them know that they were only latex and had no power over them. We tried to laugh at the talking Halloween decorations and inform our boys that this was a battery generated voice coming from the mask and nothing more. We also limited the programs we watched on TV and tried to keep it wholesome. There are not many things as realistic and graphic as TV or movies that are in the horror genre. One year, we even did not participate in Halloween at all, we just went to dinner and turned out our lights so no trick or treaters would come to our house that year. This approach was not very popular!
What we ended up doing on Halloween was to make caramel apples and answer the door and give out candy. Our family tries to keep Halloween in perspective, to us, it is a celebration of fall and not evil forces. Our boys have good memories of dressing up and eating candy. I encourage you to do the same, shelter your precious little ones from graphic TV shows and movies and communicate that they are safe with you.
Take time and look for a home with a media room. This can be a wonderful tool to help educate and entertain your children. Just make sure that the content is wholesome and that you have previewed the material you are showing to your most important people in your life. There are many resources for screening movies to see that they are kid friendly.
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