Updated: Oct 29, 2020
By now, costumes have been selected; they were either handmade, purchased at the store, or still need to be ordered online with the option for express shipping ;)
Pumpkins may or may not have been carved out yet, and all the Halloween candy is hidden away so that you didn't eat them all...or you may, in fact, have to make a second trip to the store (no judgment here...I still haven't purchased mine just to avoid eating them all).
While Halloween can be a very exciting event of the year for kids and adults alike, it can also be very overwhelming and challenging for others.
Here are some practical tips to assist you in having a spooktacular evening of trick or treating.
1. Breakdown the evening for your child; this will make expectations clear and keep uncertainties to a minimum. I love using visuals to deliver this message. By doing this, it will not only assist with keeping your child on task, but it will also help in reducing unnecessary meltdowns.
2. Have a conversation about the different costumes that you will see together.
**Extra Tip: do a Google search on popular Halloween costumes for 2019.
Show your child examples of the different costumes you see that evening.
3. For added fun, incorporate a game into trick or treating to help ease any jitters. For example, suggest that you count how many Elsa's or Spiderman's you will see. Such a great way to redirect and calm any potential fears associated with Halloween.
4. Reassure your child in advance that Halloween is a night for pretend play and to play dress-up.
5. Don't dismiss but don't encourage fear either.
If your child becomes spooked by all the decorations, potential music and sound effects coming from people's homes. Acknowledge their fears then redirect, for example:
"Oh my that was a scary costume, did that one scare you? It scared me a little as well."
Then redirect them back to the activity: "How many more houses do you want to go to before going home?". By modelling this for your child, it will help your little one process that this is an evening of pretend play. It will also provide them that extra reassurance they may be needed to make it back home.
Halloween is meant to be fun for kids, with a few extra steps you will be well on your way to a bootiful evening.
Sylvia Corzato is a parent consultant & behaviour coach, and owner of Success in Steps. With over 20 years of experience supporting children and their families, Sylvia provides parents with tailored support and strategies to help them understand the 'why' behind the behaviours along with 'what' is maintaining them.
Her mission is to enable parents to be the driving force behind reaching and maintaining their family goals.