October 29, 2018

Handling the Holidays: 4 Common Halloween Hiccups

Contributed by Lauren Wierzbicki, Education Specialist

Halloween can be an exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) time for children. They’re looking forward to wearing the costume they picked out, and they can’t wait to go trick-or-treating. But no matter how much you plan, there’s always a chance that the unexpected will happen. Here are a four common situations, and how to handle them:

All of a sudden my child doesn’t want to wear their costume!

Children’s feelings are constantly changing, and today, they just don’t want to wear their costume – it’s itchy, it’s too heavy, or they just don’t like it anymore. It’s important to give children autonomy in choosing to wear their costume, but you can help talk them through it. Is there a tag they need cut off? Would they like to wear something under it so they can’t feel the fabric? Do they want to just wear the top and not the mask? If they ultimately choose not to wear it, that’s okay – there’s always next year!

My child is nervous they’re going to be scared.

Talk to your child leading up to Halloween. Help reassure them that the things that may scare them are just pretend – it’s children just like them wearing a costume! Invite them to draw out their feelings, or read books to help them know what to expect and work through it.

I’m worried about all the candy and keeping my child from having too much.

Children are going to be excited about their candy haul! On Halloween, establish expectations in the form of a number a candy pieces that your child will be able to eat that night. Allow them to choose which ones they will have and put a positive spin on it – “I wonder which 3 pieces of candy you’re going to pick?” Engage in conversations about the “favorites” they choose. Then, encourage them to channel their candy excitement by dumping it out and sorting it into groups, lining them up, and trading pieces with their siblings.

What can we do to celebrate if the weather is bad?

It’s easy to continue the fun indoors! Put on your favorite Halloween soundtrack and have a dance party or, take a “spooky walk”.