My Books

Monday, October 17, 2011

To Halloween or Not to Halloween?

There are a lot of folks these days that don't celebrate Halloween. Frankly, I get it, and I'm not a huge fan myself. For me, it's not so much about religious convictions as it is that I don't like the idea of mixing scary stuff and kids. I also don't like how sexy some of the costumes have gotten, even for kids.

The idea of any costume, friendly or scary, is frightening for some children. If yours is one of them, here are a few tips for handling Halloween.

1. Respect your child's fear by staying a safe distance from costumed people.
2. Don't laugh at their fear, no matter how silly it may seem to you.
3. Offer comfort and reassurance.
4. Remind them it's only pretend, but they still don't have to like it.
5. Avoid places with people in costumes.

Some of these may seem extreme to you. But your child is probably only going to have these fears while he's young enough to be unable to distinguish what's real vs. what's pretend. Usually, by school age, kids can tell the difference. Is it really worth scaring your child just for a party or event you want to attend? For me, the answer is no. I can put off going to these Halloween events until he's old enough to not be traumatized by them.

So that's my take on Halloween, costumes, and scaring kids. I'd go for a nicer, less edgy alternative every time, even if my kids aren't scared. How about you? How do you plan to do Halloween this year? Will they dress up? Will you? Will you go trick-or-treating? Attend an alternative event at a school or church? Or aren't you doing anything for Halloween?  I can't wait to hear from you!


  1. Good thoughts, Linda. While we live in a mobile home park where Trick-or Treating isn't allowed, I have to admit I sort of miss having the kids come to the door and seeing how they're dressed, but before we moved here (8 years ago) the number who came went down from around 100 to maybe 10 or 15--mainly, I think, because of the school parties. My daughter and son-in-law quit taking our granddaughters probably around the ages of 6 and 12 because of religious convictions. Our church holds a "Harvest Festival" with candy, game booths, etc.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Donna. I think more and more families are taking their kids to school or church events. We definitely don't get as many trick-or-treaters as we used to.