How to Safely Remove “Scary” from Halloween
Halloween can be great fun. But for little ones, it can also be somewhat scary. Walking around the neighborhood amongst ghosts and goblins can frighten young trick-or-treaters. In addition, viewing seasonal movies, including family-friendly flicks, can stir up sleepless nights and nightmares.
Add to the mix older siblings and well-intentioned older relatives who enjoy scaring kids this time of year, and lights out becomes a nightly struggle. Whether you have a crying toddler who cannot articulate his or her fears or a preschooler with an over-active imagination, Halloween can be a scary time of year.
So how do you remove the scary from Halloween? Theresa Kruczek, a counseling psychology professor at Ball State University, offers a simple solution. It is one of those head-slapping, can't-believe-I-didn't-think-of-that ideas. I wish I had this information when my boys were little. I will certainly put the idea in my pocket for use in the future, when I become a doting grandmother.
"Preschool children and those in early elementary school often have a difficult time with Halloween," Kruczek says. "Children this age often struggle with separating fantasy from reality and a result they may get confused and think the scary elements of Halloween are real.”
Therefore, she suggests stocking up on anti-monster spray. Never heard of it? Check out the air freshener shelf at your local grocery store. They have plenty in stock. Simply add a new label and then spray as needed before bedtime.
Kruczek also recommends the following for a stress-free Halloween:
- Limit preschoolers to 30 minutes or less of activities, including trick-or-treating, and only during daylight hours.
- Ask friends and strangers to take off masks to show children that there really is a person under the costume.
- Parents and siblings should never wear masks around youngsters afraid of such items.
- In families with children of varying age ranges, allow each youngster to participate in age-appropriate activities.
- Avoid haunted houses unless the facility offers age-appropriate activities.
Now you are armed with anti-monster spray knowledge and tips for a happy, safe, not-too-scary Halloween.