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Tips for Helping Children with a Fear of Halloween

Fear of Halloween

Are your kids easily scared? Do they have a fear of Halloween? With the big night of trick-or-treating just a few short days away, Linda Hunter, Senior Education Director and Chief Operations Officer, Pretend City Children’s Museum has offered some tips for parents with children who have a fear of Halloween.

Instead of having to keep your fearful toddler inside on Halloween night, these are so tips that will take the “spooky” out of Halloween to make it an enjoyable night for all children.

Children ages 0-2: Keep your young toddler close to you and physically comfort and reassure them that they are safe if they seem scared. Also, consistently remind your youngster that what they see, hear or experience is “just PRETEND.” Children at a young age, even at 2-years-old, know this term even if they can’t fully comprehend it. Reassure your child that you are there and will make sure that nothing will hurt them.

3, 4, and 5-year-olds: At these ages, prepare children before they go out to trick-or-treat by talking about what is expected and what they may see (e.g., fake blood, spider webs, monsters, etc.). Discuss the difference between real and pretend.

Get them talking when they return. Ask your child what was the most fun part of the night and maybe the scariest part of the night. The open dialogue will get them to share their experiences and can allow you to reassure them that it was “just pretend” if something bothered them.

Plan ahead. Figure out a plan with your child for the next time things are scary. This will reassure children and help them to have a sense of control over managing their scary feelings.

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