Monday, October 4, 2010

5 Ways To Help Your Toddler Overcome A Fear Of Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, malls and homes are filled with terrifying masks, scary costumes and pictures of ghouls and ghosts. As an adult, you may find this amusing and even exciting. But for small children, Halloween can be a particularly frightening experience.

For young babies, Halloween usually goes unnoticed. Babies may even be amused by the strange faces and costumes that they see.

But toddlers realize that the strange faces and costumes at Halloween are different and scary. Even a giant mouse or bunny can terrify toddlers because they know that giant talking bunnies and mice are not normal.

Most toddlers cannot be forced to overcome their fear, because fear is a strong, inner instinct. But there are several things that you can do to minimize your child’s fears. Here are 5 useful suggestions.

1. Remember That Your Toddler Is Unique.

What your child finds scary, another child may find amusing. You may not always be able to predict just what will terrify your child, so keep an open mind and remain flexible.

2. Take Your Child Into The Pumpkin Patch.

A glowing jack-o-lantern can be pretty scary. Helping your child to realize that this creepy character is no more than a carved up pumpkin will help to alleviate that fear. Let your child help you to find the perfect size pumpkin for Halloween. Let him help you to decorate it as well. Your child can draw the pattern onto the pumpkin and you can carve out the design with a knife. Toddlers also love to play with the seeds and the gooey insides of the pumpkin. Your child may also enjoy gluing tissue paper onto the outside of the pumpkin or coloring it with a magic marker.

3. Do Without Elaborate Costumes…..For Now.

Even though you may think that your toddler looks adorable in the bunny costume you spent hours sewing, your toddler may not want to wear it. If your child refuses to wear it, then it’s better to drop the issue rather than to make a fuss of it. Remember, there’s always next year.

Toddlers are less likely to resist if the costume doesn’t cover their faces. They may even enjoy experimenting with face paint or paper-plate masks that they can hold up to their faces.

4. Put off trick-or-treating or do so in a less threatening environment.

Trick-or-treating can be bewildering and scary for toddlers. Going to unfamiliar houses at night, passing all sorts of scary creatures in the dark, and getting more candy than they are allowed to eat at once, can be a bit too much to handle.

If you feel that this may be the case with your toddler, then you may want to introduce your child to trick-or-treating by going to a few familiar neighbors while it’s still daytime.

Another suggestion that also works well is to trick-or-treat in somebody’s home. Toddlers can knock on different closed doors in the hallway, and then each door could be opened by an older child or adult who gives them a treat or some candy.

5. Be Supportive Of Your Child.

Even if you manage to avoid trick-or-treating,your child will probably still see scary people around town or coming to your door. If your child does see scary creatures, you can always ask the ‘creatures’ to take off their scary masks while they are near your child.

Keep in mind that your child’s needs will change with time. Lots of preschoolers are still afraid of ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night. Simple costumes, trick-or-treating at familiar homes and sticking to daytime activities can go a long way toward making young children more comfortable with Halloween. And before you know it, your child will be enjoying Halloween as much as you do.

No comments: