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October 17th, 2012

TRICK OR TREAT – Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween

It’s almost Halloween again, with all the excitement of a holiday that is eagerly awaited by children and teens. Parents want their children to have fun and appreciate the special activities of this holiday – dressing up in costumes, being in Halloween parades, maybe going to Halloween parties, and of course, Trick or Treating. Whether or not children actually consume all the candy they gather, there is nothing quite like the thrill for children of ringing a doorbell, yelling, Trick or Treat, seeing that candy fall into their plastic pumpkin or paper bag and walking home with a bag full of yummies.

Parents love to see their children be so excited, but this holiday finds many Moms and Dads struggling to find the right balance between encouraging kids to enjoy the holiday and making sure they stay safe. Don’t go trick or treating alone, Wear reflective tape, Watch out for cars, Don’t eat anything that isn’t commercially pre-packaged, Don’t go into anyone’s home, are just a few of the warnings that parents find themselves repeating to children as they begin their Trick or Treat activities.

A combination of calm, but firm warnings and proper adult supervision is the best way to make sure that your child is safe on Halloween. Children are often not aware of dangers and can easily become carried away with excitement of the day. There is a risk that some children become so worried about the dangers that they don’t want to join their friends for Trick or Treat. Parents can encourage these worried children not to let their worry stop them from enjoying the thrill of this very special day. Rather, use the holiday as a good opportunity to teach them responsible ways that fun and safety can go together. To read more about children and worries, visit Halloween Fears and Kids and Parents Need Strategies to Help Kids Stop Worrying

October 10th, 2012

TRICK OR TREAT – What to do when your child is excluded on Halloween

Everyone is going Trick or Treating together. Nobody asked me to go with them. I wasn’t invited to the Halloween party. It’s never easy for parents to see their child feel left out and alone at any time, especially on such a fun holiday as Halloween. There are a few things parents can do to help kids meet this challenge. Encourage your child to be proactive and not wait to be asked. There is always someone who needs a friend – asks your child to think about all the kids in class and find someone who might want to join them. Or, call the parents of a child who is already in a Halloween group and ask if your child could join. Inviting a child from an activity outside of school, such as a sport or dance, music or art class is also a possibility.

If all else fails and you can’t find a Trick or Treat pal for your child, try to make it fun as fun as possible. Maybe have a special Halloween dinner, bake Halloween cookies or watch a scary film on TV. Remind the child that even though this Halloween might not be ideal, there are many more Halloweens to look forward to. Your child’s social confidence might suffer a bit, but you can help them manage this disappointment by helping them to feel good about themselves and make the best out of a difficult situation.

If you would like to read more about Halloween and Kids, check out Halloween Fears and Kids

Learn how to handle a social disappointment, visit I’m Not Invited to the Party