The candy is fun but the skulls and scary costumes can instigate fear in some trick-or-treaters. Does your child sometimes ask questions when she sees scary decorations? “Are werewolves real?”
Is he more avoidant at bedtime than usual? “Just one more story, pleeeaaase?”
Do they express dislike for any aspect of Halloween? Plenty of kids say, “I like the candy and pumpkin-carving, but I don’t like Halloween scary stuff”.
BEING PROACTIVE now can minimize time and cost associated with phobia treatment. Halloween is meant to be fun and hopefully these tips help keep it that way for everyone.
Here are 3 Important Halloween Tips For Anxiety-prone Kids
1. If the fear isn’t disruptive at this point, let them keep things simple.
Everyone has preferences and some kids simply don’t prefer the skeleton, vampire genre and there’s no need to force it. Try selecting a ‘rated G’ Halloween to the extent possible. Try not to force them to be ok with scary themes that could lead to anxiety.
2. Consider watching &/or reading sweet, young and innocent Halloween-themed shows or books.
It’s useful to expose them to triggers one tolerable degree at a time. Kids learn best in baby step doses so their brains have a range of competing perspectives that provide a balanced approach to life.
3. If the fears are big and disruptive, i.e. begging to sleep with you during the Halloween season, consider this a potential phobia-triggering sign.
Phobias are excessive, irrational fears that take on a life of their own so if you see big fear behaviors, contact a child psychotherapist who specializes in phobia treatment using kid-friendly Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). At the Mindful Resource Center, we want you to ‘catch it’ early because phobias are VERY distressing for kids and really hard on parents to address. We created this FREE CHART FOR YOU to keep it handy this way, you can assess the difference between normal fear and phobia fear and intervene accordingly.
For more information about the Mindful Resource Center visit us online at www.mindfulresourcecenter.com or come by and visit us. We are conveniently located at 21 Tamal Vista Blvd, Suite 269 in Corte Madera. Contact us anytime at (415) 634-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.