Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween! A Couple Dr. Momsie Tips

Our little Trojan

Just a quick post to wish you all a very happy and safe Halloween!  Halloween is not my favorite holiday, as I don't really enjoy being scared, think apple cider is disgusting, and dread dressing up in costume. But, I do have lots of happy Halloween memories from childhood - trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, eating candy . . .

Halloween can be a ton of fun.  Or, it can be scary and stressful.  Here are just a couple of Dr. Momsie tips to keep in mind tonight.

  • Know your child's comfort level for the scary and spooky and be sensitive to it.  Freaking out your child won't make them "tougher," just more prone to anxiety and nightmares.  Avoid trick-or-treating at spooky houses if your child reacts poorly to being scared. 
  • Let your child determine when he is comfortable to approach something scary, don't force him or tease him for being a "scaredy cat" or "chicken."  Praise her for being brave when she decides to face her fears, but don't make her feel cowardly for reacting normally to fear (avoidance is normal!)
  • Avoid scary movies.  I recommend this for all ages levels - even teens.  I see way too many children and teens in my office that are reporting seeing ghosts, having nightmares, being unable to sleep, and hearing strange noises, who have just been watching Paranormal Activity too often.  Really, parents, these movies have R ratings for a reason.
  • Be careful this Halloween  . . . but not too careful.  Everything in life is a balance.  Though we need to be careful while trick-or-treating and eating candy, a momsie who freaks out about going to a stranger's house or eating a piece of candy that hasn't been dissected for needles will ruin the fun of the evening. 
  • Keep your values in mind.  If you are a Christian parent who feels like too much attention is given this Halloween to evil and the occult, go for "friendly" costumes and costume parties.  Don't feel pressured to participate in anything that makes you, or your children, uncomfortable.
  • Build happy memories.  Don't stress over the perfect costume, hitting up all the cool parties, and making the most delicious treats.  A good barometer?  If someone breaks into tears or begins to fight, it is time to take some deep breaths and calm down.
Wishing you a fun and safe evening!

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