Let’s Have a Quickie!
Spooky vs. Scary: Letting our kids define the terms
I did a Periscope scope today about letting my kids decide for themselves what is “spooky” (and fun) and what’s “scary” (and not fun). You can watch the replay at the bottom of this post!
We’ve been talking to our 4.5 year old twins about Halloween for the past…. oh, 6 weeks or so – when they first mentioned it to us (thanks, other preschool kids!). Last year was a mixture of fun and fear for them, so we thought we’d try to head off the fear part this year by helping them identify what sorts of things are thrilling and fun and a little spooky vs. things that are just plain scary.Spooky vs. Scary: Letting our kids define the terms #LetsHaveAQuickie Click To Tweet
It’s impossible to ignore the Halloween giant inflatables, costumes, and accessories at Walmart, Target and the like. Instead of steering the kids away we’ve allowed them to approach the area or keep their distance, as they request. We’ve been asking them to tell us what they see as spooky and what they see as scary. They are curious about the masks. And I have to admit – Some of those masks straight up terrify me. But my job as a parent is to suppress all negative emotions, right? (Kidding. A little.) We’ve talked extensively about the difference between costumes and real people. I know they don’t fully understand. They are not even five years old yet. But I’m hoping that when November 1st rolls around we’ll have happy, sugar-addled children and not scarred ones. Here are a few things we’re doing.
- Ask them to show you things they think are fun and spooky as well as things that are scary.
- Do a few pre Halloween drive-bys of neighborhoods with both spooky and scary decorations. This serves two purposes. It gives the kids a chance to decide what they like and don’t like and gives us a chance to figure out what areas we definitely need to avoid. The street with 4 houses featuring Jason-style effigies are on our no list.
- Let the kids decide which of our (mostly pre-kid) decorations they are comfortable having out on display.
- Talk to the kids about masks, and explain that they are costumes with a real, regular person underneath.
Last year we worked on the mask and costume issue by asking the scary ghouls in the neighborhood to lift up their mask and talk to the boys so that they could see that under the mask is a regular ol’ neighbor. Everyone we met was very cooperative and it went a long way toward making our evening more fun. I think it will make this year even better.
I’m hoping that the conversations we’re having will help them feel more in control of how spooked/scared they want to be this Halloween and more able to communicate that to us.
Do you have any tips for making Halloween a little more fun and a little less scary for your munchkins? Let me know in the comments!