Each year my aunt and her family have an annual hide-n-scare party. They invite over their friends after dark, black out all the windows, turn off all lights and play hide and seek. The really scary part is they have all kinds of spooky stuff hidden and out in the open for them to find. Stuff like clowns, dolls (Chucky), bowls of spaghetti noodles (worms) and lots more. Believe me when you can't see where you are going your imagination can run wild. Plus, there are people jumping out at you. To top off the evening they would go for a ride in the back of a hearse through a cemetery. Crazy right!!!
While that may be fun for some older kids and adults, little kids can get really scared, especially at night. They can have thoughts of the boogie monster under their bed or in their closet, people coming to kidnap them, and even animals wanting to eat them.
Halloween can really scare kids. It's not all trick or treating and candy. Some kids are frightened of people in costume and masks.
Here are some ways I've helped my kids get over their fears of Halloween and other scary stuff in life.
1. Have my kids try on dress ups, costumes, hats and masks.
This worked for my kids, but obviously won't work for everyone. My kids learned that they can dress up in a costume and soon it clicked that it's not really a monster walking around. There is just another person inside that costume.
My oldest decided she wanted to be the Staypuff Marshmallow Man last year for Halloween and she noticed it made the little kids afraid. To help them she would casually slip her hood off when she noticed they were afraid and sometimes say "Hi".
2. Put a small lock on the outside of the closet door.
My son was really afraid of a monster in his closet. After nights and nights of checking the closet and showing him that there wasn't anything unusual in there, I decided I was going to put a small lock on the outside of the door. The lock was similar to the type on public restrooms. It allowed him to make sure nothing could get out of the closet and get him.
3. Remove the bed skirt.
For that short period of time when they are nervous about something under their bed I would remove the bed skirt. Then they could clearly see underneath. We also stored toys under the bed in boxes, so they actually associated under the bed with fun and toys. You could also run a small rope light under the bed just to brighten it up showing them that there aren't any monsters hiding there.
4. Limit the scary images.
This is obvious but I don't them to watch scary movies. If my hubby wants to watch something scary I take the kids to play in another room, he watches it in another room or after the kids are in bed for the night.
Feel free to share the ways you help you kids with their fears.