Take the "Fright" out of Fright Night

Photo by __ via Flickr Creative Commons.
Photo by __ via Flickr Creative Commons.

by lauren fillmore

Have you been given the responsibility of taking your charges out trick or treating? While it may sound like a fun time, be prepared for your charges to be frightened, especially if they are younger. Children of all ages can be sensitive to the spooky sights of Halloween night. Learn how to prepare them for the experience of Halloween to ensure that you will all have as much fun as you can.

Share Stories

Read some stories to your charges about Halloween and watch some age-appropriate shows related to the holiday. This will show them that while the characters in these books and shows may be scared of what they see, everything turns out alright in the end.

Scope out the Neighborhood

When you’re not with your charges, take a look around the neighborhood you plan to take them trick or treating in. Look for decorations that may be potentially frightening and map out a way to avoid those houses.

Practice Dressing Up

Often children are scared on Halloween because they don’t realize that there is a person behind the mask. Practice dressing up with your charges. Put a mask on and then take it off. Explain to them that all the creepy costumes they see are just people.

Practice Trick or Treating

Have your charges ring the doorbell at home and practice their “trick or treat!” prompt. Take turns being the trick or treater and the one to pass out the “candy”.

Go out Before Dark

Nighttime can make Halloween much scarier for children. Try getting the bulk of your trick or treating done at dusk. Allow the children to carry flashlights; when it starts to get dark, make some fun out of it. Play a game of flashlight tag until you make it home.

Allow the Kids to Lead the Way

Let the kids take charge of which houses they feel more comfortable approaching.  Accompany them across the street if they are feeling uncomfortable walking next to the teenager dressed as a zombie. Let them explore their comfort zones and encourage them to walk away if things get too scary.

Have Fun!

These are just a few ways to prepare your charges for fright night. Even if you have taken these steps to prepare them, do not expect them to be fearless. It is important to be compassionate about the fact that the child still may get scared. Never force them into something that makes them feel uneasy. Once you make it home, get snuggled up into some jammies and enjoy some hot chocolate together. Remember to always check their loot before allowing them to eat any.