I didn’t really grow up with Halloween although I have a few memories of giving out candy or running around the neighborhood filling a pillowcase with lots of candy. When I became a parent, I didn’t make a big deal of Halloween either, but we always gave out candy to the little and not so little kids who rang the bell. There is something so innocent about children visiting houses anxiously awaiting what they will get. Standing by the door and interacting with those who lived in the neighborhood gives me all the feels. In full transparency, I have dressed up my dogs in the last few years and they have been a big hit with the trick-or-treaters that come by the house.
When it became apparent that COVID would take away yet another beloved activity from children and families I was sad. It hit me much harder than I thought when Halloween came and went without a single knock on the door.
So, this year, at least in my city, Halloween is back and I have to confess I am excited! So much has transpired since I closed the door on Halloween 2019. I’m ready, once again, to greet those that come by.
As a society, we are out of practice with a lot of things due the pandemic experience and Halloween behavior is one of these things. Read on for guidance to think about in anticipation of Halloween.
- Not all children remember Halloweens of the past. Some children might not remember experiencing Halloween and some may never have experienced it. Take some time over the week to talk about Halloween etiquette and how to keep the excitement of Halloween extra COVID safe this year.
- If you have rules, let them be known. Be specific with children and teens about expectations around mask wearing, distancing, eating candy as they visit houses, traveling in groups etc. Don’t assume they will follow the daily guidelines and practices. There is a lot of excitement with this night, and when there is excitement, it’s hard to remember what is expected without reminders.
- Overstimulation can wreck an otherwise wonderful experience. Even though most children are back in school and afterschool activities, Halloween with the lights, movement and costumes can be very stimulating and in a time after reduced stimulation, this can be overwhelming. Consider when you go out to trick-or-treat and how long you will walk around the neighborhood. This may be a year for an earlier, shorter Halloween excursion.
- Prepare for a nighttime activity. When was the last time your child was out running around outside? It probably has been a while. Remind your child about driveways, curbs, and cars. Also, give your child a flashlight to prevent trips and falls. A little preparation can reduce the chance of a Halloween with an injury.
- Prepare for being the host on a ghoulish night. It might have been a while since your household has had visitors. It’s best to make it known the parameters around trick-or-treaters. Be prepared to establish the guidelines around giving out treats, mask wearing, earliest and latest times of handing out treats. Don’t forget the animals, they too may not be accustomed to visitors after 18 months of restrictions.. Take into account how to care for their well-being.
Wishing you and your family a memory filled Halloween adventure! Here’s to one more step in the return to joys of childhood!
If this was helpful to you, you may want to consider the Big Book of Tools and or the Pocket Guide of Tools for more strategies to help your child deal with their stuff, time and information. Check out www.michelleporjes.org for information about ordering.