Posted by Improving Lives Counseling | Articles
As Halloween approaches parents across the country are rushing out to find the perfect costume. Although the Cartoon Network licensed costumes are some of the more popular, vampires, witches, monsters, Power Rangers, Superman, Ironman and Ninja Turtles also make the list. Selecting the perfect costume can be a fun family event, yet many parents head off alone to select what “they think” will make their little one shine. The repercussions of this decision can be dangerous. A Power Ranger mask can scare little Johnny, a witches costume might make little Susie cry.
Most parents are aware of bad dreams, monsters under the bed or in the closet, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and clowns, however most don’t realize Halloween costumes, noises and decorations offer a whole new range of fears. Children have vivid imaginations and fears can be especially powerful this time of year. Something as simple as accompanying parents or siblings as they respond to trick-or-treaters in scary costumes can frighten toddlers and preschoolers. They often show fear when an event is unpredictable or unexpected – regardless of how much preparation you’ve done. A counselor can make a difference.
Counseling children during the Halloween season has become more common than you might imagine. Preparing toddlers and preschoolers for scary costumes, strange noises and seasonal decorations can be challenging; avoiding scary movies when older children are in the home isn’t easy and sibling games involving scary masks, vampire teeth and fake blood happen – it’s the season.
Improving Lives Counseling Services is here to help. As counselors we can work through childhood fears; specifically ones your child has failed to respond to with repeated reassurances. Halloween fears are most commonly mid-fears and not phobias, however about one of every 100 kids suffers from a phobia of costumed characters. Differentiating reality from fantasy is difficult when a character is masked; the child doesn’t know there is a person inside that costume.
Handling and confronting these fears involves the entire family. Our professionally trained and experienced therapists tailor counseling to meet your child’s specific needs, and can provide related counseling for the immediate and/or extended family. A fearful, screaming, crying child disrupts everyone’s fun filled night. Impact on the child can be even more hazardous. Although Halloween stores, Scary Houses and an array of costumes are on the scene, there is still time to schedule your counseling session. For the health of your child, your family and the peace of mind it can bring, call us.