Halloween brings along many uneasy choices as for some, and it is galore of spooky celebrations while some avoid celebrating the evil and frightening sites. My 4-year-old son asked me the reason to celebrate such scary fest, and it made me think what values we are passing on!
It is high time that kids must know the real meaning and way of Halloween celebration without compromising on their holiday happiness. I, as a kid was not so enthusiastic about learning more on it as for us, the holiday play and spooky night get-togethers was more than enough. But today kids are far more intelligent and setting them with the right thoughts is need of the hour!
Some traditions are although harmless, but it is vital to inform kids that the real meaning of this festival and the twist up the celebration. Halloween holidays are an opportunity for busy parents to connect with their kids and teach them about the power of good and faith. Let’s find the hidden perspective of Halloween that you can convey to the next generation.
Teach them principles but with fun
For me, Halloween was always anticipating about the imperfect homemade costumes, rushing to sugar candies and gathering the festive cookies from all over the neighbourhood. It is no longer the same. The sparkling lights and haunting party themes are all today’s kids get to know about Halloween. There is no need to celebrate the evil but rather show them a new side that is unexplored till now. Festivity and values can go hand in hand but can’t impose anything on young minds.
Here are a few things to celebrate Halloween with a different perspective for kids:
1. Costumes always don’t need to be scary- Waive off the scare part from the celebration and add an element of fun to it. Who said Halloween costumes are just about zombies, homicidal clowns or scary ghosts. Please take an opportunity to design a cute animal costume or any cartoon character so that they do not feel left out at all.
2. Carve Pumpkins- Halloween makes you remind of Pumpkins and carving them with my little son is always a fun time to enjoy. While he tries to learn new pumpkin craft each year, I do not intervene as they can care something fascinating that showcases their potential and caliber. Keep every bit of the celebration effortless, fundamental and yet enjoyable to kids.
3. DIY Accessories- I remember my mom use to take out some old scarves, shirts and dresses to design unique Halloween costumes and accessories for me each year. It’s my choice to continue with this legacy rather than getting some readymade stuff from outside. Just like we prepare snacks, sweets and candies on our own; designing spooky hats, batman wings or an animal tail can be a perfect gift for your little kid. Indulge kids in the designing process as even they would love to flaunt something made by their parents. Give them a chance to gather compliments with simplistic costumes.
4. Death can’t be funny- Many people prompt their kids to dress up and learn evil acts or do weird stunts. Let me share an instance where it was a Halloween night, and this man jumped out of the window as there was a sudden monster garb that frightened him, and he fell to death. That thing struck my mind so badly that I never wish my kids should play such cheap pranks to haunt others. Mimicking evil cant be funny every time! Instead, I would better talk to them about the truth of death. Explain to them that with the mercy of almighty, you can do some deeds that can give eternal life as Jesus did.
5. Celebrate but not follow the monotony- my husband and I always make careful choices for our kids and Halloween holidays is also an opportunity to do something unique. Let’s not keep kids aloof from the Halloween fun but at the same time, let them know that celebrations can be fun if you chose to do it harmlessly. Replace the darkness with glowing lights, replace ghosts and demons with exciting characters and dress up the kids as pumpkins rather than making them look demonic. Small things can have a significant impact.
6. Talk to kids about All Saints Day- Origin of Halloween started as All Hollow’s eve that comes a day before All Saint’s Day. It’s the day to memorize the martyrs and fathers who nurtured faith like Stephen, Apostles, Perpetua and Saint Thomas Aquinas. How many of you know that goblins and pumpkin faces are a device to scare out the evil spirits on Halloween night? So that the next day becomes the holiest day in the entire year. Layer your kids’ mind with education on the need for celebration to applaud the power of mighty Saints. The ghoul transformation is laying down the real vibe of this festival!
7. Gospel around- Why do we have vacations and celebrations? To connect with family, friends and rewind yourself to the culture and roots so that you do not miss the reality of life. Plan group activities and games with your kids and their friends to develop more love and bonding towards each other.
Now we have categorized the Halloween celebrations age-wise for the kids:
Toddlers less than 2 years of age
These are very young minds that need emotional safety to remain uncomfortable during the festival. Exposing them to spooky sites and horrific sounds might not be enjoyable for them at all. Give them an emotional safety net and let’s not reinforce the complicated things like costumes and accessories to them.
Kids of 3 to 5 years age
Children of this age are more intelligent than you can imagine, and their level of imagination can cross all realities. They might develop lifetime perceptions that are hard to rebound and remain particular about you are exposing them too. Halloween masks, dark parties and noisy areas can force them to seal in some unreal things that can have a bad impact on their personality later on.
Children among 5 to 8 years of age
Now the kids have started developing logical thinking and can analyze the difference between real and unreal. If you are parenting this age group, give them a thorough insight into Halloween celebration and clarify the irrational fears that they are subject to. Indulge in DIY costumes and allow your kids to fascinate new innovative designs or ask them to make some invites. Avoid horror movie nights or TV shows for this age group of kids.
Kids from 8 to 11 years age group
By this age, kids have a fair idea about rationalizing the fear and are slowly moving towards adolescence. But they might develop a ‘social fear’ as it’s the age to get cautious about clothes you wear, the food you eat and especially the anxiety for social appearances. They need strong fundamental values and right guidance to fade away the temporary fears. Be their friend and get a Halloween costume combo to dress alike. They might be the innocent victims of some shrewd Halloween celebration where vulnerable tricks and destructive practices are a part of the festival. Keep them aloof, and head storm their minds that destroying pumpkins or playing with property is intolerable. It’s you who would decide the kind of Halloween celebration image they are going to carry forward!
Parenting hues can be sometimes nerve-cracking, but festivities and celebrations give us a fair chance to enjoy and indulge in some valuable encounter with our kids. Raising them right and imbibing the correct values for festive celebrations is essential. But don’t be harsh as they might be excited to enjoy the holidays and your inputs should add more to the fun and charm of such festivities!