Culture shock can be quite traumatic for anyone! Those who have traveled abroad know that each and every culture, although interesting, brings an element of shock to any foreigner. So imagine the effect Halloween could have on a child who has never experienced such a holiday.

Following are some tips on how to help your child enjoy Halloween celebrations:

  1. Reinforce that this is a time of make-believe, imagination, and play. For some, learning what is real and what is pretend is a little bit hard – especially when there is a language barrier. Be intentional about letting your child know that the stories shared in school, the make-up and costumes, and especially the gory-looking and sounding things are all pretend things and intended for laughing and for fun.
  2. Consider storybook characters rather than ghosts and witches. Helping your child dress up as Cinderella or the Steadfast Tin Soldier rather than a scary monster might be advantageous to them and you. It will also help to reinforce the fact that the entire day is filled with multiple make-believe activities.
  3. Decorate for FALL rather than for Halloween. Avoid spider webs and skeletons and instead carve pumpkins with different patterns, gather autumn leaves, and decorate with beautifully colored candles. Let Halloween just be one day of the month, with the rest of your focus being on the colorful changing season.
  4. Invite your child to talk about everything. He’ll hear scary stories at school and see a bowl full of grapes described as eyeballs. That is bound to happen. Be extra vigilant to encourage discussion at this time of year so you can dispel scary myths and still encourage imagination.

Enjoy your Halloween with your sweet new addition to your family! Make the celebration enjoyable by ridding your home of scary and filling it with sweet!