Developmental Psychology Professor Offers Tips on How to Help Young Children Enjoy a Fun, Not Frightening, Halloween
Source Newsroom: Wake Forest University
Deborah Best, a professor of psychology, has studied developmental psychology for more than 40 years. She offers simple tips to help parents ease their children’s most common Halloween fears and anxieties. These include letting kids younger than five choose their own “costumes,” which may be as simple as a colorful tie or a big hat; trick-or-treating before it gets dark; and taking cues from your child when the festivity of the night is just too overwhelming. “Most children can’t distinguish fantasy from reality until they are about four years old, so knocking on a stranger’s door in a clown suit can be scary for younger children,” says Best. If you’re afraid Halloween sends mixed signals about religious beliefs, Best says, “Dressing like a devil or a monster for one night won’t jeopardize your child’s belief systems.