Halloween Is A Holiday That Can Cause A Lot of Anxiety For Our Kids!
Whether you celebrate/participate or not, this upcoming holiday can be very hard on our kids! This is one of those times you have to be very intentional about how you parent. Yes, it is all supposed to be fun; however, you live with kids who have been impacted by trauma, whose histories have included threats, fear and the "real" boogeyman. You must do this with your eyes wide open...seeing your whole child!
I think one of the hardest parts of our job is having to do things differently. Having to protect them from experiencing anxiety and re-traumatization, but also helping them to fit in and build self-esteem. You really have to be creative, intuitive and discerning. You have to understand that your child doesn't necessarily see the world as his peers do nor does he want to be different. He can't make the best choices for himself; that is up to you!
So, here are some Halloween "helpful hints" for parents of kids who have been hurt:
1. Prioritize - In the scheme of things, how important is any given Halloween activity? Your answer may not be popular with your child, but keeping his brain chemistry neutral is a great pay-off for both of you!
2. Guts and Gore - It's always best to stay away from blood, guts and gore! One of the symptoms of RAD is that they are preoccupied with this topic - why feed it?
3. Scary Stuff - Many of our children were victims of emotional abuse. The adults in their world used the "boogeyman" to manipulate them to do things, to fall asleep or to not use other adults as a safe place. Stay away from fear based anything!
4. Lights Out - The darkness brings up so many fears - both real and perceived - for our our children. Stay away from nighttime activities, lights out activities and dark scares.
5. Trick or Treating - Can you say overstimulating in SO many ways! Here's my answer...if you want to go out and Trick or Treat, do it in the daytime or at an indoor event like a senior center. Then, go out to eat to avoid the anxiety of scary stranger trick or treaters coming to your house.
You are Intentional Parents!
You are an Incredible Healing Force!
You see your WHOLE child. not just the face he puts on for the world.
Create a fun experience that is just right for HIM! You can do it!