How to have an anxiety-free Halloween with your kids

By Eleanor Scott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m quite looking forward to Halloween this year.

On Halloween, I won’t have to pretend to not be concerned about terrifying, real life events. This tumultuous year, since November 9 2016, I feel like everyone is suffering under the weight of amped up anxiety.

Here are some tricks and tips to help our kids (and ourselves) manage anxiety on this holiday.

Share what your anxieties were when you were their age

I would do a ‘compare and contrast’ around fears with my son. “Oh, you are afraid of that guy in the ‘Scream’ ? That’s interesting. When I was your age, I was really afraid of clowns.” I wanted him to realize that everyone has things that frighten them. No big deal.

Give them room to feel their feelings

I know my son is really frightened when he won’t immediately talk about it out loud. When this is the case, don’t rush to clear away the anxiety, but give them room to feel their feelings.

Teach them how to meditate

Start with a one-minute meditation. Insight Timer is a great meditation app. You can have buddhist chimes right on your smartphone.

Use nonverbal secret signals

Around 90% of communication is nonverbal. Teach your child a signal that only you and they know, so they can tell you when they are maxed out and/or freaked out. When trick-or-treating, it’s a great way to know if you need to exit stage left.

Snack On This:

What to read instead of a spooky story? Try ‘Sleepy’ stories such as “The Trumpet of the Swan” by EB White; “Haroon and the Sea of Stories” by Salmon Rushdie and “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats.

Eleanor Scott is a writer, performer, educator and a single parent from San Francisco. She does performance coaching and facilitation training at Apple, IBM, Saildrone and Radical Candor. She is writing a book, “Work it Out: How to be a Clear and Present facilitator” and a YA novel “Charming Girl No More.” Find her on LinkedIn and coming soon: EleanorSnonlinear.com.

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