Halloween is often a divisive holiday for parents. Some moms and dads believe it can have a negative effect on their children. Others think it’s all about having a little fun. There are definitely pros and cons of celebrating this spooky day. We can’t escape the eve of All Saints’ Day but we can prevent our kids from getting into trouble. Check out 10 negative and positive things Halloween can teach your kids. First, here are some of the good lessons:
1. It teaches them to be more social
Many children can be a bit shy in social situations. Halloween is a great opportunity to take them outside their comfort zones. The costumes and candy will provide incentive for bashful kids to interact with friends and neighbors. Halloween activities are especially beneficial to introverted children. Along with a big group of kids they will find it much easier to get involved and take initiative. Don’t get disturbed if your child is too shy. People aren’t outgoing and social from birth, which means these features can be gradually cultivated. Noisy and cheerful Halloween celebration is the best time to start.
2. It teaches them good manners
Halloween also gives you a chance to help your little ones learn about proper etiquette. Sure, you should start teaching your kids manners at birth. Even if little children cannot understand the meaning of the words, they catches that ‘please’ and ‘thanks’ are essentials to start and finish the conversation. Halloween trick-or-treating is all about excessive communication and interaction. They’ll get lots of practice saying please and thank you as they stop at houses for treats. It’s a habit that can continue long after the holiday is over. Encourage your child to show those good manners, and positive attitude will help them to get more goodies.
3. It teaches them about individuality
No two people are exactly alike. Halloween can show your children that it’s good to be unique. Encourage your child to express his or her individuality on this special night. After all, Halloween is a great time to become their favorite cartoon character or a revered hero. Kids will gain confidence by daring to be different with their costume choices. When I was a child I was looking forward to Halloween each year. I loved those long evenings which my mom and I spent sitting and making a unique and outstanding costume.
When choosing or creating a Halloween costume, you can discover a lot of new things about your little one. Your child’s choice will reveal the hidden side of his/her personality that a child doesn’t venture to display in everyday life.
4. It teaches them to be creative
Halloween also encourages creativity. Your kids can use their imaginations to come up with fantastic costumes ideas. With a little help, they can even make homemade costumes to really put their creative skills to work! When children are not restricted by numerous social boundaries and rules, they usually give free rein to their imagination.
You must have heard that every person is talented and creative, and your child is no exception. The most important thing is to avoid direct criticism and badinage. Help your child to come up with the most uncommon and specific Halloween costume idea and find time to make or buy this costume together.
5. It teaches them about moderation
Most kids come home with a huge sack of goodies at the end of all the Halloween festivities. While they would probably like to eat the whole bag in one sitting, they should be limited to a couple of miniature candy bars at a time. This can teach your children that it’s fine to enjoy a few sweets on a special occasion, but they need to keep moderation in mind. It’s a great way to help them develop healthy eating habits.
Every argument has more than one side. Depending on how you look at the situation, Halloween isn’t entirely about fun and games. For the rest of this list, let’s look at some bad lessons your kids can take away from the holiday…
6. It teaches them to behave poorly
Halloween is not only about teaching good manners, but also about teaching some bad things. The treats on Halloween are typically accompanied by tricks. Some pranks are really fun and inoffensive, while others can be rather harmful to one’s health, well-being and property. Some older children and teenagers can set a bad example through pranks like throwing eggs on houses or putting toilet paper in yards. Younger children can learn to mimic bad behavior if you aren’t careful.
Make it clear that there are acceptable and unacceptable things and your child should see the difference between the two. Threads and punishment will hardly prevent your child from behaving poorly, but your personal example and open dialogue can help to avoid any incidents.
7. It teaches them to be selfish
Halloween can also spark a case of the “gimmes” in your kids. The night can quickly become all about getting as much candy as possible. Your child may end up whining that a sibling received more candy or that you didn’t take him or her to enough houses. Selfishness is never something you want to instill in your children.
On the other hand, kids learn to be selfish every day at school, outdoors and while interacting with siblings. Selfishness is an integral part of most children and it comes naturally to them. That’s why you’d better combat this bad trait once you notice it. I was an awfully selfish child, but each time I didn’t forget to take candies for my sister, my mom always praised me. It helped me to become more generous.
8. It teaches them that darkness is scary
If your kids are already scared of the dark, Halloween is only going to make matters worse. All the ghoulish decorations may teach young children to associate nighttime with being frightened. Those witches, ghosts and goblins can even cause nightmares in certain cases.
9. It teaches them not to be afraid of strangers
Even though Halloween is recognized as the safest day of the year, most parents spend a lot of time teaching their kids about “stranger danger.” However, children will likely meet plenty of unfamiliar people if they go trick-or-treating in new neighborhoods. This can cause confusion since taking candy from strangers is usually something they’d get in trouble for doing.
My parents tried to feed me before trick-or-treating so that I didn’t want to taste my goodies before my mom inspected them at home. Sure, it could hardly prevent me from eating candies! However, your child should know that unwrapped candies and homemade pastry are strictly prohibited no matter what. Make sure your kids never go trick-or-treating alone.
10. It teaches them to ignore the rules of road safety
For many kids, trick-or-treating is primarily done on foot. It can be tough for some children to determine the difference between sidewalks and main streets. They could easily be injured by a car if they’re in the middle of the road in dark costumes. Moreover, little kids are often too small for drivers to recognize them. Disregarding safety rules could even lead to deadly consequences in some situations.
Halloween is perhaps the most controversial holiday. It’s important to think about the pros and cons of letting your children participate in the spooky celebration. By considering the good and bad things Halloween can teach your kids, you’ll be able to decide if trick-or-treating will be beneficial to your little ones. Do you allow your kids to celebrate Halloween?