Every year, most children and adults joyfully anticipate Halloween and trick-or-treating. Choosing a costume, getting dressed up, and showing off your sense of humor and creativity is fun no matter how old you are. This annual event, however, can be nerve-racking for some. Parents may be stressed about whether their child will be able to say, “trick or treat,” and “thank you.” Wearing a costume can also be stressful due to sensory challenges. Additionally, parents may worry about meltdowns during festivities. And for some, worry that others will judge them and their child for being different or unique.
Here are some tricks and tips to help you relax and enjoy your trick-or-treating experience
1. Teach your child the words "trick or treat" and "thank you."
2. Teach and model for them expected behaviors.
3. Practice trick-or-treating in costume
Costumes can be itchy, big, bulky, and irritating, especially for small children. Allow your child to dress up in their costume prior to Halloween day. Wear the costume to the store, the park, and around the house. Let’s get them comfortable with the feeling of wearing their costume before the big day.
4. Choose a costume that appeals to your child's senses.
5. Discuss and read about Halloween
Read age-appropriate Halloween-themed books to your child ahead of Halloween. Reading and storytelling is an excellent way to familiarize your child with the holiday events and traditions.
6. You are not required to visit every house in the neighborhood
You may only go trick-or-treating on your street, two streets, or even just a few familiar houses. Avoid a meltdown by taking a leisurely stroll rather than a marathon.
7. Bring along a stroller
Having your child push a stroller is a great way for them to incorporate heavy work. Heavy work gives the body proprioceptive information, which helps the muscles relax and the body calm down. When the body is on edge, heavy work signals the brain to relax.
8. Your child can carry their candy bag
Carrying a heavy candy bag can act like heavy work too.