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My 4-year old is afraid of Halloween

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As a dad, Halloween brings so many questions and need of comfort from my daughter. Our 4-year-old daughter is a very sensitive girl. She is very affected by visual images. My wife and I lead a very peaceful home. We don’t watch horror films or even argue in front of our children. When we go out to a grocery store or just a drive through the neighborhood, that peacefulness is no longer in our control. Halloween is very scary for a young, innocent mind.

Dad, why is that face angry?”

Why are those eyes glowing?”

I hate that I have to explain to my daughter why there is a skeleton at the entrance of Home Depot. I hate that she has to hide her eyes in my shoulder at the grocery store and then wakes up from the nightmares.

Halloween is not of God. Period. God loves our precious children and has created them to be pure and innocent.

I know what someone may say: ”You should just prepare your child for some of these images.” The reality is that I shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t have to explain what Frankenstein’s monster is in the grocery store. I shouldn’t have to tell her why a bloody corpse is hanging from the tree in a neighborhood yard.

Our society has become desensitized to many of the things we see. We say that it’s just entertainment or for fun.

If you really believe in God and you want to have a relationship with Him, should you really be involved with Halloween? No. Don’t do it. Don’t let others guilt you into it because, “It’s for the kids.” It is not for the kids. Innocent children have to be trained to not be afraid of the evil images of the holiday.

My wife, with the advice of a friend, is trying something new. We talk with our daughter about Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×
where Paul wrote: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

When she is scared we have her talk about these things. Then she draws a picture of what she is afraid of and puts it in a jar. At the end of the day she throws away the contents of the jar. We continue to talk about her favorite things throughout the day. Something that is true, noble, just, pure…you get the idea. Focus on the things of the light, not of the darkness.

Have you had a similar experience with your children? What did you do?

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  • Malachi 3_16-18
    My teen daughters used to be very sensitive to graphic images and reality. Once we were in a store and out of nowhere encountered this creaking, moaning monstrosity of a lifelike skeleton. My youngest, only about six at the time, was bothered for days by it. What helps is being a sensitive person myself. I used to be terrified of the dark as a kid, for instance. I also had arachnaphobia (intense fear of spiders) and would have recurrent nightmares about being in a room teeming with them. Unfortunately, I grew up in a culture of repressed emotions, so I struggled alone with many of my fears. This made me determined for my kids to grow up in a more understanding environment. To help them, I would first of all be sympathetic and not mock their fears. Second, I encouraged my children to tell me/my husband when they were scared of something. Third, we talked through it, about how Satan wants to scare people, and about how in reality we don’t have to fear those things. Fourth, we would pray together about the things that bothered them, and we would emphasize that God is more powerful than Satan, and can take our fears away. I would definitely say, confront one’s fears rather than pretending they aren’t there. Then deal with them in a healthy way. Hope this helps. Believe me, I’ve been there…
  • FMG51
    Being sensitive is hard in this world. Explaining Halloween to her will help her understand the “How come”. You can find how to explain on I was told by my mother, way way back before Jesus was born, there were many superstitions in many countries, one of them is Hallows Eve today is known as Halloween. The pagans knew October 31 is when the two worlds overlap and a portal would open to let the demons out to collect souls. The people would dress up and put masks on to confuse the demons, so they can’t steal any souls, they also use symbols in front of their houses to make it hard for the demons to find. Today those symbols are skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts. Now a days the tradition of dressing in costumes to go trick or treating in hopes to get candy. It is safer to go to childrens halloween parties since you know there wont be razors, needles or drugs in the candy. To be honest, every holiday has its pagan origins. I hope I shed a bit of light on this so your little one wont be as afradid.
  • Janet Treadway
    Rudy, what a great article! The creativity that you put into dealing with your daughter will encourage and help a lot of young parents out there. Great job!
  • dziwczyna
    I work in a school and my boss really wants me to teach Halloween so the students know what it is about. I won’t. But if my students do ask, I’m truthful (and cheeky) and will tell them it is for the god down there.
  • Rudy Rangel
    Thanks for the comments. As Malachi said, we didn’t want to minimize her fear. Fear is real to a little child. We wanted to comfort her. I know as a dad I have tried to just blow things off to show that a fear is not a big deal, but that doesn’t work with children. They need our comfort and we have to work through it rather than blowing it off.

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