What is scary for young children?

Halloween fun or fright? What is scary about Halloween for young children?

Children can be confused about what’s real and what is just pretend. A costume can seem so real that children, because they’re still developing a secure sense of self, may think that dressing up as someone else could change the person inside the costume. They may need reassurance that we can put on masks or costumes, but that doesn't change who we are inside.

As teachers and parents, we can nurture and support a child’s development by recognizing and acknowledging that: 

  1. Children have trouble sorting out what’s real and what’s pretend.
  2. Costumes of aggressive characters may be too close to children’s own aggressive impulses.
  3. Young children sometimes think that changing outward appearances changes who they are.
  4. Children feel “safe” when they can see our eyes and read facial cues.

Post by Steve Zwolak