Halloween is one of our favourite holidays at Innovative Martial Arts. We decorate, we throw a big zombie night party and the kids all love talking about zombies, witches and werewolves.
Halloween is not just about the candies though, it's actually a holiday that fits very nicely with one of our core values, teaching kids confidence.
Letting kids be a part of creating scary things, being the scary thing themselves and getting out in the neighbourhood interacting with people is a great event for building confidence. Taking the scary imagery and creating it takes it from being scary to being fun. Going up to a door and yelling "Trick-or-Treat" is met with a reward for being confident enough to walk past the ghost and the coffin and yell at a strangers house.
The scary looking clown with a blood stained outfit is far less scary when they watched their friend put the costume on.
I've seen a lot of nervous and anxious kids that where able to put on a scary costume and then have a blast running around "scaring" everyone else.
If you have a child that is scared, don't try to shelter them from the holiday, teach them their is nothing to be afraid of. If they don't want to yell "trick-or-treat" at the door or ring the bell that's ok, tell them when they are ready to do so they can start getting candy. Small steps are ok, but by the end of the night they might be yelling as loud as they can :)
If the time is right even flip things on them, make them hold your hand and tell you it's only decorations to go up to a particularly scary house because you are too scared :D