As exciting as Halloween can be, it also provokes a lot of anxiety. Here are a few suggestions for helping your child to cope with the scarier side of what can be a fun holiday.
1. Go over what will be happening. Practice trick or treating. If you child is anxious about the dark, consider trick or treating earlier while it is still light out or attending a well lit alternative. Many towns have "trunk or treat" in a large public parking lot.
2. Focus on other aspects than the costumes such as choosing candy to hand out and pumpkin carving. The other side of Halloween is a fall harvest celebration so focus on the colors and flavors of Autumn.
3. Give your child an outlet to express fear and anxiety with out dismissing it or immediately trying to problem solve with reassurance.
As always remember that children process their fears through play, so expect an increase in scary play. Engage when you can gently guide the play schema to a funny or calming resolution but don't be afraid to just let your child play it out.