It’s time again for Halloween!
While these last couple years have seemed different for many people, it’s looking like October 31st may actually have kids in costume going door to door collecting snacks and candy from generous neighbors. Halloween is notorious for being a kid favorite—who doesn’t love dressing up and getting handfuls of sugar handed to them?
For parents, of course, the holiday can be a double-edge sword: seeing your child having fun dressing up and enjoying themselves is a reward in and of itself, but in the back of your mind there’s the sneaking suspicion that once the Halloween mask goes on and candies are unwrapped, there’s no telling what they’re going to get up to!
Today we’re coming to you with some advice for what to do to mitigate any “mischief” kids might make on this spookiest of days, though these tips can apply to any time throughout the year.
Parents are often very busy at work with little time to spend with their child. Even when they’re physically with their kid, they might be taking a work call, answering an email, or scrolling through social media. While being near your child is great, it’s even better if you interact with them while doing so! Take a moment to literally sit down with them on their level, and listen to what they’re thinking. Children often act out just in order to get their parents to pay attention to them, though what they might really be looking for is approval, or even comfort.
Take the pressure off this Halloween by finding out what they’re looking forward to most about the holiday!
As parents, it’s been a while since we were kids, with seemingly boundless energy and finding excitement in everything we see and do. Nowadays, we can’t wait to get home and kick our feet up to watch TV, being as physically inactive as possible to relax, so when we see our kids “acting up” and yelling and running around we think that they should behave like us and calm down. However, it’s important to keep in mind that as long as our children’s safety and health includes being active and lively.
Of course, we can direct some of that endless energy into our children both having fun and doing something that will help them grow. It’s important to encourage children, helping them build self-confidence and developing self-control. Having them sit in the corner or be alone as punishment will probably just make them lash out in other ways.
All parents know what it’s like to get to the end of the day and be ready for your child to go to sleep… only to have them do everything BUT sleep! Something that will help them, and you, wind down for the day is to develop behavior patterns and habits that signal that it’s time to get ready for bed.
One easy way to do this is to pay attention to the example you set, and example that they can follow. For instance, don’t stay up to watch TV, don’t make excuses and find reasons to not sleep (at least, in front of your children), and show them that you have healthy habits like brushing your teeth. Once they see that it’s ok to go to bed, they’ll start to expect it at the same point each day, which will make everyone’s day a lot easier.
A simple tip: if your child has a lot of energy, let him or her use it! If there’s a place for them to fun around outside, let them. Even better, if you can take a few minutes to play with them, do that—everything will be a lot more manageable if they’re allowed to physically express themselves how they want to.
Games of any kind are a great way for children to interact with the world around them. Games help children understand the concept of following rules and working towards a goal, self-control, and working with others. Games can also be a great way for parents and children to bond and be in one place together, not necessarily running around and around and around and around….
Children will practice behaviors that they feel they are rewarded for. Focus and attention is something that does need to develop over time, and it’s important to set your child up for success by doing so. Don’t start out with making them sit still for an hour—instead, try giving them a task to complete, and show your recognition for the effort they put in and their persistence, rather than finishing the task or being quiet. Children can easily become immersed in simple things, and sometimes it’s difficult for us to remember that.
Halloween is here, and more than anything we hope that you and your children enjoy this exciting holiday together!
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