Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anxiety about Halloween?

One of the latest posts on an online parenting website addresses the issue of some children having anxiety about Halloween. The story addresses children that are afraid of costumes, decorations, and strangers ringing their homes doorbells, and how to step by step desensitize the child to many of this holidays fearful fun.

With this story i have a automatic tensing when i read how to coax your child into not being afraid of fearful things. I grew up not celebrating Halloween and still do not. I also grew up where there was already a natural fear in my environment. This fear was from high crime rates, instant death likely if you wronged someone or their family, witches and magic men are real, and naturally the tropics in Papua New Guinea were hazardous. So when I got to the States, i wondered why on earth would people want to scare themselves? Are our lives not full of fear daily? So i want to ask parents when their child is afraid of something (that is meant to scare and in essence be evil) why would you tell your child to not to be afraid? I understand for most people this holiday is for dressing up, fun, and candy, but there is a fear about Halloween that is expected. Fear to me is evil and i don't want a apart of it. I respect cultures and their holidays, but why is this holiday about fear. Isn't there a bit of anxiety when your scared? Should parents encourage their child to enjoy fear?

Although i do not condone Halloween I do have a problem with setting out to purposefully making someone fear for their safety which is obviously anxiety producing . I was thinking about fear especially around Halloween and i realize that anxiety is the fear of something happening to you or others around you regardless if this fear is logical or irrational. I really enjoy the book " The Anxiety Cure" by Dr Hart. This book goes step by step to helping a person establish rational coping skills to a world that is full of fear. The key is not to let fear debilitate you and to seek help for anxiety. Fear is real, but it does not have to rule our lives thanks to an amazing creator!

Claire Brown

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