It, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Clownhouse, Killjoy, Harvest of Souls...there are a ton of clown horror movies. Come to think of it. Have you ever seen a clown movie that wasn't a horror flick?
Just in time for Halloween! There is actually a diagnosable disorder called masklophobia which is, you guessed it, fear of masks. This one doesn't always resolve and can continue through adulthood.
Be careful of face paints and make-up that come from China because they may contain dangerous levels of lead and other contaminants that are easily absorbed into the skin.
Refer to this article about Halloween dangers that are important to review year after year. It's critical information considering that more kids get hit by cars on Halloween than any other time of the year. Check out the article to enhance your child's safety and yours!
These kids are painfully aware that they're smaller and weaker and more vulnerable than adults and that, alone, makes them fearful.
This is the same dynamic for those costumed characters at theme parks like Disneyland. And don't forget Santa and the giant Easter Bunny!
- Buy a cheap-o kinda-scary mask and show your little one that you're behind it. Put it on. Take it off. Smile and chuckle. Make them laugh.
- Take your "5 and under" or sensitive kid trick-or-treating before dark. They're also afraid of the dark and this factor alone intensifies their overall anxiety.
- When answering the door, make sure the little one is "back a-ways" or around a corner so you can evaluate the "scary level" of the trick-or-treaters and encourage your little one to come closer.
- Be patient and understanding.
- Don't goad, shame or humiliate your child for being afraid. It's a developmental dynamic that they will likely outgrow. Let them approach at their own pace.
- Have spooky-sounding decorations that can be activated when they decide they want to hear it. The sense of control will help them tolerate the scariness of it all. We learned this dynamic from the dental profession. Once dentists gave us permission to raise our hand to take a break or when we were afraid, we were able to tolerate procedures much more competently.
Be safe and have fun! Claudia
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