It is impossible to completely ignore Halloween. Stores are already stock full of Halloween supplies and costumes, and schools and TV shows will undoubtedly celebrate it as the holiday approaches. As parents and Christians, you may be wondering how to shelter your child from it.
It seems as the years pass by, the costumes and decorations become more and more realistic and scary. My younger daughter will not even enter an aisle that has a Halloween selection in it. As a mother, it troubles me that I cannot even take my child to the store without worrying that she will be frightened by things that give her nightmares.
Obviously, it is ultimately up to individual families as to how they decide to handle and celebrate Halloween. Many Christians see no issue in the holiday and many find alternatives; yet for little eyes it can be a hard holiday to overlook or forget. Even if you see it as a non-issue or find alternatives, there is still that creepy, scary fear factor sitting in people’s front lawns.
God does not want us to fear; yet we do a great job of going out of our way to scare ourselves sometimes.
So, how do you explain to a small child some of the decorations and things they will surely see just being out and about?
It’s true that some children may not focus on or fear them. However, many kids allow fear to take root.
As believers, sin should make us uncomfortable, as should this holiday. God does not intend for us to ignore it. So, the best course of action with my fearful child is to face it head on with her. I do not just cover her eyes. That would set a poor precedent in her life, that when she faces certain situations, she should just pretend it isn’t there.
The first step is to show her that I do not fear it. Imagine a child looking at a piece of plastic and thinking it’s just a part of the store and finding no problem in it. Then imagine the parent whispering things about how it’s evil and scary. The child may take on that unnecessary worry and fear.
This happened recently with my oldest daughter. She is not like her younger sister and has never shown any outright fear or issue with the things we have seen in the store. A well-meaning person recently pointed to a Halloween spider and told her that the devil was a part of the display.
Now my calm daughter developed not only a fear of spiders, but also of that particular store, believing that the adult told her the devil lived there.
II Timothy 1:7 (KJV) says: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God tells us that with Him we should not fear the enemy or evil. We should not teach our children that these earthly evils have power over us.
Tips on How to Handle Halloween with Your Kids
- Bring that confidence that God gives you as a believer to the forefront. Show your child that you do not fear and they will follow suite.
- Teach your child the power of prayers. When they are afraid teach them to bow their head and pray immediately, explain to them that prayer is power and that God will hear them at all times.
- While children know right from wrong, it is our job to teach them and point out things that are not godly; yet again do not point them out in a way that will frighten them more.
- We may understand that the devil does lurk around the corner in our lives; our adult minds can comprehend the spiritual battle we are in for the most part. A young child cannot.
- If your child has questions, answer them age appropriately. If your child points out something scary let them know that yes, of course it is not godly but no thing or enemy can come against us as Christians. Truly this is an assurance we should take with us daily as Christians any how.
- Do not go out of your way to bring them around scary things or places but do know that sometimes they are unavoidable, so do not show more fear when you are in the midst of them. Teach them about the strength that God gives us, not the fear the world makes us face.