If a few moments of a horror flick or a bad experience in a haunted house has equated to sharing a bed with your little munchkin for six months thanks to nightmares, you're probably dreading Halloween. Don't fret; there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the spooky holiday without freaking the heck out of your kid whose scare factor registers at about zero. Follow these tips to make sure no one has a too-terrifying Halloween.
- Know what your kids are watching on TV. Whether you have a premium cable package or stick to Netflix most of the time, Fall always means there are way more horror movies playing across the board. Your little ones might not be seeking them out purposely, but accidents can happen. Keep an eye on what's playing on the screen, especially as their kid-approved programs are ending and a new show is starting, to prevent them from seeing the opening scene of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or some other film that will certainly terrify them.
- Do your research. Heading to the pumpkin patch or spending some time at a Fall festival is a must for anyone who's lucky enough to watch the leaves change color. Before you head out for some quality time with your brood, make sure you look up each event online. Activities like corn mazes, hayrides, and haunted houses have a humongous range when it comes to scare factor, and the last thing you want is to be stuck inside a haunted house with a crying little one. Only go to daytime events as a rule of thumb, since they're usually pretty kid-friendly.
- Stick to G-rated costumes. If you have older kids who have a knack for scaring their younger siblings, make sure they avoid any superscary costumes if you plan on trick-or-treating as a family. If you're attending any adult-only parties, err on the side of caution and wear a kiddo-friendly ensemble, even if what you really wanted to dress up as was a zombie.
- Trick-or-treat while it's still light out. It might seem like a no-brainer, but going door to door looking for sweets is a heck of a lot less scary when the sun's out, especially if your tot's petrified of the dark. If you absolutely have to go out after dark, opt to go in a big group.