Halloween is a time for kids and adults to dress up and pretend to be someone else. Have you ever thought about how confusing that can be for kids? They are still learning about the world and their place in it. Make believe and imaginative play is a part of their everyday life BUT it doesn’t prepare them for Halloween. As parents, it’s our duty to keep our kids safe. One of the biggest things you can teach your child now is what stranger danger means when everyone is dressing up as something else.
Teaching Stranger Danger On Halloween
How do you know who to trust when everyone is dressed up like someone else?
That’s the big question on Halloween. It’s hard enough to teach kids to differentiate between a “stranger” and a new person. How do you do it when everyone is dressed up as someone else?
Why do you even need to be concerned? I wish we didn’t have to be concerned about strangers, but we do. There are too many “bad people” out there. Teaching our kids to be aware of their surroundings, without being fearful of the world, is one of the most important parenting jobs we have.
So what can you do about it?
5 Tips to Keep Kids Safe at Halloween
Keep in mind that these are things you should discuss with your kids before you go Trick or Treating. They are not necessarily things you as a parent should be doing (otherwise I would have added “check all the candy” to the list).
#1 – Don’t Talk to Strangers?
A lot of times, “Stranger Danger” is simply described as “Don’t talk to strangers.” But does that really make sense to little ones? Pretty much every adult they meet is a stranger. It’s more important to teach your kids HOW to talk to strangers. For example:
• Don’t give away personal information, like your address or last name.
• Keep a personal distance and avoid touching
• Make a list of topics which are not ok to talk to a stranger about, like their body or things that would be inappropriate for your child’s ego
#2 – Look To The Adults To Confirm
The adults/parents that are Trick or Treating with the kids should always be nearby to confirm whether the person is “Good” or “Bad.” Our kids need to know that they have someone they trust who can help them know when the interaction is right or wrong.
#3 – Stay With Your Adults
That brings up the next point – make sure the kids understand that they should not wander off. It’s a crazy night and they’re sure to be fired up with sugar, but they need to know how important it is to stay with the adults.
#4 – Trick or Treat Buddy
Assign a Trick or Treat Buddy to every kid. That would be another kid that they stick with all night and keep each other safe.
You can use these Vampire Cupcake Toppers that I made and shared as a free printable on PracticalMommy.com. I love that this one item can be used as a cupcake topper, a matching game, a Halloween wand, Lunchbox Notes or snack cup toppers. Now you can also use them as Buddy Badges. Tape or pin them to each child, so they know who their buddy is.
#5 – Don’t Go Inside
Maybe this should be rule #1. Make sure your child knows that they should NEVER go inside a stranger’s house. While they are Trick Or Treating, they are close to the doorway and could easily slip in. They need to know it’s not ok to go inside a stranger’s house.
It’s important to keep the holiday FUN but also make sure our kids know how to keep themselves safe. I know I will be having a conversation with my kids on Halloween about stranger danger and I hope you will too.
What else could you add to this list to teach our kids stranger danger at Halloween? I would love to be able to add to the list.