While rare, some people suffer from Samhainophobia, or the fear of Halloween. Once the 31st of October draws near, panic and anxiety triggers creep in and those who suffer from this have an irrational fear of monsters, supernatural disasters, death or the world coming to an end. It may sound funny and unbelievable, but Samhainophobia is a form of anxiety disorder that should not be taken lightly, especially when it’s a child experiencing it.
Recognize The Symptoms
A parent must be sharp about seeing the symptoms of the disorder. Young children may exhibit aversion to scary decorations and costume displays, while older kids may appear withdrawn and reclusive when the date is right around the corner. It’s easy to disregard this as common problems since children do have fears of nearly everything they are not familiar with; while some parents can chalk it up to puberty if their older children behave indifferently. But when it’s starting to affect school performance, demeanor and behavior, it is probably a wake up call for parents to look beyond what is usual. Parents should analyze the intensity and strength of the fear and find out where does this draw from exactly.
Recognize The Source
Is your child afraid of Halloween in particular, or just of scary situations that aggravate around the time of the celebration? On ordinary days, if your child doesn’t have any problems with seeing gore and blood, or is quite receptive to scary situations, then handling this fear may not require intervention anymore. All the feelings could go away when Halloween is over.
- Let the older child be reclusive for a few days and allow him to process through his feelings this way. When it is time to talk, then approach your tween in calm manner.
- If the younger child becomes hysterical upon seeing Halloween decorations, then it may be good sense to have her avoid this.
- When she is all calm and better, it would be best to talk about why she became hysterical. Remember that fear occurs usually because something doesn’t make sense to the person fearing it. Perhaps a talk and explanation will help appease the anxieties.
But if the fear persists, even after the Halloween celebration is done, you may need to bring the child to a qualified child psychologist to understand what is really going on and help your child get through it.
Offer Support and Understanding
While parents also struggle through what their children are experiencing, it’s important to let them see and feel your presence and support, while assuring them that this fear will be overcome. It’s possible that all these is triggered by the child trying to understand the concept of death. Maybe a recent loss of a pet or a family member have opened this awareness. Talking about feelings and experience always helps.
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