Spending time with your loved ones this Halloween
Halloween a time for pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls. A popular holiday with children and teens a like enjoying pumpkin spice and everything nice. A season where trees start shedding their leaves, the weather turns and an abundance of smiles, laughter and joy.
But Halloween comes with its challenges and foster parenting is never easy. Children may have negative experiences associated with the holidays or may have never had the opportunity to celebrate the autumnal traditions. Halloween can re-trigger memories of sights and sounds which can be very frightening on a dark cold night.
With that said, it’s not everyone’s favourite time of year, adults included. Halloween can be a fun experience for foster children and carers, it can provide a sense of normality, helping to instil confidence and create happy memories as a family. It just requires some advanced planning and consideration.
Start the conversation
The crucial step is sitting down with your foster children and preparing them for what they are to expect. Explaining the traditions can be helpful, especially for children who struggle with change in routines. Ask them what they would like to dress up as, suggest some possibilities on a basis of their interests and show pictures. The more conversation you facilitate, the more information you slowly gather on your foster children’s experiences of Halloween, helping alleviate existing fears and anxieties.
Keep it fun
Think outside the box. Your creating a new tradition together with your foster children and Halloween can be a dark and scary time. Always gauge your foster child’s reactions if something is to scary or they’re in a situation they feel uncomfortable in, remove them from the situation immediately. It isn’t just about who has the scariest costume and trick or treating. Halloween-related activities at home can be just as fun and creative, whether that’s pumpkin carving, a scavenger hunt or watching fun family-friendly movies.
Experiencing family traditions can help family bonds and create memories as you grow together. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to create traditions that are meaningful, personal and fun. It’s important for your foster children to know that they are seen as individuals and you think about them individually. Personalise your traditions to each child, it will give hope to your children that they can experience a normal, happy life. Holidays are a great time to expose them to the concept of positive family gatherings.