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Is Halloween Good For Kids?

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. -Albert Einstein

By: Carissa Rogers of GoodnCrazy.com

When a blogger gets passionate about a subject —sometimes a few paragraphs of a blog post just won’t do. Mary Heston had that problem when it came to the topic of Halloween and ‘protecting’ our kids from fearful situations. No, she went and wrote a whole book about it. (You can download her book on Amazon for $3.)

Do we do a disservice to our kids by protecting and shielding them from all evil? This is the main question Mary asks in her book.

New Kindle eBook out by Mary Heston:
Boo! How to Scare Your Kids, and Why You Should

In the introduction of Mary’s 36 page eBook she points out:

Halloween is a great time for kids to face their fears and conquer them.  In the past decade there have been movements to shift from Halloween celebrations to “Harvest Festivals”.  One of the reasons given is that Halloween celebrates evil spirits and we need to protect our children from these evil influences. 

The big problem for me with that line of argument is that there ARE Monsters in our world and that by trying to protect our children from fake monsters we may not be helping them learn how to deal with the real ones.”

Mary shares research about fear and parenting:

“…what it tells us about managing fears.  Should we read fairy tales to our kids? Should we allow them to watch Disney movies?  Why do we watch scary movies? And ultimately, should we allow our kids to dress up in costume on Halloween?”

I encourage you to read through her book to understand what she means and what the findings are.

I purchased her book and agree with many of her points and suggestions. One of my 3 kids is more sensitive than my other two and while I realize he has a real fear of all things grotesque at Halloween, I don’t completely protect him from the ‘scary’ seasonal aisle at the grocery store either. If there is a scary part in a movie, I let him hold on to me, I ask if he’s okay and after the fright fades we pause the movie and talk about why it scared him. I’m helping him determine ‘fake monsters’ from real ones like Mary mentions in the introduction.

Mary goes on to talk about very real monsters who rarely walk around “with unwashed long hair wearing a hockey mask.  Evil can come in a very tidy, attractive, package.” And while that’s a scary thought, it’s also a real one.

She has this caution:

We all have that inner voice that warns us but because we have been protected from evil our entire life and taught good manners we often ignore that little voice and instead choose to be polite rather than offend.

As parents it is vital that first of all we acknowledge that there IS evil in this world and then help our kids learn how to identify evil and what they can do to keep themselves safe from evil.”

Amen. As parents it really just might be your duty to SCARE your kids. And starting with fairy tales and Halloween costumes means you have control of the situation and can educate your children.

Mary dedicates the book to her Mom:

So Thanks Mom – for scaring the heck out of me when I was a kid so that I didn’t have to carry that with me now that I’m an adult.”

All quotes are direct from Boo! How to Scare Your Kids, and Why You Should. Please do not copy without permission from the author. Reach out and ask her about her book all you want though! Tweet her! @MaryHeston.

 

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net