How do you approach Halloween?

It’s that time of year again when the shops are filling up with scary costumes, houses are being decorated in cobwebs, and Halloween party invites might be coming in.

As Christian parents it can be confusing to know how to handle the increasing prominence of Halloween.

Is it ok for our kids to dress up?
How do I respect a partner or grandparent who thinks differently to me?
How do I work out what’s right for our family?

There are myriads of questions, and it would be great if there were easy answers. But as with most aspects of parenting, this is one we have to work through and navigate – in our own minds and with our children. It’s a topic that’s likely to come up with other parents, so it’s good to remember that there are many different opinions out there, and that’s OK. Talking it through with others can be helpful, but it’s important we make a decision that feels right for our own family too.

  1. Think it through
    It is important that we know why we are saying yes or no to things. There are some really helpful articles available that show different viewpoints, and give context to what Halloween is and why it is celebrated.
    Parenting for Faith have a selection of viewpoints in their article on different responses to Halloween.
  2. Talk about it
    Talking about Halloween with our children in an age-appropriate way is also helpful. We can talk about good and bad, dark and light, and help them see where Jesus fits in the story. Asking our children how they feel seeing some of the costumes or decorations can also be a helpful way to figure out what they think and understand already.
  3. Make a plan
    Depending on the age of your children, either make a plan before talking to them, or with them – explaining your decisions as you go. It might be that you want to find alternatives like a light party at church, or make trick-or-treating a missional activity! Maybe you’re OK with vegetables and animals (pumpkins, bats and spiders) but leave out the ghosts and ghouls.

Whatever you decide, remember there are lots of teachable moments in this season, and we can be pointing our children to Jesus as the light of the world!

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