By Shari McMinn
Ghoulish masks. Headstones. Risque costumes. Scary Clowns. Witches and warlocks. Do you agree that this is the sight in every single store you enter during October, even when just to buy groceries or gas?
When two of our adopted children — who were among my unique learners — joined our family, our caseworker cautioned us that they were afraid of the “scary clown,” having been seriously traumatized by watching the “Chuckie” movie as impressionable toddlers. Well, I would have been traumatized watching that myself as an adult! Knowing this, we learned to avoid taking them to circuses and rodeos where clowns are often part of the entertainment. We also had to avoid taking them to stores during October, but early Halloween displays already set out in late summer caught us off guard! We discussed their trauma flashbacks before, during, and after such encounters, but it did not stave off their uncontrollable meltdowns that such evil abruptly brought into their lives.
Our family shied away from “trick or treat,” even at churches that offered alternatives, because kids and adults would show up in inappropriately scary costumes, retraumatizing my children all over again. The bottom line is: there is evil in the world, and October 31 is a high holiday for those who practice it. So, how do we prepare our unique learners to be in the world but not of the world, especially during this scary season? I know the month is nearly over, but wanted to suggest you can still redeem October 31st.
Here are some strategies we developed over time to help calm our kids and navigate this season of evil:Read More