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Survival Tips for Kids Who Don’t Celebrate Halloween

You and your family do not celebrate Halloween. Whether it is for religious or secular reasons, your choosing to abstain from Halloween festivities likely sets your kids apart from their peers in their school and neighborhood. Here are a few tips to help your kids navigate the month of October in a manner that is respectful of your values without being perceived by their peers as “weird” for not participating in Halloween festivities.
1. Teach your kids to decline Halloween invitations with graciousness. For example, your kids may say, “Thank you for the invitation to your Halloween party! I’m sorry that I won’t be able to attend, but I know you all are going to have a great time! Would you like to get together some day after school and hang out instead?”
2. Teach your kids to address differences confidently and with humor. For example, when your kids do not wear costumes on a costume day at school, your kids may say, “I AM wearing a costume today. I’m dressed as a 5th grader. Heeheehee!”
3. Ask your kids to disclose openly, confidently, and non-critically that they do not celebrate Halloween and why. For example, your kids may say, “My family does not celebrate Halloween as our religion teaches us that Halloween revelry is not Godly. My parents tell me that different religions teach different things, and they tell me that we support people’s right to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween . . . whatever they feel is appropriate. For us, not celebrating Halloween is appropriate, but I’m totally ok with your celebrating Halloween.”
4. Teach your kids how to respond appropriately to any bullying that may occur as a result of the differentiation. For example, your kids may surround themselves with their circle of friends who will support them and thus create a disincentive to further bullying.
5. Provide your kids with social outlets to compensate for their not participating in Halloween festivities. For example, host a slumber party, pizza and movie night, or other social activity that will keep your kids from feeling (and being) socially deprived throughout October.
By following the tips above, you can help your kids navigate the month of October in a manner that is respectful of your values without being perceived by their peers as “weird” for not participating in Halloween festivities.

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