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Another Halloween comes and goes

standard November 1, 2010 8 responses

C was so excited about Halloween this year. She talked about it non-stop for weeks and for once I thought we’d get out without any incident.

We went trick-or-treating in town yesterday and she held her own, only balking once or twice at some particularly freaky masks. Then, tonight, faced with countless people coming to the door and the growing dark outside she all of a sudden freaked out and point blank refused to go out.

She’s been working so hard to overcome her fear of people in costumes, but this was just not going to be the Halloween she’d dreamed of for weeks. Instead of heading out with my Minnie Mouse and Sassy Ladybug, I headed out with a hastily redressed Snow White (Minnie Mouse got her dress wet during dinner.) and left the sad ladybug hiding in her room.

Two years ago I would have pressured her into coming out. I would have cajoled and begged, even maybe threatened. Tonight I just made sure that she was doing exactly what she wanted, grabbed my camera, and headed out with Little L and some friends.

It wasn’t the ideal Halloween, but it worked. Little L had a blast and when we came back, we found C watching the Giants game with her dad, cozy on the couch, not a tear in sight. I didn’t have to soothe any fears before bed and I know that there won’t be any nightmares tonight.

It was just another night when accepting who my kids are, trumped experiencing things the way we idealize them.

From It’s my life…

From It’s my life…

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8 responses

  • It’s hard to respect their decisions when they’re so young. But understand this, you taught her a HUGE lesson tonight. You let her know that Mommy will not force her to do something she truly is afraid of doing. She knows that you understand that this isn’t her trying to annoy you or be difficult. She know you get it, and that it’s OK to be afraid sometimes.

    Bravo, my friend! Bravo!

  • Very sweet she stayed with your husband and I am sure he liked it too. All is well. I actually had the plan for my 22 mo old to stay home with me while DH took DD around the neighborhood. Surprise surprise when my son wouldn’t take no for an answer when they tried to leave. He wanted to go too and would not be denied. It was too funny! Glad you had a fun night.

  • Good on you! One of my biggest parenting challenges (and one I’m still trying to work through!) is how to let my kids make their own decisions without taking it personally or feeling like it’s a reflection on *me* when they choose something other than I secretly wish for. Being able to put that little bit of a buffer between me and my child – while still letting them know I love and support them – has been so hard. When it works, though, it works well. Just like this wonderful example you shared. Thanks for that!

  • My little girl gets scared too, but she still wants to go. Good for you for respecting your daughter.

  • I respect you so much for not forcing her! There are times when we have to “force” our children (like on those mornings when my daughter doesn’t want to go to school) but Halloween isn’t one of them. I don’t understand parents who yell at their kids “I want you to have a good time, dammit”. Then it’s not about the child, it’s about the parent.

  • What a great post and one I need to read again and again. I take my son to Storytime at the library. He’s as goofy as can be at home but doesn’t want to sing or dance or participate with the others. I know he’ll find his own. I just need to let him be himself and not force him to be carefree (kind of self-defeating!)

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