Expert says communication, getting creative with children key to having happy, safe Halloween

Halloween is going to look a little different this year because of COVID-19, and people across the country are already coming up with creative ideas to adjust.

However, with canceled parades and schoolwork at home, for many children the losses in 2020 can begin to feel overwhelming, especially as many families are already preparing to modify plans for the holiday season.

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“Just because we’re upset and mad, does it mean it’s OK to put those feelings on someone else?” said Vladimir Sainte, a licensed clinical social worker at Truman Medical Centers and author to several children’s books.

Sainte said one of the most important things parents can do during this COVID-19 pandemic is keep lines of communication open and collaborate with their children to come up with creative ways to safely celebrate the holidays together.

“We can still find ways to involve them in those conversations,” Sainte said. “We might not take their ideas. They don’t need to know that. It empowers them to still have value, not feel hopeless or powerless.”

While traditional trick-or-treating or family gatherings may not be possible, acknowledging and empathizing with a child’s loss is also important.

“Sometimes as parents we don’t have the answer as to what is going on, but we will figure this out together,” he said.

Sainte adds it is also critical to highlight that this pandemic will end, and we will all have grown stronger through the adversity.

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