Halloween, Kids, and Terror

October To-Do List: What Are Your Charges Afraid Of?

The customs that evolved into Halloween originated as a festival marking the end of harvesting and as a way to placate evil ghosts and to ensure good crops for the coming year. When November 1 was celebrated as All Saints Day, October 31 became Halloween, which is the eve of Hallows Day because Saints were considered hallowed people. In recent times, Halloween has become an excuse for fun, costumes, parties, candies, and photos.

But, Halloween is also a safe way to deal with fears of weird and scary characters of unknown origin. Confronting anxiety is the reason for horror movies and fairy tales, vampires, and gruesome stepmothers.

For the current school year in NJ, the state mandated that each school have an anti-bullying program. While guidance by the state has not yet been provided to schools, we have discussed the issue on this site. At the same time, age-appropriate lessons about the infamous events of 9/11 were also mandated. This site has also discussed that subject. Click here to learn how to discuss terror with your charges.

For children, even normal and well-adjusted kids, trivial and unfounded anxieties can lead to all-consuming terror. That fear can lead to anti-social and self destructive behavior. Behavior harmful to others such as joining gangs, criminal activity, or terrorism. Or terror so great that suicide becomes an option.

The October to-do is to stop bullying — to stop the bullying of your charges, to stop bullying by your charges, and to stop bullying by and between others. The best way to achieve this is by making sure your charges feel self-confident and calm. Kids must feel free to tell adults about bullying, whether the bullying is online or in person.


  1. One of the kids is really afraid of the dark and being alone. But, to help remedy her fears the parents have hurt the baby by taking her favorite stuffed animal from her and given it to her sister to ease her fears and now she cries for her favorite stuffed animal????

  2. Yes, one child is afraid of the dark and afraid to be in any room in the house alone. Another has tons of anxiety and is afraid of everything such as making phone calls, getting in trouble at school, taking tests and so on.

  3. Every child I have ever known has been afraid of the dark or being alone at some point.

  4. They are afraid of the dark and going to bed can be a hassle. They are usually scared first time doing something like first time swimming without floaties, first day at new school. It helps when I encourage them and explain I was scared first day of school too, etc.

  5. One of the children I nanny for is afraid of being in any room alone and is afraid of the dark. The parents leave a light on in his room and in the hallway at night. I try to distract him so he can play by himself once in awhile but he gets really scared so he follows me around the home.

  6. Yep I have kids that are so afraid to got to bed in the dark the mother has been letting them sleep in the same bed. So ridiculous. I understand the fear isn't ridiculous but clearly manipulation to sleep in the same bed. Bedtime isn't on my time so nothing I can do about it.

  7. Tobagonanny I have a very similar issue. My charges 9 and 7 are extremely afraid of the dark, being alone and sleeping alone. Neither of them will go anywhere in the house alone. It doesn't seem to matter if its daylight or dark. We have tried nightlights. They will not under any circumstances sleep alone in their own rooms. They sleep together in one room or the other. Occassionally one will sleep in the bed with the other beside on the floor. But by morning they are on the floor together. I have MANY ideas for solutions but as the nanny I don't feel I can do more than give advice once and let the parents deal with it.

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