Halloween offers chance for families to connect with community
Monday, October 23, 2023
Halloween is coming up and for kids and parents, the holiday provides an opportunity to connect with their community.
Kim Hemmert, grants manager with the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, said Halloween is a social holiday and provides many ways for families to strengthen their relationships with the people around them.
"Whether it's with trunk or treat events, whether it's in communities where they put on trick or treating events in the neighborhood," said Hemmert, "it's a great time for families to engage with their neighbors and with their community and to make those social connections."
Hemmert said her organization promotes the Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences or HOPE framework, which can help combat negative experiences in children's lives.
She said the four building blocks for the HOPE framework are healthy relationships, social and civic engagement, safe and equitable environments, and emotional growth.
Hemmert said kids might be scared on Halloween, but this can also be a chance for emotional growth. She said parents can help their children process distressing emotions.
"Talk about those emotions if they see something scary or if they feel something scary," said Hemmert, "to identify what that feels like, what that looks like, and for the parent to help co-regulate with that child to come back to a state where everyone is calm and regulated."
Hemmert said the holiday also are an opportunity for parents to help their kids identify other feelings, such as anxiety about engaging in social situations.
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