Thought for the day…Halloween is scary! Witches, monsters, and all things dark in the night come out to play. This is exciting and stimulating, and gives us adults an opportunity to be imaginative and even childish, allowing us to dress up and play. Sweets are for the asking at every doorstep and we get to pretend to be someone different, how in the world could this be really scary? After all, it is meant for fun right? I hope for you and your children that today is a fun day, I hope that all of your Halloween hopes come to fruition, I hope that today is calm and relaxed with laughter and play…but beware, this can be a very traumatic time for our children with a history of trauma. Masks are scary, real life scary and don’t always feel pretend. How can you tell who it is or what they mean if you can’t see their face? It could be a real monster under the mask (they have been hurt by real mounters). The darkness is a place that likely can bring memories of being harmed in darkness, perhaps when they were alone in their bed. Going out for candy in the dark, going to strangers homes can be very triggering. Sensory issues can be triggered, uncomfortable costumes, sticky makeup and strange smells in the air can be too difficult to allow for self regulation. What about the sweets? An overload of sugar for a child with already high cortisol levels can bring a huge crash with immediate effect. Today when you are out remember that there are just a lot of things that may make the day a little too much for your little ones. Add some time to calm down, perhaps go to only homes you know and trust. If your child says “no” to face paint or that “perfect” mask that cost you 20 pounds and they begged you for…let it go. Maybe they don’t even want to go and you want them to have the perfect memory of this day, it is possible that staying home and feeling safe is what will make the perfect memory for them. I don’t know what your Halloween will look like, whatever it does end up being, just remember that what they see and feel is different from what you see and feel…your perfect Halloween may look very different from the next person Halloween and that is ok. Now do your best to have fun…stay safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!