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  • Writer's pictureLiz Morrison, LCSW

Helping Teens Choose Appropriate Halloween Costumes

You know Halloween is right around the corner when school is in full swing, the air starts to get crisp, and the leaves start to change colors.

Helping Teens Choose Appropriate Halloween Costumes

As children begin to get older they start becoming more and more comfortable in their own skin; and for some, this may even mean revealing more skin. Halloween is a great opportunity for kids to express themselves through costumes and dress up, but can become risqué very quickly. As a parent, it might feel hard to navigate how to help support your teen’s costume creativity while also making sure they are dressing appropriately and not attracting negative attention.

Here are 3 tips on how to help navigate your teen’s choices when choosing their Halloween costumes.

2. Talk to your teen about their ideas for a costume.

For teens it is important to them that their parents have a good balance between being in the know and knowing too much. Teens want their parents to be involved, but only on their terms. Essentially, what this means for a parent, is to try and have a conversation without inserting too much of their opinion. Teens typically value their parent’s opinion when they are still able to make their own decision. Having a conversation about what they are thinking about wearing for Halloween is a great start to hear them out and help them figure out their costume. You can say things like: “Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?” or “What are you thinking of wearing to dress up as that?”. This will allow your teen to hear your opinions while also allowing you to know what they are thinking hopefully opening up a dialogue to talk about an appropriate outfit for the night.

2. Help them look for ideas.

Helping your teen look for costumes is another great way to encourage them to make the right choice for the perfect costume on Halloween. It is possible that your teen may want to wear something more risqué than the year before and will say “it’s fine all my friends are doing it”. However, as a parent, it may not feel so fine, and that’s okay! Supporting your teen in picking out their costume will allow you to gain a better understanding of what they are looking for while also helping them choose a costume that you feel comfortable with them wearing. It could be helpful to suggest going together to look at some ideas one day after school.

3. Be honest!

One of the most important qualities in a parent-child relationship is to be honest with your teen. If you do not like the idea of one of their costumes, just be honest with them and explain why! Rather than say: “You are not wearing that, you better find something else!” you can try: “I love the idea of that costume but I am worried it’s too xyz… why don’t you show me what you are thinking of wearing?” By explaining why you are against a certain outfit, your teen will have a better idea behind your suggestion that they can change. It is also possible that this conversation will allow your teen to feel more inclined to find something else to wear.

If your child needs assistance in communicating with their teachers or working on strategies to ask for help, therapy could be warranted. To see if we are the right fit for you, please call (347) 758-2985 for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

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