Sometimes I think I set my ambitions too high, last year Lou only celebrated Halloween at her Early Years setting – which she did handle really well. Lou had nightmares about monsters that started as soon as the adverts for Halloween came on the TV.
This year Lou seemed a bit more interested in Halloween in general and I thought it would be a good idea to plan a Halloween party. Around 3 days prior to this party I noticed a change in Lou’s behaviour, she was becoming more aggressive towards myself and her younger sister and she was aggressive in the tone of how she spoke to me and other family members. I sat down with her quietly and asked her what she was worried about to which she replied:
“Mummy I’m scared of Halloween.”
I’d been so worried about Lou feeling included and joining in with seasonal events that it overshadowed the fact that she was becoming very frustrated about the thought of a party – the costumes, the masks, the noises – that could have an effect. This was a big learning curve for me to always ensure that the needs of Lou come first, I may be trying to help her but in fact I could be hindering her by doing something that is just too much for her to cope with.
Lou has always been the same on ‘home turf’ she gets territorial and possessive over her toys and belongings and then can get overwhelmed and hit out.
We did continue with a few little ‘friendly’ seasonal activities which Lou did cope really well with.
1. Pumpkin carving and exploration:
Lou asked for ‘Friendly’ Pumpkins so I looked on Pinterest and found some patterns for Mikey from Monsters Inc and Harry Potter.
2. Chocolate covered apples.
Lou did this activity with her 3-year-old cousin, it was very popular! I stuck a lolly stick into the core of the apple and the girls rolled it around in the melted chocolate and then dipped in ‘Hundreds and Thousands,’ and then left to dry.
I did put a few decorations up, including this Web material with matching spiders, which Lou enjoyed touching to check if it was real!
For every seasonal activity from now on I’ll have to take it in my stride and think always, ‘What is manageable for Lou?’
Thanks for reading 🙂