Forty years ago, Halloween was dressing up for costume parties and taking pictures of children in beautiful costumes trick or treating as little princes and princesses, animal or cartoon characters or non-threatening witch's outfits. In our modern society of the 21st century, the optimum word for our Halloween celebration is scary. Who can scare someone the best?

Most parents know that when children are scared, fear replaces any good feeling we have and causes an uncertain environment. As a mother of nine children, I have never taken to scaring my children as this can cause nightmares or night terrors especially for younger children. What parent would not want good feelings to reside in their home? With these thoughts in mind here are some tips for parents to keep the ghoul factor out of Halloween.

1. Nix the zombie movies

Television is one of the worst vehicles for scary images so turning off the TV the week of Halloween, or even longer before that, helps minimize commercials for scary movies, TV shows or any other unwanted visions of creepy creatures. This helps tremendously in keeping little ones from accidentally watching something they were not supposed to see.

2. Dress for fun, not fear

Choosing appropriate costumes for dress-up is also helpful in keeping the ghouls out of Halloween. By directing children to wear non-threatening attire, without scary faces or references to scary "R" rated moves, this helps keep the frightening factor down to a bare minimum.

3. Focus on fall festivities

Think of the positive aspects of the fall season and focus on that. Pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, hayrides, trick or treating in safe neighborhoods, fun houses and group games go a lot further in celebrating Halloween than haunted mansions and gory costumes.

Halloween is a fun celebrations of the fall with candy collecting, games and both children and adults dressing in costumes for parties. Help keep a good spirit in your home by keeping the ghouls of Halloween hidden.

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