Fright vs. Fun: 9 Rules for a Kid-Friendly Halloween

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By Roberta Munoz

Has Halloween become too over-the-top for young children? How can you make Halloween more about lighthearted hijinks than heart-stopping horror? Fright-fests can be good fun for grown-ups, but Rutgers University psychologist Cindy Dell-Clark says this isn’t always the case for kids. “Halloween is a holiday where everything is inverted and turned upside-down,” she says. “With activities like trick-or-treat, basic things like the stranger danger rule are suspended.” For kids, crossing boundaries can be empowering, but also confusing. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as October 31 approaches.