A few weeks ago, I wrote about passing on my love of Halloween to Dylan. On that post, I mentioned that Dylan was not at all afraid of all the Halloween decorations he was encountering, and absolutely loved all the monsters and ghouls he saw.
Just as I was congratulating myself on having such a brave, fearless boy for a son, something happened: Dylan started screeching and crying with fear in the middle of a movie. No, it was not The Nighmare Before Chirstmas, with all its vampires and ghosts and skeletons. It was Aladdin.
During the market scene when Aladdin is running away from all the lawmen, Dylan lost it and started crying in fear. He pitched such a fit that I had to turn the movie off, and whenever he saw the DVD cover he would scream, "I don't want 'Ladin!"
A few days later, the same thing happened while Dylan watched Shrek 2. During one of the last scenes, when the giant gingerbread cookie, Mungo, goes tearing through the town, Dylan lost it again. He was so terrified that all he could say was "The cookie! The cookie!" and shake uncontrollably. Again, I turned the movie off. He doesn't seem to mind seeing the DVD lying about and even says he wants to see it again, but if he does, I will know to skip over the Mungo scenes.
It is really amazing how fears in children manifest themselves in different ways. I was afraid of EVERYTHING as a child, and I want to make sure that my children grow up without my crippling fears, but I don't know if it is better to force him to be exposed to his fears (i.e., make him watch the movie and show him that nothing happens), or to respect his fears and help him avoid them for now while trying to reassure him that there is nothing to fear.
For now, I am choosing the latter route. I keep telling Dylan that there is no need for him to be afraid, that the movies are "pretend" just like Halloween is "pretend," and I hope this will help allay some of his fears. However, it may come back to bite me in the you-know-what. Just the other day, we were at Target and he saw all the Christmas decorations already on display, pointed to them and said, "Mama, Santa Claus is pretend!"
As a special Halloween treat to our readers, here are some pics of our Ay Mama kiddos dressed in their costumes. Enjoy and have a safe and Happy Halloween!