I can never tell anyone what to celebrate and what not to celebrate. For some reason a lot of Egyptians have lately decided to celebrate Halloween every year. Anyway, what I care about immensely is the child's well-being and stability, so I decided to speak about this every year before the great Halloween preparations start.
Being a child psychiatrist, Family counselor, I witness a great number of children suffering of trauma and anxiety and aggression right after the Halloween rituals which are in a lot of parties unsuitable for young children.
I just hope malls and shops use more pleasant smiley pumpkins and decorations in consideration of the young children that are exposed to them. I advise you to go to one of the malls, sit on a bench in front of one of the central decorations and observe the startled faces of preschoolers while their parents think it’s fun to take a photo with the monster or ghost!
So here are my recommendations:
1- Preschools in Egypt have absolutely no reason to celebrate something that would result in shaking the young child's personality this way. There is absolutely no need to introduce the words 'ghost' or ' witch' at this vulnerable age.
2- Schools and specifically international schools can have it in form of a costume party and to have a certain dress code restriction to make it more decent and not scary in any way. Or have a sort of pumpkin orange themed festival, and even pumpkins can have smiley faces instead of scary ones.
3- Individuals and adults are totally free to choose what they want to do as long as its away from scaring or damaging youngsters.
4- Malls and shops, please use more pleasant decorations.
Finally, I hope and pray, we get less cases of traumatically affected children this year.
Dr. Mona Youssri
Child Psychiatrist, Family Counselor & CLC Founder