Children grow up and want more and more freedom. This is also the case of yours who, for the first time, expresses his desire to spend Halloween alone, with his friends.
Of course, this desire is quite natural and legitimate; no doubt you have already received other requests of this kind. Your child is looking for their independence. Although this request is part of the order of things, certain factors could guide the discussion you have with your teen, and the decision you make together.
At what age?
Difficult to determine a precise age, since “individual, social and environmental factors must be considered,” explains Dre Mélanie Laberge, psychologist and director of the Childhood-Family component at Change Cognitive Behavioral Psychology Clinic. “There is no officially recommended age for Halloween alone, like staying home alone,” she adds. This partly depends on your child, their personality and temperament.
Maturity, friendships and safety
Dr. Laberge invites you to ask yourself: “Has he ever walked alone withoutyou? Does he know safety instructions for Halloween? Do you trust that he will follow your instructions? In short: is my child mature enough to spend Halloween with friends?
Finally, it is important to consider your neighborhood: is it safe? Lit enough? Is there a big boulevard to cross? Is it necessary to make a large perimeter to have a satisfactory picking?
If the answers to the questions listed above do not scare you, and you trust your child, you can allow him to spend Halloween with his friends. Of course, with every new freedom comes new responsibilities.
So make sure you're on the same page. Your child must therefore be familiar with safety rules (showy clothing), such as road safety (we do not cross the street just anywhere). Work out a route together, making sure he stays in the neighborhood and abides by a certain curfew. You could also give him a cell phone so you can reach him.
Before the big night, do not hesitate to ask him questions and test his judgment. Make scenarios and ask him questions: Can he separate from his friends? What are its landmarks in the neighborhood? Where can he go for help? What will he do if a neighbor offers to give him a ride?
It is important to stay open and notrepress your pre-teen’s need for freedom and autonomy. “But, adds Dr. Laberge, if you don't think it would be safe for your child to spend Halloween with friends this year, you can work together to find a compromise! »