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Halloween

Monday Fostering Blog

Halloween.

It has been advertised in pretty much every shop I have seen over the last two weeks. While we were on holiday in half term, every activity we did displayed Halloween images. It seems to have gone from a one day event to a full on two week festival. We do not celebrate Halloween in our family as it poses two difficulties for our family. Firstly, we are Christians so do not celebrate on the basis of our faith. I had an interesting conversation with a social worker a number of years ago who tried to insist that it was Alice’s cultural right to celebrate Halloween, and that we should be taking her out trick-or-treating.

Never mind that Halloween seems to be an american import, so what cultural heritage a British person might have is lost on me! She had not understood when her parents agreed that Alice should be brought up in a Christian home that, whilst we certainly don’t judge others who do chose to celebrate, Halloween would not be something she would participate in.

Secondly, as Foster Carers we choose not to participate in it as we find it problematic on many levels. I can remember asking her if she thought the principle of going to strangers houses and asking for sweets was ok on any other day of the year, or if it was ok for us to let strangers come to our door and give them sweets. If this is not something that is to be encouraged on any other day of the year then it shouldn’t change just because it is Halloween. It would give a child with learning delay and attachment disorder very mixed messages. It would be very hard to undo the notion of speaking to strangers and accepting gifts from them one day but not on any other day. This is something we are working hard with Alice on because she has no stranger danger. In fact, she will talk to anybody and tell them anything and everything about her life! So we are actively discouraging her from talking with strangers.

Furthermore, prior to Alice coming into care she was exposed to many Horror films and images. We have spent the last four years with her as she has worked through this, some of the images and costumes seen around Halloween are less than helpful to a child like Alice. So we avoid as much of it as possible. We stay at home, place a polite sign on the door and wait for the evening to pass, which it does uneventfully.

A Less Ordinary Family Foster Carer’s Blog