Out­fit should be treat, not a trick

Toronto Sun - - LIFE - — Joanne Richard

Strug­gling with your kid about their cos­tume choice? You’re not alone.

Chil­dren should not be al­lowed to charge ahead with a poor or risque cos­tume. “It’s es­sen­tial for par­ents to get in­volved in cos­tume choices, es­pe­cially for younger chil­dren who may not have the cog­ni­tive or emo­tional re­sources to ex­er­cise good judg­ment in­de­pen­dently,” says clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Dr. Michael Ober­schnei­der, of ash­burnpsych.com.

Re­mem­ber that your child or teen’s cos­tume choice is a per­sonal state­ment. Ober­schnei­der says that how your child or teen is seen in the world by oth­ers should be im­por­tant to you as par­ents, and par­ents need to make sure that their child’s self­im­age and per­sonal rep­re­sen­ta­tion in pub­lic be­comes im­por­tant to them as well.

Be­fore rush­ing to the de­fin­i­tive “no,” talk things out. “It’s more im­por­tant for your child to un­der­stand why their cos­tume choice may not be a good one than it is to sim­ply nix it. Bad cos­tume choices are teach­able mo­ments for par­ents,” says Ober­schnei­der.

He adds that re­li­gious themed cos­tumes, cos­tumes that de­pict cul­tur­ally sen­si­tive top­ics, racially charged or race laden cos­tumes or cos­tumes that are overly ag­gres­sive or sex­ual should be avoided for chil­dren and teens.

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