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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

How parents can help children cope with the Halloween disappointment

Kids are going to be disappointed about the rules this year, but the way they manage that disappointment gives them a lot more space to cope and find solutions.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Halloween on Oct. 31 marks another holiday during the pandemic. 

"Halloween is one more thing we have to wrap our heads around," said Dr. Heather Bernstein, clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.

Bernstein said engaging in a dialogue about your child's disappointment over traditional Halloween activities being canceled is key in understanding how to deal with the Halloween downer.

"The first step is really to ask their kids what they are disappointed about," said Bernstein.

San Diego County is not recommending traditional trick-or-treating, trunk or treating or leaving candy bowls out.

Additionally, it is not allowing gatherings with people outside of your household, which is stricter than the CDC guidelines. Those say outdoor, socially distanced parties are not high risk.

There are some safer alternatives, like one-way-trick-or-treating. That's placing treats in individually-wrapped goodie bags and leaving them out.

"Whether it is trick-or-treating and having someone looking out the peep hole or having the food a little father down the driveway," said Lisa Gable the CEO of FARE.

Bernstein said if you can nail down the exact bummer, like not seeing friends or not wearing their costume, then you can find a substitute.

"Kind of giving them a sense of control by identifying the things they can do," said Bernstein.

Other ideas from the county include an online costume contest, a movie night at home, carving pumpkins or visiting a pumpkin patch.