How to help your child who has a fear of clowns

With the recent spate of clowns popping up around the country this is a real concern for some parents

Halloween is upon us and it is a time when the ghouls and ghosts unleash themselves onto the world or at least that is what we are made to believe. For most children, they love Halloween and it is a hugely enjoyable experience one that they will look forward to each year. However, some kids don’t like the scariness that Halloween brings or the bangers and sparklers which can be frightening.  
This year and especially in the last few weeks there has been a lot said about Clowns, Clown attacks and the fear of Clowns which in case you didn’t know is a thing called Coulrophobia. The media has been paramount in sharing stories of clowns attacking or just causing a nuisance by their very presence. Though the stories aren’t accessible to younger kid’s older kids can look up the media sites and this has led to scare mongering in school yards. This has obviously caused a lot of unrest among kids and some parents are reporting that their youngsters are unable to sleep or are having nightmares because of the clown stories. It may just be hear say but in a school yard gossip is rife and things can very quickly get out of control and after 20 people have been told the story it invariably gets much worse than the original story. The hashtag #IfISeeAClown was even trending at one point and for kids with Instagram or twitter this places clown attacks on the forefront of children’s minds. 
The fear of clowns isn’t something new but these recent spiels are intensifying a fear that may be little to a new-found phobia. While having a fear of clowns is something quite common (mostly due to films portraying clowns as menaces or cruel characters as well as exacerbated face paint on clowns) it isn’t nice for kids to feel scared.  
Some things you can do to help your child if they are scared or worried about clowns. 
  • Don’t force them to face them- There is no need to force your child to face a clown if they are terrified of them. It will not help in the slightest but you should make it possible for them to pass by them or see them from afar without it making them feel afraid.  
  • Explain what a clown is- Show your child how to make a clown face and even let yourself get done up while your kiddie watches or let them do it! Step by step will allow them to see how a clown progresses from a normal person into a clown and how it is just a make-up mask. 
  • Reassure them- Telling your child that they have nothing to worry about will help and reassuring them that you will be by their side for Halloween should they still want to go trick or treating.
  • Talk to school or teachers about the clown phase- If things are getting out of hand with the older kids spreading the scary clown stories you should consider talking to the teachers. They could put out a message warning the kids to hold back from telling scary stories especially to the impressionable youngsters. 
Fears are fears but hopefully Halloween can be enjoyable for you and your family regardless of Clowns. 
Written by Emma. Emma is a writer with Family Friendly HQ and also writes her own parenting musings over at

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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