The 10 Stages of Choosing a Halloween Costume for Kids

October 7, 2014

Choosing a Halloween costume for kids seems easy, right? WRONG!

Stage 1: Realization

This stage typically occurs in late August. You know, when CVS begins to display candy corn on all of their end caps. Wonderful. Just wonderful, dearest CVS. You have officially ruined the months of September and October, not to mention the last few days of summer because now we get to entertain the question, “How many more days until Halloween?” for approximately 57 days. Sweet. (No pun intended)

Stage 2: Assessment

Now that the sugar radar is officially on high alert (no really, thanks again, CVS), your child will begin to assess his/her options and it will look something like this:

choosing a halloween costume

Stage 3: Commitment

The committal stage typically occurs at the bus stop or in another social setting when your child decides to blurt out, “Hey guys! I’m gonna be a TRANSFORMER for Halloween!! Boo yow!” When he gets blank stares from his friends who have decided to be the cast of Star Wars he will quickly move into Stage 4….

Stage 4: Denial

Ha. Ha. HA!!!!!….. He was totally kidding about being a Transformer. Duh. His little brother is going to be a Transformer……(and then he whispers in your ear to ask if you can rent the Star Wars movie so can see what options remain).

Stage 5: Panic

After a visit with older “cooler” cousins or friend, your child will learn that they are going “practical” and being football players. What is a kid to do? Panic sets in. Should he band with the friends or be cool like the cousins?

Stage 6: Reassurance

At this point parental interjection is necessary before your child needs to be committed over Halloween costume selection. You will likely discuss topics such as independence, making your own choices, and practicality – because not every mama can whip up a Chewbaca costume with 3 days notice.

Stage 7: Acceptance

Ladies and gentleman, it’s official! He’s gonna be a COWBOY! Praise the LORD! A decision has been made!!!!


Stage 8: Doubt

After the in-school Halloween parade he thinks he wants to be something else for real Halloween because the Cowboy costume wasn’t nearly as awesome as he planned.

Stage 9: Bribery

Again, parental involvement is necessary in this final stage because it is now 5:30 on October 31st and your child refuses to wear the selected costume because, as mentioned previously, at the school parade so-and-so was a freakin “selfie” and why couldn’t I have made something that cool? (At this point it is acceptable for you, the parent, to curse Polly Perfect Parent for making you and every other mom and dad who bought a costume instead of making it feel inadequate).  You now have one remaining option. You will be forced to dangle the carrot: “No costume, no candy.”

Stage 10: Did someone say candy?

Your child will run down to the basement, grab the firefighter costume that he’s been playing dress up with for years and run outside with an empty pillow case blowing behind him in the wind.



  • Dutchy
    October 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Exactly why I hate Halloween … It’s for uber creative Mom’s and my husband was never home…..

  • Julia
    October 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    That is the frustrating thing about Halloween. Right now cause Jack is young I have him make a decision in August when the costumes come out on Disney store cause his Mom-Mom likes to buy it.

  • Jacqui
    October 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    You forgot the “You’re the meanest mommy” stage because I won’t let my four year old dress up as a certain Monster High character whose costume is……..skimpy. That’s the word I’ll use, skimpy.

    My son does not seem interested in choosing a costume at all, but I think that will change as we get closer to the 31st.

    Wish me luck, we go to buy the costumes tomorrow.

    • Sisters to Sons
      October 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Ahhh how could I forget that!! Totally need to add in the “VETO STAGE”.. I think I’ve already said NO to quite a few. Good luck tomorrow and thanks for reading!

  • Jo-Lynne Shane {Musings of a Housewife}
    October 8, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Oh yes… I can relate! LOL

  • Barb @ A Life in Balance
    October 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Stage 8 drives me nuts times 4 little ones. Thank God the teenager sticks to his plan.

  • Heather @
    October 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    LOL! I really need to order my daughter’s witch costume before the panic stage sets in.

  • Hope
    October 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    HAHA – I can relate! My daughter wanted to be Eep from The Croods and then she got a bunch of princess dresses from my niece who no longer wears them and now she wants to be Snow White. I’m ok with that – no cost Halloween costume!

  • reesa lewandowski
    October 8, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Seriously girl, you just crack me up with your truth in humor posts. I SO prefer no cost Halloween costumes. This year though we “splurged” since both kids are bent on being Snow White & The Hulk. So we went to the Disney Store since the prices were cheaper on sale than the Target ones. So we’ll see how this goes LOL. I saved the receipts.

  • Heather
    October 9, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Yep, pretty much spot on!

  • Caitlin
    October 9, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Haha! My daughter has been asking to be one random person for Halloween (Jane banks from Mary Poppins). I get her costume all together which takes forever. After a trip to target she wants to be else 🙁

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