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Taking Back Trick or Treat: Her Ultimate Guide to Intentional Costumes

“Clothes make a statement, but costumes...tell a story.” -Mason Cooley

A while back, Rooney told me that for Halloween she wanted to be a purple ghost, a ballerina, and Darth Vadar. Not a purple ghost OR a ballerina OR Darth Vadar.

She told me she wanted to be all three at the same time.

I remember thinking, Where would I even begin to piece that wardrobe debacle together?

Regardless of your girl's stage or season, dressing up this fall can be a touchy subject, am I right? 

Do we celebrate? 

What’s okay for my girl to wear? 

What’s not okay, and how do we decide? 

Is it okay to be scary, and what constitutes “over the top”? 

Every mama has her method for coaxing little bodies into costumes or just letting go (Frozen, anyone?) and allowing kids to choose their own outfits with little to no guidance or input.

Challenge: This season, instead of fussing over what your girl will wear when the ghosts and ghouls (and Elsas and Captain Americas) come out to play, brainstorm an intentional costume with your girl that won’t make you feel like you had to give up the good fight.

Action Step: Talk together about how her costume choices can reflect her intentionality and integrity. 

Help her choose a costume that celebrates a positive character trait or points her toward a hero: a woman of strength who wasn’t afraid to stand up and do something important, something needed, or something that needed to be done. Or maybe she was afraid and she did it anyway. 

What if instead of Elsa, your daughter dressed up like Eleanor Roosevelt, Zora Neal Hurston, Ida B. Wells, Amelia Earhart, or Joan of Arc? What if instead of a pretty princess, she dressed up like a courageous warrior? What if instead of choosing to emulate a cartoon character, she chose to emulate a defender, a protector, a vanquisher of evil?

I’ve got chills just thinking about it. 

Activity: Choose an Intentional Costume In 3 Easy Steps

1. Pick a character trait

Trying to brainstorm a costume with so many options can be overwhelming, especially if you have more than one small human to think about. Narrow it down by choosing a trait or virtue. Some ideas: kindness, strength, generosity, compassion, ahem...bravery. 

Spend some time brainstorming with your girl about someone that she thinks possesses that quality. If she can’t name someone that fits the theme, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce her to a few of your real-life heroes. Win-win, right?

2. Pick an event

Maybe choosing costumes based on a trait proved to be a little bit more work than you’d hoped. Not to worry. 

Try choosing an event instead. You and your family can dress up as the Israelites leaving Egypt, the first astronaut team launched into space, or even those who marched with Dr. King on Washington. A significant event can help her pinpoint a moment in history that’s important for reasons that matter. 

3. Pick a cause

Still having trouble thinking of something clever? Maybe you’ve been totally captivated by a cause or a problem in the world and you and your girl want to bring attention to it. 

Well, this is the perfect opportunity! 

Choose someone or something relevant to the work being done to solve that problem. When people ask your daughter who she is, she has a chance to explain (Ex. Liz Bohannon is a journalist turned shoe maker who started an international fashion brand that provides employment, educational opportunities and entrepreneurial training to hundreds of women in East Africa and across the globe).

You’re ready, Mama. Go! 

This is another opportunity to talk to your girl about what really matters, to talk through the values that you think are most important, and to get her excited about dressing up with intentionality and ingenuity. 

Have fun this fall swimming together against the current of culture...Oh my gosh, you should totally dress up as fish!

Have an awesome day!

If this post struck a chord with you, I want you to know I have a solution to help you grow deeper in your relationship with your daughter and improve her character and confidence. If you're looking for practical tools and strategies to support her, be sure to check out my free video series, 3 Keys To Unlocking Her True Potential. Click here to watch. These topics changed my approach to motherhood, marriage, business, and life forever…

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