Halloween Costume Issues

Updated on October 20, 2014
H.J. asks from La Jolla, CA
20 answers

This is such a dumb question I'm embarrassed t ask my friends. So I'm posting it on the internet, lol. My daughter is in first grade and was planning on going trick or treating with her best friend. They met in kindergarten and she lives just a few houses down so we see them all the time, and the girls play really well together.
So my daughter and I went out and got her a costume last weekend, she wanted to be Merida from Brave. Great. I get a call Friday from her friend's mom and she is upset. She says she is so sorry, but that her daughter wanted to be Merida and they bought the costume a couple weeks back, and when her daughter found out my little girl had the same costume she flipped out and said she wouldn't go trick or treating with her. She said she tried talking to her daughter and nothing is working, in her words she is acting like a "spoiled brat" (not my words!) but she wanted to let me know because her girl is mad and would probably be mad at my girl on Tuesday when they go back to school (we have conference day Monday). OK. So what should I do? I could tell my daughter and encourage her to stand up for her choice, I could tell my daughter and ask if she got the idea from her friend and if she did, explain that she wanted to be something different from my daughter, or I could tell my daughter and just ask her to pick a different costume to be nice since it's so important to her friend. Or I could do nothing. Please, strangers on the internet tell me what to do!!!

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answers from Norfolk on

Both kids have made their costume choices and both are bought.
The other girl is free to be mad if she wants to be.
Bummer Dudette but Trick or Treating and life will go on with or without her.
Too bad so sad.
Do nothing.
In fact - this girls Mom should have done nothing first.
The kid throws fits because she's found out it works for her.
She will continue doing it until it no longer works for her.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The world is big enough for 2 Meridas.
If the other girl can't accept that? She can pick something else or stay home I guess.

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Wausau on

Don't buy into the drama. The mom shouldn't have even called you. Instead, she should have told her child to knock it off or there would be no Trick or Treating. Say nothing to your daughter unless this girl keeps up the nonsense, and if she does then take the eye-roll "we don't care" approach.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I can't believe the other mom called you.
There's no reason to disappoint a CHILD because of this.
There can be 2 Meridas.
Do not disappoint your child.
The other child needs to learn that life doesn't always follow "our" plan.
Let your daughter wear the costume she has already picked out.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I would stop worrying about it. Tell your friend, "Sorry, but my daughter wants to be Merida and we already bought the costume. We are not changing now. I'm so sorry if your daughter is upset." Then just let it go. If the other girl is upset then so be it. Tell your neighbor/friend that you can trick or treat with other friends if this is that big of a problem. No one owns a costume...that's silly. In our town's Halloween parade you see lots of Meridas. This year there will be lots of Elsas. Last year there were a ton of Minions and Minecraft guys. It's a normal part of Halloween.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

When this happened to me at a prom I attended, it was not my high school or my prom, but my dates school prom, I told the girl, "well we obviously have excellent taste!" She did not look pleased, so I just tried to stay out of her way so none of the photos had us close by. My date was also very gracious about it.

The other mom is being silly. I never would get pulled into this. This is her daughters problem and I promise you, if my child acted poorly on Halloween, she would stay home and not be allowed to go Trick or Treating!

She needs to nip this behavior in the bud.

You tell your daughter not to worry about it, this is her friends problem. Your daughter has not done anything wrong and the other girl is allowed to fell however she wants, but is not allowed to make others feel bad.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

So two kids have the same costume or even the same prom dress. BFHFD. If your daughter's friend wants to be a diva, let her. It isn't as if you can stop her anyway.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Do nothing. On halloween you get to be anyone or anything you want to be. Your daughter picked who she wanted to be. If the other little girl doesn't want to trick or treat with your child then that's a shame but not the end of the world. Don't put your daughter in a position of having to change to make people like her. Today she'll change her costume to make the girl up the street like he enough to go trick or treating. In 7th grade she might skip classes to make some guy like her enough to be her boyfriend.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Good grief. I can't believe the other mom called you! Its a costume for Pete's sake.

No, I would not say anything nor would I change costumes. Life is full of disappointments, its how we deal with them that make a person's character. This little girl needs to learn that having a hissy fit isn't going to get her what she wants.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

The other little girl has something to work out within herself. She will have to get over it or move on. It doesn't matter if your daughter got the idea from her or not, it is all meant to be fun and she will have to work through it.

If your daughter finds out the issue, I would just tell her she will have to trick or treat with you.

I wouldn't exchange the costume for another.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I guess the girls will see others with the same dress on Friday on the street.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

first off i'd hugely pity the mother who is so cowed by her own daughter that she would accost another mother this way.
then i'd tell my daughter 'lucinda is unhappy because you've both got the same costume and doesn't want to trick-or-treat with you. i don't think that's being a good friend and am fine with you wearing your cool merinda costume and trick or treating with nicer friends. what do you think?'
if she's very invested in lucinda and wanted to change costumes i guess i'd let her, but my vote would be to keep the tone light and leave it up to her.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It's a lesson for them both. If her DD refuses to trick or treat with another Merida, then she can trick or treat without her friend. If the girls live nearby and you might be in the same area anyway, I'd consider going to their house and see if she's changed her mind, telling your DD that her friend may or may not want to go. Then have a plan B, like going with another friend or going to a different event if she has a fit.

I would NOT change my child's costume because her friend likes the same thing. Imagine that! A friend likes the same things! Do you know how many Olafs and Annas and Elsas there will be? Or other Meridas??

I would role play with my child what to say if her friend tries to bully her or is angry with her for liking the same character. Teach your daughter to own her own choices and not be cowed because her friend said so. The are in 1st now, but it's a lesson in peer pressure that may be good later.

It is not YOUR child's fault that her friend is acting unfriendly. Don't punish her for her friend's behavior. Both costumes are already purchased. I would let the other mother deal with her child.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Hmmm. What if you said nothing to your DD as she goes back to school? I think it's nice that the other Mom wants to give you a heads up, and she acknowledges her own DD's irrational tirade, but still. This is an issue between the girls. See what your DD says when she comes home from school. Just maybe the friend will have calmed down and accepted the idea by then. Or, more likely you'll get an earful about how her friend was really mad at her, etc. Listen to her, acknowledge her feelings, and see what she wants to do. If the friend threatens to not go trick or treating with her, you can reassure DD she can still have a fun trick or treat if this other child chooses to be angry and withhold her company. I would not suggest giving your DD the option to run out and get a new costume. I would only entertain that if your DD comes up with that idea on her own.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Tell the mother that it's a costume not a prom dress and she and her daughter need to get over it. Wow!!! A little diva in the making. The mother needs to put a stop to this now before she has a mess on her hands later. Good luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

The only way this would matter is if this were a talent competition, a pageant, a theatrical production or something of that nature, where costumes are custom-made, tailored, and often custom-designed at the more elite levels. Copying someone's personalized dress would be serious. Performers and competitors can spend a great deal of money and time creating their outfits. It also might matter if someone had her prom or wedding dress custom-designed and sewn.

In this case, the character Merida is a fictional character from an animated movie. Costumes and dolls and toys and candy and nearly every product imaginable are mass-produced to sell Merida, and the Frozen sisters and Cinderella and all of the Captain America/Batman/Iron Man heroes and almost every character in every movie and tv show.

You and this other mom both purchased commercially available costumes at what I presume is a party store or mass merchandiser. So there's no harm done. Walking into a store and purchasing a commercially licensed costume based on a popular and heavily advertised movie certainly does not guarantee that you'll be "the only one". That's just ridiculous. I know this little girl is only maybe 5 or 6, but if my child at that age had refused to go trick or treating in a costume I spent good money for, I'd return the costume and tell her that spoiled brat behavior won't fly for even a minute in my home. She has two choices: wear the costume with a good attitude, realizing that there will be many Merida and Elsa and princess costumes and probably 300 Batman and Superman costumes on Halloween, or not wear the costume and stay home and fume in her room.

I wouldn't tell your daughter to stand up for her choice, like this was a personal statement or a response to bullying. This is a chance to teach her how to brush off the many spoiled brats she'll encounter in this world (years from now it will be "she got the iPhone 23f and she copied me. I'm unfriending her.") If her spoiled brat friend treats her badly, I'd just matter-of-factly say something like "well, when we bought the costume we knew there would be lots of them (I imagine you had to look through several Merida costumes to find your daughter's size, right?). Merida was a really fun and brave girl, just like you! Just enjoy being Merida for the night and if someone else has a problem, that's their loss." No big deal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I know plenty of kids who pick the same costume on purpose so they can be "twins".
I guess you have three choices, 1. pick another costume, 2. go trick or treating with someone else, 3. Go with the spoiled brat and have a bad time

It sounds like the mother is aware of her daughter's bad behavior...now she needs to give her a big "kick in the behind" or there should be consequences for acting so poorly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I would let your daughter decide for herself. Discuss possible solutions in a neutral way; not making one way better than another. Help her list options and possible results of each. If she asks you what you'd do, I suggest responding with a conversation about what ending she'd prefer.

If this were my choice I'd keep the Merida costume and continue to be friendly with the friend. This would teach that we still love someone while we remain true to ourselves. If your daughter were to feel that pleasing her friend is more important than pleasing herself I suggest that it's possible to do both by remaining friends while wearing her own choice in costume. Her friend will let go of her anger which is a lesson for her. For me it's important to learn that friendship is not dependent on always doing what the other one wants.

If possible you and the other mom can help with learning about friendship as an acceptance of each other as they are and not reliant on what is done.

I know I'm not explaining this well. The concept of friendship is complicated.

I don'T understand being angry because a friend chooses the same costume. Disappointed, yes. If the friend could state her feelings I suggest with a bit of help the girls could work this out. My focus would be on working out something both girls could agree on and not on the costume.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I guess I'd tell her she has a choice. She can be Merida and either go trick or treating with just you or find another friend, or she can choose a different costume. maybe they'll work it out themselves by Halloween

My son went with his friend once and they were both Spiderman. They had a blast and people thought it was adorable.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I completely understand. When we've had these situations we've done one costume for other parties then done something else on for that particular activity.

One year my granddaughter wore a special costume to the city Halloween party the weekend before and to a church dress up party and a thing for my work. Then she wore something completely different for trick or treating.

Merida wears a long dress and a wig. Emphasize how hard it is going to be to run from house to house and how she will constantly be putting her hands on her wigs and how hot it will be or how she'll have a coat on anyways.

There are ways to make this better.

I'd explain that her friend is getting that one and that we are going to a couple of other Halloween parties and she can be Merida at them but for trick or treating she needs to pick something more trick or treat friendly and to let her friend, that invited her, wear her costume.

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