Raising a Gothic child
Being pagan, one is bound to run into others with misconceptions about you. Same with if
you dress differently then the norm. A child raised without these steryotypes will be able to accept others more easily and
see what is most important in each other.
There is many ideas for encouraging creativity on my various pages. This page is particularly deidcated
to the "darker" or more "unusual" side of things. For more craft or art ideas to involve your children in see the "Play and
Learn Ideas" page. Also see 'resources' for more options and information.
*The aim of most goth parents is to raise someone who isn't afraid
to be themselves. A person who is expressive and creative in the arts. Someone open and understanding of differences.
Someone who is educated, not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and to express themselves freely. Someone who is
responsible and can hold their own and enjoys culture. Children primarly learn from example and remember that every action
will end with a result. For this reason The tips on this page are geared for ageless gothics who are dedicated to their
Here is a pretty decent question/answer article with other gothic parents.
I think many of the points made here are valid and realisitc of responsible parents and it is nice to relate
Diffrences in Attitude.
Many goths tend
also to be introverts. Studies of different cultures is showing this may be genetic and your child may also be introverted.
Being an introvert is NOT the same thing as being shy! Being shy is afraid of public situations, being introverted is being
easily over stimulated by large events and groups.
"The introvert's main focus is within his/her head, in the internal
world of ideas and concepts; the extrovert's primary focus is on the external world of people and activities. Introverts get
their energy from themselves and are drained by people; extroverts get their energy from other people and are drained by being
Scientific research into the brains of introverts and extroverts has revealed some key differences in the way
they are wired. These differences have even been spotted in babies. Introverts have more blood flow to their brain and more
blood flow indicates greater stimulation. Anytime blood flows to a particular part of your body, after a cut finger for instance,
the area becomes more sensitive. This is why introverts get overwhelmed easily by very stimulating activities.
Introverts blood also flows to different parts of their brain particularly those associated
with remembering, internal thoughts and planning. Not only does introverts and extroverts blood travel on separate pathways,
each pathway requires a different neurotransmitter.
While extroverts mostly use their short-term memory and the parts
of the brain that deal with sensory impressions, introverts mainly use their long-term memory and the parts of the brain that
deal with solving problems, planning, and internal thoughts and feelings. The two brain pathways require different neurotransmitters.
The pathway that extroverts use is activated by dopamine, which is identified with alertness, attention, movement, and learning.
Extroverts require lots of dopamine to be happy, and activity and excitement increase dopamine production, so extroverts enjoy
being busy and public outtings. Introverts, on the other hand, use a brain pathway that is activated by acetylcholine, which
affects long-term memory, the ability to stay calm and alert, and perceptual learning. It is the chemical that switches on
the deep REM sleep and initiates dreams. It helps the brain recover from exertion and the utilisation of our energy stores.
Acetylcholine produces a happy feeling during thinking and feeling, so introverts enjoy contemplation and studying.
is why an extrovert will be energized from a social activity but an introvert will feel drained, as well as why an introvert
will feel energized after a long period of focued work were an extrovert would feel drained.
Young infants who have
these differneces may be seen as easily over stimulated, enjoying quiet and dim lights, and may seem to be a high needs child.
you are intorverted or a parent of an introvert there are a few things you can do to help your child develop including giving
them alone time, helping them speak slowly or waiting for them to organize their thoughts before they speak.
for more information
here are some good articles on introversion
Raising an introvert in an exrtovert world
Understanding your introverted child
shopping tip: I always suggest to buy during halloween all you can, and buy in advance
for the future. Many great halloween themed items are released during halloween that you wont find any other time. examples
are: bibs, booties, rattles, pacifiers, baskets, bags, craft projects (color your own haunted play house- great for kids and
todllers. or haunted house foam kit..like a gingerbread house..only haunted and non-edible) yard decorations, clothing, hats,
socks, gloves, dish wear, towels, candle holders, lamps, paper cupcake liners, paper plates and cups (great for picnics) paper
towels and napkins, wrought iron items, toothbrushes, little water fountains, banners, halloween nutcrackers, curtains, mirrors,
picture frames, shelves, and more. After halloween clearance is great too. last year I bought about 9 shirts, all different
sizes (some for now and some as my child grows) for only 50 cents each.
Try buying clearance costumes to add to a dress up box.
Choosing music: Exposing a child to music and the arts can encourage
a more sophisticated, intelligent, diverse, and refined person. Choosing the right music is important, be wary however
of playing music to loudly and consider what messages the music passes on to your children.
Often loud music can over stimulates younger children, causing them to be crabby and cry more. Loud
music can also damage their ear drums, yes many adults have had their ear drums damaged by loud music from normal
house speakers and children and small infants are even more prone to this so If you frequently listen to loud music
be cautious and keep music at a normal or soft level when your child is around.
Much classical music is soft, and relaxing, this is one of the many reason classical music is a good choice
for children and infants. Though of course not all of it is, some is very powerful. Classical music has many different styles.
Many goths frequently enjoy classical music themselves, it teaches history, is ageless, and dramatic. Most classical artists
were rebels for their time, highly intelligent, and un-uniform citizens. Classical music is picked for other reasons too,
children learn basic rhythms from music; as well as, above many other forms of music, classical music has one of the widest
range of insturments used, all playing different parts in unison. Children often listen to and pick apart these harmonies
and melodies. Music is wonderful for infants and has also been shown to help improve memory. Studies have shown
even newborn infants will quiet down or turn to music they heard in the womb. As well classical music has mathematical undertones
and listening can help a child recognise timbre. (a key concept in music). It won't make your child "smarter" but it
will help them develop an ear for music, tones, and the complicated underliings that are found in classical music.
to read music for older children teachs math, fractions, and more. So if you would like your child to be interested and
understand music of anytype when older, classical music can be an essential tool. If you do not already listen
to classical then try starting with some of the many classical artists requiems (songs for the dead) which are great
choice, as well as mozart.
Of course that doesnt mean all other music is off limits, exposing children
to different types of music is important. Try world music such as bands like 'dead can dance' or 'mouth music',
or try Japanese kabuki music or tribal drums. As children get older trying heavier music from different countries or
artists who sing in other languages can help them develop an interest to the music. As well, many goth bands have songs which
are primarly slower or soft and incorperate a wide varriety of classical to world instruments. Pick through
your CD's and keep a list of your favorite song or complie them onto your own "childrens" CD.
Victorian Halloween (victorian costmes and games compiled from old magazines and articles, love this
Old Fashion Halloween a funsite with lots to buy like old photos of kids in costume, postcards,
stickers, and the pop-up dracula theater.
Lucky Lil Devil Though some stuff isn't really children geared and they have a wider selection of girls clothes, heres one clothing site
Posh Tots Furnishings
Litteraly some of the most amazing furniture..unfortunatly the prices are such that only a movie star could afford them.
However the site is a great place to get ideas with creativity you can do your own variations.
Gothic style toys such a dolls, plushie cats,dogs, teddy bears and more are pretty easy to find now a days.
these are a welcome replacment to the pink "its a girl" teddy bears or the GI joe or power ranger action figures. However
personally I think one of your old, worn stuffies that you had growing up are just as good to. you know the one you loved
so much that is missing most of its hair and one eye! If your child is old enough to paint a little try sewing your own
doll and paint it together with your child using fabric paints.
Around Halloween Fisher Price Little People release Limited Edition Halloween themed/dressed people packs. Though they
are also on ebay various times throughout the year.
If you cant find anything else dont feel bad about making your own gothic barbie or bratz doll. With the outfits they
make now a days its not hard to pick a few different outfits and piece something together (the boots here, the skirt there)
or even sew your own clothes.
Jigsaw puzzle can be found with many cool pictures from dragons and faeries to thunderstorms, roses, dark castles and
Cheap board games
makes some very funny, different games to play (try Devil Bunny Hates The Earth
or kill doctor
I personally really like the darth Tader (darth vader mr. potato head) he is all in black with mask, helmet and cape.
Disgusting Science Kits: these are available at most kids toys stores, even target. They are fun leanring kits, in weird
gross ways that kinds love, from the heart, to eyeyballs, and more.
Flying bat or flying skull: these are those toys you see evrywhere that are battery controlled and fly circles around
the room attached to a thing wire/cord. younger kids love to watch them above their heads
Puppets can be bought in any style you like from cute black cats to dragons and faeries to skeletons and vampires
and anything in between. Playing with puppets encorages creatvivity and helps children express feelings, and work through
Uncover:3-D book series. these are books but they are really not like normal books and are activities in of themselves.
you open them up to see the inside of each animal, turn the pages to see muscles, bones, ect. the series includes.. Uncover
a Tarantula, Uncover a shark, Uncover a T-rex and Uncover the human body by David George Gordon
Pick out an artisitc chess set. One that insipires creativity and shows how art can be used in different forms. Then
play the game together to encourage math and thinking skill while spending time together.
Legos and similar building block sets from various companies make great sets for whatever your fancy. Dargons, castles,
princeses, unicorns, pirates, dinoasures, space ships, aliens, jungles, trains, ect. the best part of these is they can always
be made into someting differenty each time and encourages creativity. Also try the magnetic building sets.
Older children may enjoy model kits which you put together and paint. These can be anything from vintage cars, dinosaurs,
anime charecters, trains, castles and buildings, spaceships, boats, movie charecters, and more.
Ant farms, bug catchers, and bug vacums are great fun for kids to learn to enjoy the little weird thigns that stalk our
Purchase some carniverous plants (such as a venus flytrap) and have fun raising them and feeding them together.
Buy or make your own
Vintage paper dolls. These are becoming a lost toy which I loved growing up. You can get these in many various time
periods. Also you or your child can make your own clothing in any style you wish encoraging creative looks and art
skills. (some nice ones you can buy at stores include: Flower Fairies Paper Dolls-Cicely Mary Barker, Japanese Kimono Paper
Dolls in Full Color-Ming-Ju Sun, Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s-Tom Tierney, The american girls collection, Victorian
Debutante Paper Doll-Brenda Sneathen Mattox and more.)
Finding Clothing: This can be hard depending on the season
and where you live. check the local stores you shop, many are popping up with infant/toddler/childrens clothes, even hot topics
has some, while what they have usually features rock/metal bands or pop movies these may have something you like.
ebay and online stores, if you dont mind ordering online you can usually find some pretty neat stuff.
October is the best
time to find dark clothing but fall/winter in general tend to have darker colors, as well as the boys section. As well try
stopping in some of those "Dressy" kids stores, you know the ones with the outfits that look like they are for a wedding,
they usually have quite beautiful things, though pricey, some have good sales as well with a varriety of cute dresses,
suits, and clothing in vintage styles.
see the websites area for a few online stores.
Aim for something different and stop at a celtic store to buy a pint sized kilt or an asian store
to pick up a japanes kimono or robe.
If you are talented and can sew the best of course is to make you own stuff :)
Crafts: These are activities to try, and
crafts to do with your child. For some the age area is pretty obvious and others are fun for any age. *See 'Play
and learn ideas' for lots of general craft and art ideas. See the websites listed for more game ideas and the toy section
for everyday ideas*
infants 3 months and younger have limited vision as their eyes are still adjusting and developing.
Much of what they see is blury and they cannot focus to close or to far off. For this reason they love contrasting colors;
black, white, and red have been shown to captivate them the best. These colors on a mobil are great for infants.
Try making your own out of construction paper or paper board of black bats with big circle white eyes and red triangle fangs
or black and white striped cats with big red circle eyes. Hang it from above an area they commonly lay about 4 inches
out of their reach (or around 12"-14" away)
Make bat clothes pins. Cut out a rectangle shaped body with 2 pointy ears, a little bigger then a clothes pin, from black
consturction paper. Cut out some wings. Glue the body on front of a wooden clothes pin and the wings on the back. Glue on
googly craft eyes. These are great decorations, to hang things, or clip up things such as a string on window blinds that are
Try sewing your own doll and paint it together with your child using fabric paints, the more unique and imperfect it
looks the better.
Instead of cutting out a string of people, fold the paper and draw a bat, making the folded part of the paper the tips
of the wings. Then let the children color them, unfold them all and hang up around the celling.
Fabric paints and glitter glue are fun to let kids decorate their own shirt, backpack, library bag, hat or whatever craft
you want to try.
Go for walks at dusk and catch fireflies or later in the night and discuss the colors you see/don't see and how
light makes colors.
Or simply go star gazing.
Gardening together is fun, see the "gardening" link for info on night flowers and bat gardens as well as the "bats are
Try picnics at the cemetery. They are much quieter then parks and full of nature that is much more undisturbed then public
parks. Let your child do grave rubbings if the cemetery allows.
Make a snake on construction paper by drawing a spiral circle on it that gets smaller and smaller, end with a little
oval in the middle. Cut out the circle then alonge the spiral line. draw a face on the oval and put a string in the head.
hang it up and it will be twirly.
Make cats out of pipe cleaners. get three black 3-6" cleaners and twist them together. (See image) then color and
cut out a little head and glue it on. (for an extra fluffy cat use 2 pipe cleaners for each single or the type that
get puffy then thin) Use a small brush like an eyelash brush to fluff it up. Add a string or ribbon and they make great decorations.
Also try orange ones with a pumpkin head.
Old (or new) metal bottle caps are fun. they can be sewn on clothing, lamp shades, ect. or they can be made into magnets.
glue a picture in the middle and then coat with a clear coat and glue on a blank magnet (avalible at office suply stores)
or make spiders by painting bottlecaps black with red eyes then take a pipe cleaner cut into small pieces and glue on as legs.
Make a skeleton with noodles. Glue them on the paper using different types like macaroni. (see image to left) Name major
bones like ribs, spinal cord, etc.
Give children some black yarn and a chair and ask them to wrap the yarn around the legs (or back depending on the chair)
and make their own spider web. Discuse why spiders make webs.
Playing games in the dark helps them not be afraid of the dark. Try hide and seek, I spy, or use a flashlight and make
shadows on the wall.
Buy a bunch of cool stickers and a big black piece of paper board and let them make a sticker collage. As well try buying
black paper/construction paper and letting them color with gel pens.
Pumpkin spiders: Take a very small sized pumpkin (2"-3" across) with a stem and paint it black. flip it upside down
and paint eyes on it. cut the stem short, but not to short, just short enough so that it will sit pretty flat. Then take 6
or 8 long black pipe cleaners and wrap them around the stem stump as the spiders legs. secure them with glue.
Use white paper to form 5 paper loop chains, and then connect to make a skeleton. Trace children's hands and feet on
white paper, cut and glue to the ends of the arms and legs. Cut an oval shape and draw on the face.
Make an Egyptian Book of the Dead: Show Book of the Dead visuals and point out symmetry, color, and balance.
Discuse what the book of the dead was about. Like any book, the Book of the Dead had a beginning, middle and end, but this
book started when the person died. Have your child choose a charecter and decided what obstacles they must overcome to
get to the afterlife. You will need a 'scroll like' paper, a long piece of paper thats not to thick so you can roll it works
fine. Then you need to figure out how to divide the space, kind of like drawing a comic strip. Have the first frame showing their
character dead or broken or whatever. After that, go ahead and have your child illustrate the rest of their character's journey
to the afterlife. Then go ahead and add the text. Then, after it's dry, you can roll it up and tie it so it looks
like a scroll. This also turns out really neat (and easy to divide) if you buy a large variety of egyptian style stamps, background/boarder
stamps, and other stamps. For older children, if they want a challenge have them write their story using runes.
Teach culture by doing some day of the dead crafts. Celebrated on nov 1st & 2nd it has been a tradition in mexico
since before spanish rule. The gist of the fiesta is that families visit and decorate the tombs where their ancestors
lay, and offer food, drink, and temporary altars. The spirits of the dead on these dates are able to come back from the beyond
- Visit a relatives graveside or a graveyard with few visitors. Make a small altar on the ground, a rock,
a small folding tray, etc. If you cannot make one at the grave decorate one at home in memory. Decorate them with crafts
you made, Altars and graves also feature candles to light the way, water for the dead to drink, salt, and a dog statue
for the journey. Place petals of the cempaz˙chitl (an orange marigold flower) pointing in the direction from the grave to
- Make sugar skulls together at home (see recipies page)
- make paper flowers for decoration. You need a package of multicolored tissue or crepe paper and a package
of green pipe cleaners. Take 4 sheets of tissue paper and layer them, cut into 8-inch squares. Keeping the sheets layered,
take one set of squares and fold it like an accordion so it looks like a thin rectangle. At the center of the rectangle, cut
a small v-shaped notch on both sides (the sides of the middle area.) Take the end of a pipe cleaner and twist it around the
notch. With the stem pointing straight down, gently pull up one layer of tissue into the center. Pull up the remaining layers,
one by one. Repeat for the other side of the flower. When all the layers are pulled, fluff them in place.
Older children and teenager may enjoy decopage. Simply find a piece of old furniture that is sturdy but needs repainting/refinishing.
(yard sales are good for finding these cheap) next go through magazines/newspapers/books and cut out images in a theme (art
deco, victorian, cats, owls, etc.) then glue them on the furniture (slightly watered down tacky glue painted on the back works
well). Dont be afraid to layer them to cover it all. Coat with decopage waterproof clear gloss coating. This is avalible at
most craft stores. Be sure to use it outside on a dry day for good ventilation and to keep your carpet/walls clean.