Are you dreading the sugar high which inventively follows Halloween night? Being a parent and standing between you and your child's candy is never an ideal place to be put in. Here are some ideas to help you teach some lessons, get creative, and potentially avoid the weeks' long candy frenzy.
Once you have finished your rounds to the neighboring houses, and your child's bag of Halloween candy looks like Santa's sack of toys, it is time to get down to business.
Give your children the power to choose their 40 favorite candies (one for every day of the month of November plus 10 they can eat right then).
You can then give them one every day in their lunch sack, or if you want to do a creative family project, take the remaining 30 candies and create a candy calendar together.
Take a large piece of paper and write down "NOVEMBER" along the top and then section off 30 equal squares, big enough to tape the candy to. If your children are older, you can add a fun thankful twist by having everyone write one nice thing they can do that day along with their candy.
The remaining pieces of candy you can bring into your office, so you do not end up chowing down and making yourself sick.
There are so many different styles you can choose from, let your creativity go wild and see what type of calendar you all come up with.
The previous tactic helps you teach a few valuable lessons to your kid's, this one may not be as tactful, but it can be extremely effective.
Let them eat all the candy they want, but let them know that after that the candy is gone, FOREVER. They may end up making themselves sick, but they won't want to look at candy the same way for a while.
Instead of taking them all over town, plan out your route and know that for each house they may be getting 1-3 candies.
If you want less candy go to fewer houses. Or choose a much smaller form of candy transportation.
I used a pillow sack as a kid, which allowed me to go candy crazy. However, I have seen the younger kids with small pumpkin pails, which I think is genius.
That small candy-filled pumpkin will look like the mother-load. Little do they know they ended up getting at least 1/2 of what they most-likely could have.
Make a fun twist on the tooth fairy. Don't leave money, but if they put a couple pieces of candy by their bed or maybe in a sock hanging on the doorknob, switch them out for a cool sticker, coloring book, or puzzle.
Ideally, give them something to help them use their creativity and mind.
This can be a concern, but do not use Halloween to make them feel bad about themselves. Encourage them to listen to and love their body instead. This is an important thing to learn from a young age.
There is already enough out there in the world telling children that they need to look a certain way. Halloween is one day, the choices you make as a parent daily are what ultimately effects your child's health and wellness.
By giving them the control to stop eating their candy you are helping teach them about moderation.
We may think kids have no idea how to control themselves when candy is involved, but one way or another they will learn. If you allow them to make the mistake of eating too much candy, that will be a lesson they learned. You may also be surprised at their personal discretion. Work as a team to create a plan that works for you both.
Use this to make time as a family to do something fun. Be creative, if that means making a candy calendar, awesome! If it means making candy bags to give out to the homeless (make sure you add in a toothbrush and toothpaste if you do) or as gifts, great! Teach small valuable lessons in fun ways.
Ultimately, remember that Halloween should be spent together. Hopefully laughing and having fun as a family (ideally not screaming or crying in fear, unless that's what you are into.)
Take the time to get to know your kids, their likes and dislikes. No one is the perfect parent, you will inevitably make a mistake, but that's part of life.
Halloween is just one night where you exercise your parental power. You may find that the decision you made was the wrong one, and you alter it next year.
Have self-compassion and know you are doing what you can to make your child's life better. You are both on an adventure.