Halloween Tips and Parenting Treats

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Maximize your parenting on Halloween with these bonus opportunities!

  1. To minimize candy overload, feed your kids dinner before trick-or-treating. Bonus parenting opportunity: Now’s your chance to discuss and review the ground rules for Trick-or-Treating. Decide on boundaries, groups, time, etc.
  2. Teach your kids to only go to houses where the lights are on, and to accept treats at the door but never go inside a house. Bonus parenting opportunity: This is a perfect time to shadow your 8 – 10 year old child from a safe distance, and observe his decision-making skills.
  3. If you aren’t trick-or-treating with your child, make sure you know their route and set a curfew. You can even have them check-in by cell phone at certain predetermined spots. Bonus parenting opportunity: This is another opportunity to check their level of maturity and trustworthiness.
  4. Glow sticks should be used for their intended purpose. The liquid inside glow sticks is made of dibutyl phthalate, and is meant to stay inside — toddlers shouldn’t chew on them, and older kids shouldn’t break open the sticks and use the fluorescent liquid as body paint. Bonus parenting opportunity: Encourage your risk-taking kid to look up dibutyl phthalate on the internet to see just exactly what it is. This should discourage him or her.
  5. Make sure the fear isn’t too intense. Halloween events, even those that are designed to be fun rather than scary, can be full of potential triggers for children’s phobias. Bonus parenting opportunity: Follow your child’s lead and don’t push him or her to overcome her fear. Find a job at home for children that are reluctant to trick-or-treat. Encourage your child to face his or her fear on her own terms, with you right behind them all the way.
  6. Sort candy with your child and save it in Ziploc bags for the future. Remove all candies smaller than the size of a grape from your young child’s bag, and double check older siblings’ bags. Bonus parenting opportunity: Multiple parenting benefits – counting with your child, planning ahead, delaying gratification, etc. 
  7. If you have extra candy left over, call nursing homes, homeless shelters or assisted living facilities and inquire if they take candy donations. Bonus parenting opportunity: Showing your child how to donate to those less fortunate boosts character and kindness.
  8. Another idea for extra Halloween candy – chop up the candy, freeze and use as a mix-in for ice cream or cookie recipes. Bonus parenting opportunity: This is a great way to enjoy the candy for months to come, which equals delayed gratification!
 Enjoy the holiday, and have a wonderful Halloween!

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