It is hard to believe we are already hitting the holiday season. I love it!
For those of you just starting out with trick-or-treaters, or the veterans who are scared of the aftermath of candy goblins, here are some tips I have learned over the years:
Tip #1: Full Tummy
It is ESSENTIAL that you feed the kiddos BEFORE heading out for trick-or-treating. Feed them something substantial and filling, yet not something that will put them to sleep. In our home, we have had great results with homemade chili and yummy bread or a roast with potatoes and veggies in the crock pot (easy to put together after a long day). You don’t want food that has a bunch of empty calories or something that will spike them just in time to leave. Make it a priority to have a healthy dinner first. The trick-or-treating will be so much more enjoyable. There is a lot of walking and interacting on Halloween night (takes a lot of energy), not to mention all of the candy sitting in their pumpkins asking to be eaten. Set them up to win.
Tip #2: Candy Limits
Have a conversation with your kids before going out (and perhaps starting a few days before – in a positive way) that they can have a certain amount of candy DURING the trick-or-treat adventure. They get to pick which one (you need to check it before they eat it) and when. For our kids, when they were little, it was one. Then it was two. When they ask early in the evening, remind them they only get a certain amount, and help them spread them out over the evening. I wouldn’t say “No.” I would just say, “Is this the time you want your candy or do you want to wait just a little while longer and see what other candies you get in your pumpkin?” Give them choice within the boundaries you set. Let them know that their body feels better when it has a little bit of candy at a time. (Educate them vs. controlling them.)
Tip #3: Candy at Home
Once the kids get home, they are tired AND excited (and so are you – tired). If they have had too much candy (trust me, stick to #2 above), add in sugar overload … not fun. Have an agreement, again in advance, of how much candy can be eaten at home after trick-or-treating. It might be none, or one. I wouldn’t go much more than one. It’s bed time and why borrow bedtime blues? When these conversations are had (and agreed to) in advance, there is less disappointment. And, take into consideration what you have done in the past. Make sure you are not taking out ALL of the fun in one swoop. Keep balance in mind and be sure to communicate with your children.
A lot of parenting is just being realistic about what’s coming around the corner, and preparing for it. It is also about being realistic in what your children are and are not able to be responsible for. We need to guide and teach lovingly. There is no sense being angry with your children for wanting what they want. After all, they are kids.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you need additional support or pointers. It is my pleasure to serve and support you along your parenting journey. To schedule a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation, simply call 951-240-1407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your fun night!