Maximize Your Parenting on Halloween! Tips from Commonwealth Parenting
- To minimize candy overload, feed your kids dinner before trick-or-treating. Now’s your chance to review the ground rules for Trick-or-Treating.
- 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. This is a perfect time to shadow your 8 – 10 year old child from a safe distance, and observe his decision-making skills.
- 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. Another opportunity to check their level of maturity and trustworthiness.
- Halloween events, even those that are designed to be fun rather than scary, can be full of potential triggers for children’s phobias. 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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. Multiple parenting benefits – counting with your child, planning ahead, delaying gratification, etc.
- If you have extra candy left over, call nursing homes, homeless shelters or assisted living facilities and inquire if they take candy donations. Showing your child how to donate to those less fortunate boosts character and kindness.
- Another idea for extra Halloween candy – chop up the candy, freeze and use as a mix-in for ice cream or cookie recipes. This is a great way to enjoy the candy for months to come.
Halloween Tips for Kids
- Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not in the street.
- Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, (and low-flying brooms!).
- Don’t hide or cross the street between parked cars.
- Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)
- Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go with you.
- Carry a flashlight to light your way.
- Keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely flammable.)
- Visit homes that have the porch light on.
- Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.
Happy Halloween from Commonwealth Parenting!
This article was provided by Commonwealth Parenting. For nearly 30 years, Commonwealth Parenting has served as the Richmond area’s leading resource for parenting information, empowering parents to be the best parents they can be through education and support. Commonwealth Parenting family educators have supported a total of more than 40,000 families, and currently reaches more than 4,000 parents and caregivers annually. Commonwealth Parenting’s family educators and accredited experts are committed to helping families thrive. They offer hands-on instruction on a wide range of topics through community-based classrooms and private session settings, as well as a Parenting Tip Line (804-545-1928). Visit their website for more details www.commonwealthparenting.org.