Every Halloween, I end up regretting how we handle the whole candy thing with my kids. I feel like they go crazy with all of the sugar but I don’t want to be the bad guy and say “no” to all of it. Any ideas?
Halloween provides the perfect opportunity for setting loving limits. With our child’s best interest at heart, we can decide ahead of time what guidelines feel best around sweets. When they ask (and they will), “Just one more… please?!?!,” we can take a breath and feel comfortable sticking to the loving boundary we have created.
Some practical tips:
- Set the candy consumption expectations well before Halloween night and make them clear. Talk about the limits you have decided upon a few times so that they are not a surprise.
- Try a candy exchange. One year, we found a dentist office that was trading candy in for light up toothbrushes and a $2 bill. (This worked when my kids were younger.) Earth Fare has also had exchanges in the past.
- More recently, my husband and I selected a number of pieces of candy (2) that the kids could have per day for 5 days. This allowed them to pick out their top 10 pieces of candy. The selection process ended up being fun and playful.
- Shamelessly, one year we decided to buy the candy from the kids for 10 cents a piece. We then made a trip to the toy store. At that time, I was prepared to do almost anything to prevent them from eating any junk. I realize that this plan may have sent a totally different message, so just be sure to know your priorities and consciously choose what feels best for you and your kiddos.
Regardless of what you decide, set the limit with love and stick to it with empathy and compassion.