It's almost Halloween! Have you made a plan with your children for helping them celebrate without turning in to monsters? Often our best parenting comes when we think ahead and involve our children in the discussion. GROW Parenting has three tips to help your family enjoy Halloween:
1. Create a game plan.
Your little ghost might be ready to spook the entire city, while you are hoping for a trip around the block. Get clear before you leave the house on where you will go and how long you will trick or treat.
2. Candy is dandy when kids know the rules.
Whether you are fine with a night of endless candy, like to ration the candy out over time, or plan to play the switch witch (the good witch who visits after Halloween and switches your child’s candy for a new toy), avoid meltdowns by talking about it beforehand.
When the whining and begging starts, simply ask in a kind voice, “What is our plan for Halloween candy?” Remaining calm while expressing empathy with your child’s wishes will help you both follow through on your plan. (Still need a candy plan? See ParentMap reader tips.)
3. Play it safe.
Halloween can be fun for all ages, but safety is a must. Young children may be hard to spot in dark clothing, so consider reflectors, glow sticks, or flashlights for helping them stay visible. Masks are fun to wear but making sure your visibility is still clear and there are adequate holes for breathing. If you have older kids ready to venture out alone, know whom they will be with, where they will be going and what time they will be home. Ask what their plan is for staying safe, and what they will do if problems arise.
About the author: Sarina Behar Natkin, LICSW is a parent educator and consultant in the Seattle area. She co-founded GROW Parenting to provide parents with the tools and support they need to raise healthy children and find more joy in parenting. GROW Parenting offers parent coaching and classes and frequently speaks at area schools and businesses. Check out GROW Parenting’s Blog for more great tips on common parenting issues and Facebook for the latest news in parent education!