Children’s dream: go and get LOTS of sweet for free just by putting out a bucket – can be their parent’s nightmare!

But actually, this can be a time to teach our kids a good lesson about health, kindness, saving, earning, self-control and making choices.
Wow you might think, how? So here are a few tips to get through the Halloween sweet indulgence.

1. Don’t deny your children the sweets. That can make sweet seem even more irresistible, leading to other problems: sneaking sweets into the house, wanting them more or eating too much sweet once they’re out on their own. Instead, let them have the joy of Halloween in all its sticky goodness and the experience of going to a party or trick-or-treating.
2. Agree up front what will happen with all the sweets:
• After your children get back from trick-or-treating or a party set up a ‘sweet bank’: where you add a ‘price’ on each sweet i.e. 10p for a Lolly, 20p for a mini bags of sweet etc. They can then make the choices of sweet or earning money and how much earning they would like.
• Or you can agree up front that no matter how much sweet they get they can only keep 10 pieces: when back from trick-or-treat go through their bags of Halloween sweets together. Tell them to each pick the 10 or so. Get the unpicked treats out of sight.
• Or you can decide before the night that you will keep a certain amount of sweet and donate the rest to a food bank, children home, Home Start etc.
• Of course, there is the option of ‘dividing’ it out into small potion so they don’t get a sweet OD. The problem here is that we will have it in the house as a ‘begging’ point ‘pleeeeeeease can we have some, it is MINE, I got them’ etc. Plus, their teeth will get exposed to sugar over a longer period of time. I have always tried to get the sweets out of the house as soon as possible in the most ‘positive’ way that does not cause shame, blame and criticising moment ‘out of sight out of mind’….

CLICK here to read ‘Halloween and children with additional needs’

Best wishes,
Mette Theilmann, founder of Predictable Parenting and creator of the Parenting Community App