October 31 is a night full of fun for a lot of families. Before the excitement begins, perhaps right after school or the night before, use these talking tips to keep your trick or treating memories happy not haunting….
Remind your little spooks of your family rules for the night as they may be different than their friends. “Some kids may run through the yard to the door, remember we take the sidewalk.” “Your friends may eat candy all night long but remember we are saving ours for later.” Different families have different rules, and this is OK!
Talk about taking turns. “Ringing the door bell is a fun part of trick or treating, remember your brother/friends want to have fun too!”
Hypothesize encounters that may cause bigger than wanted frights. If your child is sensitive to scary noises, strange lights/smells, or eerie circumstances, but still wants to join in the fun, give them permission to skip houses if they look too spooky. Come up with a code word for a house they want to pass, which may alleviate any embarrassing feeling. Being brave is a great quality in circumstances that truly require it- Halloween is a bit different!
Praise them for holding hands, waiting for friends, sharing/trading candy, listening and following directions, going with the flow. Perhaps they can open a piece of candy, or you could bring stickers and place it on their hand each time you catch them making a good choice! “Wow, I saw you wait for your brother after you got your candy, that was so kind! Here’s a sticker!”
Prepare them for the dreaded “candy crash”. Prepare meaning, before it happens! “Remember, after eating a lot of sugar, your head may feel weird, and it may be harder to follow directions. You must still listen to me and follow the rules, even if it is harder after five bags of skittles…”
Get silly! Laughter creates connection. Let loose and connect to your child, and the child in you!
All of us at Art It Out hope you have a wonderful time out in the community!