Nifty vs. Thrifty

Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 Simple Ideas to Make Trick or Treating a Success!

Halloween is a very fun time of year but it can also be tiring, expensive, and full of drama. Don't let this happen to you! Planning ahead can prevent meltdowns, hurt feelings, and exhaustion. Follow these simple rules (plus be safety conscience!) and you will have an awesome evening with your little ones!

1. Keep your eye on the clock. If your children are young, get them started early and home early so they don't get too tired and end up miserable. Be realistic about your expectations and plan on one parent taking a young child home early if necessary so that older children can still enjoy themselves. Remember, you want it to be a positive experience for everyone, not a nightmare! As Kenny Rodgers says, "Know when to fold em, know when to walk away!"

If your kid is over 13, don't allow them to Trick or Treat. It is a little upsetting for a 13 year old to be told that they can't trick or treat anymore but it is necessary to set limits. Trick or treating is really for small kids. If you have an older child, engage them in the fun by having them give out candy and encourage them to dress up if they would like to. For crying out loud, keep your kid inside after the trick or treating hours are over, don't let you kid be one of the kids that are way too old knocking on doors after hours!

2. Prioritize what's important. Focus on how a child rocks the costume instead of who has the neatest one. I remember my brother was devastated one year because someone else at school made an R2D2 costume that was "better" then his. Focus on having good manners and having fun instead of how much candy they got and your child will have an enjoyable Halloween. Remember, it's not a competition-it's about having fun with your neighbors and family.

3. Dress your Children in Layers. Halloween weather is always tricky and can really turn trick or treating into a disaster if your not prepared. Watch the weather closely and dress your kids in an extra layer under their costume if needed.

4. Preset your children. Trick or treating is a very exciting night but it only happens once a year. Talk to your kids about expectations before leaving the house since they may not remember what it's like or know what to expect. Talk to them about manners and be clear about the plan for the evening. Give examples of what kind of things could happen and quiz them on what they will do if that occurs (example..."People may not know what you are since your character is a little unknown. What will you tell them if they ask?" or "What happens if someone offers candy that you don't like?" This will help them know what to say when the time comes.

5. Set clear candy rules and stick to them. If your child is a kid that will consume half a bowl of candy in one sitting, set some rules and stick to them. Put out other yummy alternatives for you and the kids to snack on before you are tempted to eat candy.

Finally, have fun. When you're having fun, your kids will too!

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