It’s Trick-or-treating time! The time of year when parents either cringe or cheer.
Halloween has gotten a bad rap over the years for safety and the over-abundance of candy consumption. This year, let’s take Halloween back. As parents, of course we’re concerned about safety. The parents who walk the streets for trick-or -treating worry about de-traditionalizing the holiday, and the parents who go to the malls or other public venues say that the streets are just too dangerous.
Let’s think about this… where there are children, so are dangerous adults and young adults trying to harm and/or take them. Wherever your child will be this Halloween, they are still taking candy from someone they don’t know.
So let’s all do what we feel is right and enjoy this Halloween and employ the safety rules and guidelines set out for us every year. Do not leave your children unattended wherever they are going this Halloween, and check their treats when they get home. Adhere to your town’s curfew. The curfews actually make sense. Little legs are going to get tired running from spot to spot, and they don’t need to be out too much past their bedtime. Halloween is only one night, and you don’t want them to be too off of their routine.
As for the candy, at times as I walk the streets on Halloween I hear encouragement to get more treats, or I hear of people or neighborhoods banning together to give out healthy snacks. This is up to you the parents.
Check your child’s candy for anything suspicious, then keep it in a place where your child can’t see it. The general healthy eating rule is everything in moderation, which I translate as live a little bit. Give your child one piece of candy when he asks for it, or after dinner or when you see fit. The novelty will wear off eventually, and as with everything else he will forget about it, and you can throw the rest away or donate it.
So let’s take back Halloween, don’t stress about how much candy will be consumed or how much mischief will be gotten into. Halloween is about tricks, treats, and fun!
Theresa Davis is a former early childhood educator, and has worked in child care centers for more than 15 years. She is also an adoptive mother, trying to keep it together for her family.