If you’re rockin’ Halloween with your kiddos this year, I’d encourage you to prepare for it with one simple rule. You ready for it?
The rule is: MAKE ONE RULE.
It’s that simple. At least one. Just one simple rule that your kids need to follow.
Then, tie the consequences to NOT following that rule to losing a privilege that is related to their CANDY.
I’m trying to make this simple. Here it is again:
1. MAKE A RULE
2. MAKE THE CONSEQUENCES TO NOT FOLLOWING THAT RULE CONNECTED WITH YOUR CHILD’S ACCESS TO THEIR CANDY.
Because here’s a huge mistake we make during a special event or occasion like Halloween: we let our kids unleash their inner monster and we pay the price for it.
You know what I’m talking about. I’m all for our kids having fun at parties, get-togethers, or events like trick-or-treating. But we miss a huge opportunity to train them in civility and self-control if we miss the ONE RULE. Am I being too real and practical?
Here are some possible ones you can steal:
1. No eating candy while you’re trick-or-treating. If you do, you won’t be able to eat any candy tomorrow.
2. From all the candy you will get tonight, you will be able to choose your top ten and the rest will be discarded (after, of course, mom and dad and grandma and grandpa have their shot at it ;)).
3. For older kidders: if you are not back home by _________ p.m., you will lose all of your candy.
… fun rules like this. Or whatever.
Whoa, Dean, relax. It’s just Halloween… lighten up and have fun!
Well, obviously you’ve never dealt with five kids and their friends running wild, candy, sugar, costumes (that often times include swords or other weapons), high energy, and lots and lots of darkness surrounding you with large hidden moving vehicles within it.
You know what I’m screamin’?
It’s not about spoiling fun, it’s just about laying down some rules and simply expecting your kids to follow them so that THEY can have fun, YOU can have fun, and everyone can be safe.
And all I’m saying to you is that you’ve got the extremely high level ground when it comes to using your child’s candy as a sting of consequences if they choose to not use self-control or make right choices. Don’t waste that opportunity. Don’t be stripped of your power. Don’t be the victim.
Choose, right now, a rule you think is important and a consequence that is fair, and explain it clearly and lovingly to your child. Then go out and have a blast.
Because even if your kids are dressing up like monsters on the outside, it doesn’t mean you need to let them be monsters on the inside as well.