Halloween is an important night for kids of all ages.
It’s a wonderful social opportunity combined with the chance to exercise their creativity.
And of course, let’s not forget about all that candy.
But like many holidays and major events, the excitement of Halloween can also increase conflict between parents and children. And fighting with your kid is a surefire way to derail the spooky fun of All Hallow’s Eve.
Here are three scary conflicts you may face this Halloween, and some parenting tips to help you avoid them.
Candy, Costumes, and Curfew: Three Conflicts to Avoid This Halloween
If you have younger children, you’re probably used to doing the same song and dance about their Halloween candy every year. They want to eat all that candy the minute they get home, but you know that will result in a stomachache.
And if the candy makes it through the night, they’ll want it for all three meals the next day!
Are you just going to throw your hands up in frustration and accept the cavities and belly aches in your future? You don’t have to.
Avoid the conflict altogether by talking to your kids before Halloween night about the smartest way to enjoy their candy.
Explain why you suggest saving some candy so that they can enjoy it for a longer period of time. Without laying it on too thick, let them know that eating too much candy might make them feel sick.
Then, work with your child to create a candy-consumption schedule together. It’s important that your child feels included in this process so that they won’t feel like something important to them is totally out of their control.
Halloween costumes can be such a headache for parents. When kids are little, they may not like the costume you choose for them, or they may change their mind at the last minute. Teenagers, on the other hand, might want to venture out of the house in something you find inappropriate.
How do you navigate these minefields without causing a blowup?
With younger children, you may have to bite the bullet and accept that their whiplash tastes are out of your control. Before buying a costume, encourage your child to help make or pick out part of the costume to fulfill their desire for autonomy.
But if in the eleventh hour they still throw a tantrum because they don’t like their costume, your best bet might be to go along with it. You may get some memorable photos out of whatever they come up with!
If you have a teenager, open the dialogue about what constitutes an inappropriate costume and why. Approach them as if you’re picking their brain and offering your opinion. You’ll make the most headway if your teen feels heard and understood, rather than controlled. Show them that they have a say in the decision you come to together.
For parents of teenagers, curfew can be a major point of contention on special occasions. You want to be an understanding parent raising an independent kid, but you also want them to stay safe. Especially on Halloween, a night that’s associated with mischief and other potential dangers.
The best course of action to resolve this conflict is to collaboratively reach a solution you both are happy with. You may feel okay agreeing to their request to stay out a few more hours than usual, if they are okay agreeing to some of things that help you with your concerns around safety. Would they be willing to check in with you at the top of each hour, or maybe you’d like them to text you if they go someplace else, or maybe you feel better if you know who they are with and they let you pick them up from wherever they are. If it’s important to your kid, it is worth listening to them. The more we do that and take their perspective into consideration the more they do that for us. It is truly reciprocal.
This type of agreement will help build trust between you and your teen.
Halloween is such a special night—not to mention a source of positive memories for the whole family. It’s a great opportunity to show your kids what a supportive parent you are. Don’t let the small stuff get in the way!
Love and Blessings,
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A 3xTEDx speaker, media contributor, parenting coach, and a mom of two - helping families thrive by using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.