Halloween is a favorite holiday for children everywhere – they get to dress up in costumes and go out at night to collect buckets full of candy. What’s not to love?
However, well-meaning parents like myself who care about the development of tooth decay and Type II Diabetes can put a damper on Halloween in a variety of ways. Hopefully these tips can help keep you from ruining Halloween for your kids!
Make Cleavage the Focus of Your Halloween Costume
Unfortunately, Halloween is a night of the year where adults may feel that they can be a little more risque than usual in their outfit choices. This seems to be more of an issue for women instead of men for Halloween, since a woman can’t just be a cat for Halloween, she has to be a cat with cleavage according to the costumes available in most retail outlets.
Often it’s not just cleavage – many costume creators have taken into account the junk in our trunks and have decided to make it apart of Halloween tradition. Pretty soon, Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz is wearing a pair of sparkly thigh-high boots, a halter top and a neon blue pair of shiny disco short-shorts.
After days and weeks of never-ending chores and sweatpants that we all justify as “athletic pants,” it might be tempting to wear one of these costumes in public…DON’T. Like the third shot of tequila during a Friday night out with the girls, you will regret it, and chances are good that someone will snap a picture of you in this moment of bad judgement disguised as freedom of expression.
Insist Kids Make Their Halloween Costumes
This is a well-intentioned mistake on the part of many parents of my generation, since many of us, at one time or another, used an old sheet as a costume. My mother insisted on cutting a breathing hole in the sheet, and pretty soon my “ghost” costume resembled Charlie Brown’s in The Great Pumpkin.
Regardless, many of my costumes were home-made. One year, I decided that my kids should make their own costumes, forgetting one essential detail: I hadn’t actually made any of my costumes when I was a child – they were creatively engineered by my mother who did not work outside the home.
Imagine my surprise when I realized finally that my children were not making their Halloween costumes – I was making them, right along with figuring out what we would eat for dinner and how to solve that project problem at work.
Just pony up the dough and buy the costume at the retail or local thrift store. Trust me, your kids will love it and so will you.
Substitute Toys for Candy
Halloween is one of two nights during the year where my children can gather and eat literally all of the candy they possibly can stuff into their small bodies. By the time trick-or-treating is over each year, I’m grieving the lack of an avaible flask and counting the minutes until the kids go to bed – being the candy police is the lowest priority.
If you feel the same but want to help children everywhere take good care of themselves, Halloween night is neither the time nor the place. Direct that wonderful energy toward the greater good, because handing out anything other than candy to the neighborhood kids on Halloween night runs your household the risk of a dozen or more eggs and/or rolls of toilet paper being liberally spread over your house and yard.
Be the Switch Witch
Unless your child is gluten-free or deals with a food allergy, there’s little reason to be the Switch Witch. It’s a strategy that causes a lot of unnecessary public angst. Instead of trading their Halloween candy for healthier options after trick-or-treating, just wait until they go to bed. Then raid their candy,taking and hiding your personal favorites. Bag up more of the Halloween candy to donate to teachers or to the troops, leaving some candy behind for your kids to enjoy until the sugar bombs of Christmas arrive!
About the Author: Kelly Wilson is a busy mom, elementary school teacher and author of Don’t Punch People in the Junk: (Seemingly) Obvious Life Lessons to Teach Kids. Read more about her at wilsonwrites.com.