Growing up my little sister and I always used a grocery store bag when we went trick or treating. At the end of the night we separately dumped out our treasures, organized our spoils by types and our parents usually took a few for themselves. Then we bagged up our treats and hid them from each other, mine usually ending up in a dresser drawer.
On Halloween night I was usually allowed to eat 5 or 6 pieces and then after that it was 1-2 a day until it was gone, which usually meant I was going to be sneaking more then that when no one was looking.
However as a grown up… and with kids of my own… I don’t think I do any of the same rules my parents did, and it really wasn’t a conscious decision.
Part of that is because we have autism in our family and by natural default the rules are going to look less traditional around here. Then as an added layer, my husband and I really focus on the value of working as a team with our kids. Don’t get me wrong, we love all three of our children as the individuals they are and we celebrate those differences. But there are some situations where the only way we are going to succeed is to really work as a team.
That being said, we seem to handle the aftermath of All Hallows’ Eve differently than when I was growing up. For starters I don’t feel some strong need to tax my kid’s loot. Sure, if something catches my eye and there seems to be plenty of it, I’ll ask. But if my kid has their heart set on that piece, that’s fine, they can say no. I’m an adult, I can buy a candy bar anytime I want. I don’t need to take from my kids because it’s some made up right as a parent to do it. If that’s a fun tradition at your house, cool. You do your thing 🙂
Secondly, the candy lives in the kitchen. I’m not sure why this is a thing, but it is.
Third, after a day or 2 I dump all the candy out and separate the crap, unwrapped garbage, and nasty old candy out and toss it 😮 Yep, I do. But here’s the thing, sometimes my kids help me do this and sometimes they don’t even care I did it. And then I dump all the sugary goodness into one shared bucket or bowl. Yep, that’s right, I combine it all into one spot.
Then after Halloween the rule at our house is, yep you can have a piece of candy anytime you want (except 1 hour before dinner, or after it’s time for bed). But the catch is that you have to eat something healthy first; banana, yogurt, toast and jam, bowl of cereal, etc.
I’ve noticed this cuts down on the sneaking of candy and after a few days the kids seem to not really care about the candy anymore. There aren’t any fights about the candy because the answer is already yes. And after the kids have had 1-2 pieces they are usually full because they also had a pb&j and a banana 😏
I feel like this also teaches moderation in all things. Candy is not evil, treats are not the devil, but they should be balanced with healthy choices first.
So what did you do growing up? Do you handle Halloween candy like your parents did? I’m curious, let me know in the comments below 🤓