Halloween is a time of year that most children and teens really look forward to. It’s a time of festivities where you can dress up in your favorite costumes and be someone you really admire. Children look forward to Halloween because they get to eat limitless amounts of candy, or so they think. I love Jimmy Kimmel’s prank that he plays every year on the kids, when he has the parents pretend they’ve eaten all their candy and the kids get really upset.
Of course people feel differently about Halloween. Some view it as a time to honor the dead, and make it a more solemn occasion. Others don’t celebrate Halloween because they feel it has pagan roots and because it’s associated with ghoulish images, they prefer not to participate in it. For most people though it’s just a time for harmless fun and gives the opportunity for them to get together with their friends
For me, Halloween marks the beginning of all the other festive occasions to look forward to, before the end of the year. First there is Halloween, then thanksgiving, then Christmas and the New Year. It’s a time for us to celebrate with friends and family and to eat comfort foods and have our homes filled with love and laughter.
No matter what you personally think of Halloween, I’m sure your children will quickly get you into the spirit of going from door to door looking for tricks or treats. Here are a few tips for staying safe and healthy whilst having fun.
1. Choose your costumes wisely
Since going from door to door for tricks and treats is usually at night, always choose a costume that is visible in the dark. Don’t focus only on how good the costume looks but encourage teens to wear costumes that reflect in the dark. Also depending on where you are going, dress appropriately. I remember years ago we dressed up in our office for Halloween. Unfortunately a member of staff wore a costume that scared all the children that came into the office, and it did not help that her face was painted. Rather than it being a fun day in our office it was a day filled with more crying than usual because all the kids were scared.
2. Have fun whilst respecting others
I’ve been told of instances where teens go trick or treating and get upset because a house is in darkness or a family is not handing out candy and rather than walking peacefully away they knock incessantly on the door or even “T Roll” the house. This is so unfortunate. We really should teach teens to respect others and their property. People have a right to their opinions and if they don’t believe in Halloween or want to participate in it, there are so many other families ready and waiting to hand out candy.
3. Have good clean fun
There are a lot of parties around Halloween and its great watching people let their guard down to have some clean fun. Unfortunately sometimes amongst older teens, it’s taken as a time to really let go and experiment in drugs and alcohol. First of all, know who your teens are hanging out with when they say they are going to a Halloween party because as one mom once said to me, it just takes a neighbor reporting excess noise coming from a house, before cops quickly descend on that house. And if they come in they are not going to differentiate between the drug users and the onlookers so it’s better for your teen to not put himself in that situation in the first place. Teens should learn to have good, clean, safe fun that does not involve the use of drugs or alcohol.
4. So Much Candy, what’s one to do?
Children enjoy getting treats on Halloween and that feeling is actually infectious. But seriously what should one do with all that candy? This is a season that dentists dread. Every year, I see dentists actually offer to buy candy or replace the candy with toys because they know the harm that all the candy can cause to the teeth and not to mention one’s waistline. So allow your children to enjoy their favorite candy on Halloween but within limitation and when the day is over, the candy eating frenzy should really be over as well. Of course remind your children that they should not eat any candy that appears to have been tampered with.
5. Safety first on the roads
Encourage your teens to be careful about road safety whilst trick or treating. They should not assume that drivers are looking out for them but should be careful to walk on the sidewalks. Always look before crossing the street and definitely no drinking and driving. It almost sounds elementary to remind our teens about these rules but sometimes in a group teens forget to do the right thing. Give a simple but firm reminder about keeping it safe, as the old adage goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
With just four short days before Halloween, I can feel the excitement mounting. Everyone is talking about what they are going to wear and the parties they will be attending. Remind your teens that it’s always safety first. No drugs or alcohol and certainly no drinking and driving. They should respect others who may not believe in Halloween. Enjoy yourself on Halloween. Grasp the opportunity to be creative and daring even as you put on your acting spirit behind your favorite costume. Enjoy your treasure of candy but do so in limitation and be willing to give it up at the stroke of midnight, when Halloween is over.