Fall is here, the days are shorter and the kids are fixated on what they’re going to be for Hallowe’en. Hallowe’en has become a challenge for parents as our fears sometimes take over and we miss the fun and excitement.
Let’s take a look at how we can make this a fun and safe holiday for all of us.
Hallowe’en. It used to be so simple.
For children, it’s a wonderful holiday quite unlike any other. They get to be out after dark, dress in outfits, go from house to house and collect goodies. It’s strange, slightly scary, spooky, exciting, and fun.
For parents Halloween has become a frightening ritual. We’re nervous about stranger abduction, traffic and the safety of the goodies our children are receiving. But, if we just do some planning it can be safe and fun for both kids and their parents.
Hallowe’en is unique and should be a positive experience for our children. Sometimes we work too hard to make it totally safe and in doing so we take away the specialness of the holiday.
Make sure that the costume is comfortable and easy to move around in. They will not be walking sedately; they will often be running so consider that when you plan their clothing.
It’s dark outside so have them wear costumes that are a light colour or use reflective tape. The more visible your child is, the safer he will be.
October weather can be cold so design his costume so that it’s large enough to accommodate warm clothing underneath. That can be a challenge if your little princess is also going to an indoor party, but a pretty, flimsy dress without a coat just isn’t going to work in October.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must. If they need boots ensure that they are ones that will be comfortable all evening.
And it’s a good idea to use make-up instead of masks so they can see more easily. If they wear a mask, have them put it on only when they get to the door and remove it as they leave for the next house.
Kids Who Go Out Alone:
Young children are happy to have their parents walk with them. Slightly older children (6 to 8) will accept their parents’ company as long as it’s subtle. That means you stay on the sidewalk and don’t go to the door. Let them walk in front of you with their friends or siblings.
By 9 or 10 years they want parents to stay home. If they are already experienced walking in the neighbourhood by going to school, the homes of friends or the local store, this is easier.
You won’t want her to go out alone. Have her plan to go with friends you trust. Then talk to the other parents so the children they are out with have the same limits and expectations.
It’s much too confusing when it’s different for each child. Jennifer’s Mom says they can go six blocks in each direction but Madison’s folks say they can only go east and west but the streets to the north are too busy. Which rules will the kids follow?
Plan a route with the group of kids and their parents. Take into account the blocks you consider are most likely to be welcoming to kids. Let them know they should only approach houses with outside lights turned on.
I think it’s a great idea to plan a route that has the children check in at one of their homes part way through their walk. You can check their candy, they can warm up and gab excitedly about the experience so far and use the bathroom.
One advantage we have with today’s kids is that at least one of them will have a phone so you know that if they have a problem they can call, and being that they are in your neighbourhood they won’t be far away.
The Biggest Source of Danger:
Fireworks and firecrackers are a major problem.
Children do not understand that they do burn. They treat them as toys and they are not. They take them apart and put the gunpowder into pipes, creating dangerous weapons. Make sure you talk to your kids about the dangers associated with firecrackers.
If you are going to be setting off fireworks for the kids, take all the necessary precautions and ensure that your kids see how careful you are. When they see that you respect the dangers and are careful, they will understand the need for care.
Once you have prepared your kids for a safe holiday, relax and enjoy this one night of magic and mystery.
Bring Kathy to your Community
Do you want to hear more? Kathy is always happy to come and speak in your community, at you event or as a workplace wellness presentation. On her website you can find more information on her material.
My presentations will share a basic value that I call
P — is a parenting plan
U — is unconditional love
R — is respect for your child as he is right now
E — is encouragement
Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.
There are times when digital is the perfect answer and let’s face it, on a holiday having access to hundreds of books on one small tablet is ideal. I always have my kindle with me when I’m out and about.
There are lots of times when a busy parent would like to be able to simply read and my books are digital and make it easier for you to take a look.
Two of my parenting books started as print versions but the third is only digital. The first two are also now in digital format. Who’s in Charge Anyway? talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults.
But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women.
And Vive la Différence talks about the unique kids and situations which need a special look. Come and take a look. These may be just the resource you need.