The Halloween Bill of Rights Kids Want and Deserve
Don't control the candy. Teach kids the habits they need to manage the candy.
Posted October 27, 2016
I can't decide whether Halloween is the holiday we love or the holiday we love to hate. I do know this, however: We glorify the haul. Let's go get as much candy as we can! Then, we vilify the bounty. Whoa, How are we going to get rid of all this candy?
The message kids take away from all this mishegas is that candy has power. Really. What else do we teach kids to celebrate and then immediately fear? And before you argue that nobody fears candy, consider why it is, then, that parents contort themselves to lighten the load.
If candy didn't have so much power, if it weren't so dangerous, it could quite safely stay in the house. Imagine, candy sitting in the drawer, minding its own business, not hurting anyone. But that's not what happens.
Candy doesn't sit quietly in the drawer. It calls your name. It also calls your kid's name. And then the fighting starts. Either your own internal battle or the one you have with your kids. But things that don't have so much power don't have to be fought. They can comfortably co-exist with you and your kids.
If you dump your kids’ halloween candy you will have opted for a short-term solution to a long-term problem. You will have controlled the situation — the candy will be gone — but your children won’t have learned a thing about how to handle holiday eating.
And next year, you’ll have to recycle the same set of strategies, and gear up for the same set of struggles, to get you and your kids safely through the celebration. Yet again.
On the other hand, if you get out of the candy-containment mindset, you can take candy down a peg or two. Use your children’s mega-candy Halloween haul to teach them a thing or two about healthy eating habits. In other words, teach them how to manage the big buffet. Implement this Halloween Bill of Rights and you will do just that.
~ Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~
© 2016 Dina Rose, PhD, is the author of the book, It’s Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating (Perigee Books). She also writes the blog It's Not About Nutrition.