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Successfully Steal Your Kids' Halloween Candy

What to do when the candy calls your name.

Does your kids' Halloween candy call your name? Mine does. Sure, the candy can sit quietly for a little while, but then it peeps up in a tiny little voice. Hey Dina, we're sitting here in the drawer. Wanna come visit us? I don't pay attention, or rather, I tell myself I'm not paying attention.

mcgphoto/deposit photos
Source: mcgphoto/deposit photos

Hey Dina. Guess who is here. Those peanut butter cups you LOVE, the candy says a little louder.

Then, still louder:

  • Come on Dina, just say hello. One little visit. What harm can that do?
  • Dina. DINA. DINA.

With that, I'm a goner. Sound familiar?

Every year I publish my kids' Halloween Bill of Rights and while parents can usually get behind #1, The right for kids to collect as much candy as their bags will hold or #5, The right not to share their Halloween haul with their siblings, parents always react with a sarcastic laugh to #10, The Right not to have Mom and Dad rifle through our stash without permission even in their moments of desperation. Yeah, like that's ever going to happen! Stealing our kids' Halloween candy is a parental right. We've earned it.

It's easy to laugh off stealing kids' candy as harmless, but it models the struggle.

  • You shouldn't want the candy but you do.
  • You say you're only going to have a one or two pieces but you want more.
  • Candy-eating should be done in secret.
  • Candy has power, but we don't.

Halloween is a cycle of glorifying candy before the big day and then, on the stroke of midnight, vilifying the haul. Some of our concern has to do with the raw quantity of sugar we see streaming through kids' veins. Some of our concern has to do with our temptation.

Do you really want to pass candy power on to your kids?

Let me take you to a little fantasy world where candy has no power. It doesn't call your kids' names. It can sit in the drawer forever, just waiting for the moment when your children decide they'd like to have a piece. This fantasy world can exist.

Give your kids the gift of freedom from candy. Candy doesn't have to hold your kids hostage. Candy doesn't have to be too tempting.

Deflower the power with this one lesson. Your candy is your candy.

    Your candy is your candy. That's the winner lesson and it's why I'm not a big fan of the buy-back. It's also why you shouldn't "steal" your kids' candy. Instead, ask your kids to share.

    Technically, that's not stealing, I know. If your kids say yes, go for it. If they say no, respect your kids' answer. No matter how hard it is. And then get in your car, and buy yourself the most delicious, decadent candy you've always wanted. It's Halloween, and you've earned it.

    About the Author
    Dina Rose Ph.D.

    Dina Rose, Ph.D., is a sociologist and the author of the book It's Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating and the blog It's Not About Nutrition.

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