One of the main themes you will notice throughout all of Home On Purpose is anticipating problems before they begin. Life is always easier when we plan ahead and avoid difficulties.
What are the difficulties we can anticipate when it comes to candy at Halloween?
Problem #1: The kids bring home too much.
Whether it’s a harvest festival at your church, a special party, or good ol’ trick-or-treating, we can expect our kids to bring home more candy than we would ever buy.
Problem #2: The kids are tempted to eat too much.
From sugar highs and crazy behavior to sugar crashes and tummy aches, I think we can all agree that candy is dangerous. It’s amazing how something so sweet can turn our kids’ behavior so sour!
Problem #3: The kids’ expectations have been built up for a while.
Again, however your family chooses to celebrate at this time of year, I think it’s safe to assume your kids have been looking forward to it, and they are expecting sweets.
Those are the most common problems, now what do we do about it?
How can we solve these problems before they occur? There are many approaches you can take, and (of course) it depends on the ages and personalities of your kiddos.
I will simply share how our family will curb the candy this year, and you can decide how you might apply the same strategic thinking in your household.
Here’s what our family does . . .
First and foremost: The kids know this plan well in advance.
I do not wait until they’re swimming in buckets of candy to spring this on them. At least a few days ahead of time, I make sure they know what will happen and why.
We let them gather as much as they want!
When we’re out trick-or-treating (or wherever we choose to take them), we let them go nuts! Fill your bucket! Have a blast! No restrictions!
The Three and Seven Rule
The plan kicks in when we get home. The kids dump all their candy out on the kitchen table and choose their top ten favorite pieces. We let them eat three pieces on Halloween (which is very generous considering how little candy we let them eat the rest of the year). The other seven pieces go back into their buckets, and, as you’ve probably guessed, they get to enjoy one piece a day for a week.
Let the teenagers grab the rest!
Thankfully, since our kiddos are still young, they’re in bed early. Once they’ve removed their favorite pieces, we dump the rest of the candy back into the giant bowl on our porch and let the junior high kids clean us out.
In my experience, this “rationing” plan lets our children fully enjoy the crazy fun of this holiday, while still avoiding the biggest problems. In fact, it works so well, we use it for other candy-centered events like Easter Egg Hunts!
It always amazes me how just a little bit of intentionality can make such a huge difference.