Home On Purpose is all about solving problems before they begin.
Life is always easier when we plan ahead and avoid difficulties. When it comes to candy at Halloween, there are multiple obstacles that parents have to overcome.
Problem #1: The kids bring home too much.
Whether it’s a harvest festival at your church, a special party, or good old fashioned trick-or-treating, we can expect our kids to bring home far 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 have high expectations of fun.
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 to enjoy lots of sweets.
How can we possibly solve all of these problems without killing the fun?
Your approach will depend, of course, on the ages and personalities of your kiddos, as well as your personal parenting style. I will 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.
The kids know the 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 that year), 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 from trick-or-treating. 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 neighborhood teenagers grab the rest
Thankfully, since our kiddos are still young, they’re in bed early. Once they’ve removed the top ten favorites, we pour the rest of the candy back into the giant bowl on our porch. The junior high kids usually clean us out within the hour.
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!
A little bit of intentionality goes a long way!
Every resource in the Home On Purpose program is filled with simple strategies just like this one.
Each instructional guide and lesson series shows you how to anticipate the most likely problems and solve them before they begin, so you can enjoy the freedom of a functional home!