There is no sugar rush at my house today, the day after Halloween. And last night my kids went quietly and peacefully to bed with no drama, no arguing and no candy. WHAT? Yes, we went trick-or-treating, and yes my kids got quite the haul, considering we only went to a few houses in my parents neighborhood (my neighbors are Halloween scrooge’s and all turn their porch lights off).
So, amidst the Facebook posts of Halloween Blues and Post Candy Stress Disorder, what’s different at our house?
I eat all of the Candy. Okay- just kidding…I don’t eat ALL of the candy (although I do help myself to a fair amount, I won’t deny it)
I don’t buy all of my kids candy back from them (seriously…why do people shell out money for a costume, and then drag their kids around to beg for candy from strangers, just to buy it all back from them and throw it away?) I don’t believe in wastefulness, and so I don’t just throw all of their candy away either.
So what do we do?
First of all, we always go trick or treating 2 times- once at a Church Halloween Party, and once on Halloween. When my kids come home from gathering Candy, I have them choose 10 pieces of candy that are “theirs”. The rest goes into a big red bowl in an inaccessible place. What then? I typically give away the candy from the 1st night on the actual day of Halloween to trick or treaters. Cheap? Yes- but I haven’t bought Halloween Candy in years. Then on Halloween night they again get to choose 10 more pieces of candy from this haul, and the rest joins what’s left from the trick-or-treaters. Into the “Family Bowl” Since the kids only have 20 pieces each, and they carefully selected their favorites from their own bags (no fighting this way) they hoard this candy carefully and are much more grateful for what they have.
Then I have a few rules. That candy only gets eaten AFTER a meal, or as a special treat. Sugar is digested much more efficiently by your body when you eat it with a balanced meal. The kids first choose from their own stash, and when that’s gone they get candy from the bowl.
Candy from the bowl is ONLY distributed to those who have completed all of their chores (except for me, I get candy anytime I want…)
Candy from the bowl is off limits to kids- if they get caught with it, they lose candy privileges.
This candy bowl seriously lasts us months sometimes, I use it to reward good behavior, or on family game night, or when I am just feeling generous. I have been known to hand it out to my students at piano/voice lessons, pass it around in my classes at church, and take it to school for treats when I am volunteering.
Are my kids missing out on the post-halloween gorge-fest? I guess…if you count NOT being sick, not fighting over who get’s what and not acting like monsters the day after. Oh, and this way I don’t feel guilty when I take candy…cause it’s the family bowl now