As your kids grow, you’re growing as a parent. Your mind, your patience, and, most importantly, your understanding of their wants and needs. This Halloween we’re pairing up with the Together Counts™ program because we think you should have all the Halloween safety facts: everything from candy intake to what to do the night of the big walk. Here are a few safety tips for you and your children:
- If you wouldn’t want your children walking themselves to the bus stop on a normal day, then they’re probably not ready to venture out on their own on Halloween night. Sometimes parents feel that since they’ll be with a group of friends or in a crowded setting, that they are safer than the average night. However, depending on your neighborhood, there’s a chance that your street could be seemingly more crowded, but not necessarily safer. It’s important to gauge where your county’s police efforts are being focused – i.e. if there’s a parade or a block party in your town, then reevaluate whether or not you accompany your child.
- If your tween doesn’t want you there, it might actually be a good idea to bring a friend for yourself! Linger a few steps behind to give your tween some space! Bring a parent friend along so you can seemingly “do your own thing” while your children are knocking on doors.3. Make the candy rules before the night begins. Because a pillowcase sized portion of candy should probably consumed over a couple of months instead of a couple nights, try setting up rules before they even go out for the night. This ensures they know the game plan as soon as they get home and there won’t be the excuse of “I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to eat 10 of them!”
- Create a code word. Halloween, and many other holidays, when it could be your child’s first experience venturing out with just friends, is an opportunity for older children to engage in risky behaviors – like trying alcohol. Create a code word for your child to use so you know when they’re in a sticky situation and they don’t have to worry about saving face with their friends. Be the bad guy. “Make” them come home – and know that your child did the right thing by calling you when they were faced with something they knew was wrong.
- Create teachable moments. Whether it’s about spending some time with your little one in a new environment, letting them go out on her own for the first time, or sharing knowledge about moderation with her, Halloween is a great holiday to teach your children something new.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving andunderage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Edrington, and Pernod Ricard USA. For nearly 25 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility. To learn more, please visit us at responsibility.org.
For more holiday ideas take a look at these other posts from Together Counts!