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Preventing post trick-or-treating meltdowns

Preventing post trick-or-treating meltdowns

As a parent you’re probably both looking forward to and dreading Halloween. You can’t wait to see your child all dressed up and the excitement on their face as they get their Halloween candy haul. But, there is something about the day that turns your normally well behaved child turn into a little hellion—and that you’re not looking forward too!

For many children they’ve been anticipating Halloween for weeks or even months. With all those heightened emotions (and not to mention the gobs of sugar), they may find it hard to process all that excitement which leads to problems.

We can help you prevent the most common problems parents encounter by following these 4 simple steps.

Set expectations beforehand

Before you head out trick-or-treating or to the halloween party, sit down with your child and explain expectations for the evening. Letting your child know how long you’ll be trick-or-treating, how many pieces of candy they’re allowed to have before bedtime, or if they have to turn in their candy before these events happen allows your child to process that information which reduce tantrums and arguing.

Visit our Preventive Teaching page for help on setting expectations.

Practice expectations

If you know that you child is going to have a hard time saying thank you to strangers or turning in their candy stash, practice what you want them to do beforehand. When you practice, you child is better able to understand what is required of them which makes it actually easier for them to do.

If you need help on practicing, visit our Role-playing skills page.

Do your best to stick to your normal routine

In the excitement of the holiday it may seem like a good idea to throw out the schedule just this once. Children do well with routine and structure and it’s important to keep to that schedule as much as possible. Instead of letting your child trick-or-treat for hours after their normal bedtime, you’d do better by extending it by a half-hour or hour.

Follow through with consequences

It can be really hard to discipline our children durning holidays. We’re hesitant to be labeled the “mean parent” who ruins our child’s fun. But, when we don’t follow through on consequence, whether it’s a holiday or not, we’re telling our children that it’s ok not to do what we ask. That sets up a dangerous precedent where your child believes they can get away with poor and negative behavior.

Visit our Correcting Behaviors page if you need help following through with consequences.

We hope you by following these 4 simple steps you and your family will the best Halloween ever!