Kids, Candy and Costumes: A Parent's Mini-Guide for Surviving Halloween

Like all celebrated holidays, Halloween is an opportunity for excitement and shared memories. However, to ensure the happiness and safety of all, parents should keep a few things in mind related to kids, candy, and costumes.

Trick or Treating

Going around and collecting candy from neighbors and friends is a Halloween tradition, yet you may live in a large neighborhood, and as a parent, feel a bit hesitant. If you’re not available as a chaperone, hire a babysitter, older sibling, or responsible party to usher your child around. Since kids enjoy going around in groups, plan with other parents and share the responsibility throughout the late day and evening.

If your city does not have a curfew, put a time limit on the amount of time your kids may trick or treat. Though it is a special night, explain that it is still necessary to get to bed at the usual time to prepare for the next day. Of course, kids want to consume the candy they’ve gathered, but their eyes are bigger than their stomachs. Explain they may eat a few of their favorite items on Halloween night and reserve a few bits for each day to avoid sickness and stomach aches.


Marketers and advertisers make money off the holiday, offering popular costumes at extreme prices. Since your child will be using the costume for a few hours, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to splurge on an expensive store-bought costume. Alternatively, plan time to make a costume with your child, reserving a few days before the holiday to construct something at home. It’s a great opportunity to spend time together and do something constructive. If you have the spare time, make costumes for other children whose parents do not have the money for store-bought items. Most times, you can make something of better quality that is more unique than what is offered in Halloween stores. Alternatively, search online for costumes at sites like to enjoy savings and a larger variety.


Some parents reserve special diets for their children or prefer kids abstain from eating loads of candy in a short amount of time. As mentioned, explain the candy is to be eaten in small amounts. Actually, it is a good time to teach a lesson about money or allowance. Explain consuming all the candy at once, much like spending all of one’s allowance or paycheck directly after receiving it, is a bad idea and does not allow for an even amount of enjoyment.

Alternatively, suggest your child cash-in their candy for a prize such as a toy or money. Trick or treating is most popular because the other kids are doing it versus an opportunity to accrue loads of candy. Modify your child’s behavior by presenting an alternative. Also, suggest your child share the candy with a younger sibling who did not go out or a neighbor who acquired a smaller amount. Teach fairness and the sentiment of charity and sharing.

Robert J. Mehta is a father of three pre-teens that love Halloween. He enjoys sharing his Halloween and parenting experiences online and his articles mainly appear in family lifestyle blogs.