‘Tis the season for lots of candy. And chances are you just got a deluge of it in your house. Whether class parties at school, trick-or-treating around your block or a harvest festival, your child probably just received more candy than his or her little body can handle. If you are fine finding candy wrappers hidden under sofas and little people with chocolate evidence around their mouths for the next few days, go ahead and leave the filled plastic pumpkin out. (For the record I do find this a valid approach, and one I might practice at our house.)
However, if you want to help your child with some self-control, here are a few approaches to managing the Mt. Fuji of candy was likely dumped in your home:
The little bit at a time approach
Tonight, establish a set number of pieces that are allowed. Then in the morning a piece a day, or per meal, until the candy runs out. My mom used to do what her mom did, put it all in a big glass jar so the choices could be adequately studied before the daily piece was selected.
Benefit: Minimizing the out of control sugar highs/meltdowns, dentist bills, and tummy aches.
Drawback: Parents must also be able to practice self control if candy consumption is to be spread out. (That might take me out of this option.)
The eat it while it’s here approach
This is a hybrid between go for it and boundaries. It says, “Hey, after collecting all of your loot, feast and enjoy. Remember this as a magical night in your childhood when you could eat as much candy as you wanted. And in the morning it will be gone.”
Variations on this include the Halloween Fairy who takes it all and leaves a gift as payment. Of course we know this actually means a secret stash for moms’ and dads’ late night KitKat hankerings (just make sure you have a good hiding spot for it).
Benefit: Fun for your kids and you to have a night of simply celebrating and indulging.
Drawback: Potential stomach aches.
The sharing is good approach
Pass the candy on to someone else (unless it’s a fellow mom trying to figure out what SHE is going to do with her candy). Finding a place that would like a refill stash for their candy bowl shouldn’t be hard to do. Take it to your office, your local crisis pregnancy center or send it on to a military service person stationed overseas. They always like a little taste of home and you can feel good about sending it on.
Benefit: The candy is out of your house and with someone who actually WANTS it around. It has teaching potential for kids on the practice of sharing.
Drawback: A little bit of effort required to move the sweets on. There may be some tears (or screams) involved from the tiny ones at home.
How do you manage the annual candy takeover at your house? Seriously, we want to know.
Let the sugar highs begin.