Sunday, November 3, 2013

A POST-HALLOWEEN PARENTING TIP

When I was a kid I loved to come home from a night of Trick-or-Treating and organize all of my candy on my bed. Candy bars in one row, lollipops in another and so on. I also liked to stick my face into all that candy and breathe in the smell. All of those confections mixed together within the plastic confines of my Jack-o-Lantern bucket to create an odor that was nothing short of intoxicating. It's the smell of Halloween.

When I was a kid I remember one Halloween season when my Mom became frustrated with me because I was eating my candy at an irresponsible rate. I was 8! What do you expect? She threatened to take my candy and give it to the homeless people at Fort Totten, which was a local train station where the homeless congregated, if I didn't stop sneaking candy. I became so concerned after she made that threat that I went up to my room, closed the door and ate every single last piece of candy. All in one sitting! It was disgusting, but with grim resolve I saw the thing through. I reasoned, "Those homeless people aren't getting any of my candy!" I was a rotten kid.

Few children are ready for the responsibility of being entrusted with that much candy. My kids ate more candy on the evening of Halloween than they were permitted to eat for months and months prior, and they still had a big bucket of the stuff to lust after in the days that followed.

The question on most parent's minds when November 1st dawns is, "What are we gonna do with all of that candy?" After all, it's enough candy to choke a horse. The most pressing reason to dispose of all that candy are the incessant requests from the kids to look at, gaze upon, trade, and have a piece of their candy.

Their greed filled the bucket, and believe it or not you can use that same powerful force to empty it.

This was Sarah's idea, not mine, but I thought it was such a good idea that I wanted to share it with you all. Today, when the kids came and asked us if they could have a piece of their Halloween Candy, Sarah said that they could have a piece whenever they wanted, but they also had to give Mom and Dad a piece of their choice each time.  So for every piece of candy the kids ate they had to give away two. I could see their little wheels turning. Is eating this Reece's Peanut Butter Cup worth giving up a tootsie roll and a Dum-Dum? Pretty soon, we had a big bowl filled on top of the entertainment center (out of sight and hopefully out of mind) and the kid's buckets were mostly empty. Some candy they are holding back for dessert when they can eat a piece of candy without penalty. That's great. It disposes of the candy problem while giving a lesson in economics. Brilliant!




3 comments:

lisa d said...

Sarah is supah smaat mommy lady!

Joshua Tate said...

It all started when I had a dream that a scrawny plastic Halloween bucket ate a healthy looking one. Now the kids are in a candy famine and we're holding all the cards!

Marlene Rini said...

I am also teaching on Joseph in our Good News Club Congregation. We had 78 kids last time & they keep signing up!!!Tommorrow is the 4th week & the grand finale reconciliation! I so appreciate God sharing that awesome story with us!Are you using a flannel board? I can tell you the flannel board is very popular here.One more thing, I really like your cereal BFZ design.