It’s Not All Mary Poppins

How do you Handle the Candy?

The daycare Halloween Party was all it should be: small children in ADORABLE COSTUMES!!!, lots of good food, conversation which got steadily louder and more animated, only one whining child (bonus!), a few adult costumes, too, a bonus grandmother, and a happy mess when everyone left.

(Mental note: next potluck party, I ask everyone to bring their own dishes and cutlery. Much quicker clean-up when they take their dirty dishes home!!)

They talked about Halloween, of course. And with Halloween came the Big Question: What do you Do with the Candy?

There are two main schools of dealing with candy:

1. The Gluttons. Let the kids go wild. Let them chomp their way unsupervised through the entire bag as quickly as they want. And then we brush and brush and brush our teeth.

2. The Rationers. Parents take ownership of the bag, and dole out candies, one or two a day, until they’re gone.

There are some variants:

The Hoarders: parents who take some candies and set them aside for Christmas stockings or upcoming events. (November birthday party? PERFECT!)

The Hiders: parents who take a portion of the candies and set them aside FOR THEMSELVES!!!

The Eliminators: parents who take candies and THROW.THEM.OUT.

(It is far, far better that these three be done in secret. Do not let your children know, if these are in your candy-dealing arsenal. Well, except the Eliminator. That one is hard to hide…)

One approach discussed at the party which was totally new to me:

The Scientists: You eliminate the candies by performing science experiments on them. How do they handle water? (Some will dissolve right away!) What’s their boiling point? I don’t know what all else you could do, but apparently there are all sorts of ways to scientifically eliminate candy without ingesting them.

Another approach was discussed: take the candy away.

“She doesn’t know what’s going on,” one mother said of her daughter. “So I’m just going to take the bag when we get home, and it’ll vanish.”

Inside my head, I rolled my eyes. (You’ve never done that? It’s a useful trick, if a bit painful… You’ll use it a lot when your kids are teens.) You think? She might not know now, but as soon as that first handful gets dropped in the bag, SHE’LL KNOW. You can trust me on that. I didn’t feel the need to say any of that. Experience will prove me right. (Or wrong, but I doubt it.) Natural consequences: Not just for toddlers!

Emma, however, was horrified: “What? Let them go out, but don’t let them have their candy?!?!?” She shook her head, disgusted. “That’s totally unfair. These are toddlers. If you don’t want them getting more than a couple of handfuls of candy, you only take them to three houses. Pfft.” (Obviously, this occurred in a conversation with me after the party. My polite Emma did not say this to the mother.)

Now, I have my preferred method. Not that I need it any more, with my three giant, grown-up children. But I’m not going to tell you what it is yet. (Okay, so I did pretty much tell you I think the “take them away” option is not highly favoured.)

I want to know from you: What do you do with the candy? Dole it out? Let them gorge? Something else?

October 31, 2011 Posted by | holidays, parenting | , , | 22 Comments