Remember saying those words when you were a kid?

Your kids may be saying that phrase over and over again on Friday to unlock the steady stream of candy from neighbors.  Whether you’re going door to door or to a church harvest festival, one thing will make the evening much more pleasant:

Teach your child some “Trick or Treat” manners.

Before you go out, have your child practice these simple social skills with you:

  • Look the person who is giving you candy in the eye and smile at him or her.
  • Say thank you clearly and enthusiastically.
  • Even if the candy is lame, still smile and say thank you enthusiastically.
  • Never say something like, “I hate that kind of candy” or “Can I take more?”
  • Don’t run if your parent has told you to walk.
  • Don’t stampede and scream to doorsteps.
  • Think of other kids too (if you have 5 pounds of candy and your sister only has one piece, win some candy for her).
  • Choose costumes that are family friendly.

Last year, I remember walking around my neighborhood with my kids.  On the other side of the street, a group of older teenage boys were walking and they really looked scary.  You know, like hatchet, blood and gore scary.  My daughter took one glance at them and I could feel fear seize her little body.

Immediately we turned our eyes away, and tried to walk as quickly as we could in the opposite direction.  Unfortunately, we looped around at one point and saw the group again.  I saw them from a distance and as we got closer, I picked up my little girl and told her to put her head on my shoulder and close her eyes.

Sometimes you will have to shield your kids from the terrors of Halloween costumes!

This isn’t just limited to trick or treating in the neighborhood.  You could be at a fun, family friendly church event and some people may still attend in scary costumes.

Be sensitive to your children.  If something they see is too scary, work hard to get them to a different location quickly, free of vampires and zombies.

That’s good manners for parents to practice. 

Treat your child as a prince or princess to shield from some of the dark figures that emerge on Halloween.

Lastly, it’s not good manners to down your candy all at once.  (But you already knew that…)


Arlene Pellicane

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