Remember the days when Halloween really belonged to you, not your child? Back then you came up with creative costume for her to wear in the school Halloween parade and/or trick or treating door to door?
Sure, she had some input but she was easily open to your ideas about who or what she should be and what she should wear.
Back then you took him door to door to receive his treats. You checked all his candy to make sure it was safe and controlled his rations. As he grew older, you learned to stand more in the background as he went door to door; and although he may have protested your presence, he was sure to look for you especially when the neighbor answering the door made him anxious or perhaps a bit scared.
Fast forward to today. While your younger teen may still like the idea of collecting candy door to door, he wouldn't dream of setting out before dark. While he may don a costume it is usually less elaborate and perhaps more scary than in his younger years. You may worry that tonight is more about mischief and less about candy. After all, you know you had a carton of eggs in the fridge and while you are pretty sure your teen is the culprit you highly doubt he is using them to make breakfast for his friends.
Your older teen may like Halloween because it provides a prime excuse to party. Your teen may spend weeks planning and plotting the perfect costume for the big bash on the block. You worry about the contents of the punch bowl and what the feeling of mischief in the air will mean for your teen. There's something about All Hollow's Eve that suggests anything goes. As far as your teen is concerned, this idea is less than pleasing.
Regardless of what Halloween will mean to your teen however, here are some basic guidelines or rules to discuss before the night begins.
1. SAFETY COMES FIRST.
While it may be a night of filled with merry mayhem, a quick review of the rules is always a good reminder.
2. PRE-ESTABLISH A CURFEW.
This will avoid any undue anxiety or disagreement.
3. CREATE A 911 CODE WORD.
If you have not yet established a 911 code-word with your teen, tonight is a great night to start. If your teen calls or texts the pre-established word it is your signal she needs you to come get her right away.
Related: Halloween Safety Tips
4. CONSIDER A CHECK-IN WORD AND TIME.
If you are anxious about your teen roaming the streets for hours under the guise of trick or treating, you might want to establish a check in word that he texts to you every hour so you know he is safe.
Halloween is a great opportunity for your teen to enjoy one of the last traditions of his childhood. By ensuring safety and establishing a clear understanding of your expectations, you ensure that the night will be filled with fun and laughter. After all, no one wants the night to result in skeletons in the closet and ghosts in the past.
What are your rules for your teen on Halloween?
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