Parenting Guru: Halloween is more than just candy coated teeth

brush your teeth!brush your teeth!"Time to brush your teeth!" I beckon to my pajama clad kids.

"Yay, chocolate syrup! " they cheer.

"Much better than minty fresh, " I add, handing them their chocolate syrup covered toothbrushes.

This is, of course, a made-up scenario in my mind, a nightmare. I would never give my kids chocolate syrup in lieu of a fluoride toothpaste.

So why do I allow my kids to fill up on candy on Halloween night?

I encourage my kids to go door-to-door, filling their trick-or-treat bags to the brim with candy the likes of which they've never seen. My kids go straight for the artificial stuff, the kind that stains their teeth an alarming bright red and comes in crinkly wrappers.

"You may have only as many as your age, " I'd say, cringing like a dentist.

So when my twins were four, they ate four candies and so on. Now that they're nearly 7-years-old, this means they'll eat seven candies officially, but unofficially, that is, when I'm not looking, they're sure to sneak many more handfuls into their mouths.

I would never brush my teeth with chocolate syrup and yet I find myself stealing chocolates from my kids' Halloween stash for myself. It's the most effective way I know to limit my kids' Halloween candy consumption.

If I asked my kids to tell me what comes to mind when they hear the word Halloween, they'd say, "candy!" but then they'd also say, "costumes," and "friends," and "doorbells," and "zombies!" Halloween is really much more than candy.

It's a childhood memory in the making in all its sweet, cavity inducing glory.

Photo used with permission from jwl photography.

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Akemi Bourgeois is a Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru and mom to twin boys. They live in the Bay Area. She writes at Chalk and Cheese Chronicles and edits the blog, Mad About Multiples. She is an editor at Technorati Women. Follow her on Twitter: svtwinmom.