Parents of young children generally have a good sense of their children’s age-appropriate needs during Halloween. They correctly accompany young children door to door, limit their activities to the immediate neighborhood, have children trick-or-treat while its still light out, carry flashlights at dusk, walk in groups accompanied by parents, and take advantage of the community or school’s Halloween parties.
For the parents of teenagers, however, it is a totally different story. Finding a balance between encouraging independence and setting age-appropriate limits is a dilemma each parent faces, exacerbated during Halloween. It is imperative that parents trust their instincts.
1. Set guidelines for a safe night. For example, are shaving cream, toilet paper, and eggs allowed?
2. Know who your children are going out with and how many others will be in the group.
3. Cover expected curfews and issues regarding cars and alcohol a few days before Halloween.
4. Encourage children to call if plans change, or if they are uncertain how to handle a situation.
Remember, it is the nature of children and adolescents to push the limits. You, the parent, must remain stern, letting the children know how you feel, and teaching them how to take the necessary precautions. By doing so, you and your children will have a happier and safer Halloween.