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Tidewater Parent


Minding your Halloween manners

Yes, Halloween is all about putting on the coolest possible costume and scoring the greatest amount of candy. But kids shouldn’t throw out all their manners during the mad dash.
“Parents need to remind their trick-or-treaters that regular rules of etiquette still apply on Halloween,” says Jules Hirst, an etiquette expert in California. “Their children should always say, ‘Trick or treat,’ when the door opens and ‘thank you’ after receiving their treat.”
Kids shouldn’t be entirely in “gimme candy” mode, agrees Peggy Post, co-director of the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. “Look at people when they answer the door and say, ‘hello,'” Postadvises. “Try to engage them a little bit in conversation, and always say, ‘please’ and ‘thank you.'”
A fewmore tips from Hirst and Post:
— Tell kids not to grab for candy but to wait for the bowl to be offered. If they’re with a group, they need to be patient and wait for the bowl to be passed around.
–Kidsshouldn’ttake more than one or two pieces of candy unless the adult encourages them to take more. If apiece of candy is small, a child can ask, “May Iplease have more than one?”
— Remind older kids not to push smaller children aside in their quest to get candy.They also shouldn’t be trying to scare young kids.
–It’s polite for kids to take what is offered even ifthey don’twant it. Remind them that they could always give it away, trade itoreven toss it into the trash later.
— Halloween will always be a bit crazy and noisy, but kids shouldn’t feel they have free rein to yell, loiter on other people’s property or make a mess (no throwing used candy wrappers in the streets, for example).
— Adults who don’t want trick-or-treaters coming to their door should keep their porch lights off, as well as other lights in front of their house. “Participation in Halloween is voluntary,” Hirst says. “You don’t have to do it. That’s fine, but let people know by turning your lights off. To a kid, a dark house has no candy.”
— Adults also shouldn’t hand out homemade treats or fruit, because most parents won’t let a child eat unwrapped items for safety reasons. If you don’t believe in giving out candy, you can get fun items such as super balls, glo-sticks and stickers from a dollar store.


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