There’s a certain protocol when it comes to trick or treating. Your doorbell rings, little kids in costume eagerly singsong, “Trick or treat!” and hold out their bags. You give them a treat (or two), they accept it happily, thank you, and leave.
Ahh, if only it were that easy.
On Halloween, you’re bound to get a lot of costumed characters coming to your door. Thing is, no two monsters are alike, and it’s important to understand that behind those masks are children who might be facing some issues. Here are some scenarios you might encounter on Halloween–and how to handle it.
The Kid Who Grabs Too Much Candy
Some parents hold out the candy bowl and let kids pick their favorite treat. But some kids might be grabby and snag more Snickers than you’d like. Before you reprimand the kid (or worse, ask him to put some back), keep in mind that the child might have poor motor skills. Being able to identify and take one piece might be more challenging for him. So let him grab a few extra Milky Ways. It’s okay.
The Kid Who Just Can’t Choose
Same scenario as above, except in this case, that little goblin might stand there staring at the bowl trying to decide on a candy bar. Hold your breath and practice your patience. The child might have poor motor planning issues, and it might be hard for him to take one candy. Give him the time he needs to pick the perfect piece.
The Kid Who Doesn’t Say Thank You
Let’s say that a mini Lightning McQueen knocks on your door and gets his treat. But then he walks away without saying thank you. Don’t automatically dismiss him (or his parents) as being rude. Your little visitor might be non-verbal or have language development issues. Don’t take it personally, and wish him a Happy Halloween filled with treats (and no tricks).
The Kid Who Doesn’t Like Your Treats
You open the door and a cute little queen is standing there with her trick or treat bag in hand. But once she spies those peanut butter cups you’re handing out, she looks disappointed. Keep in mind that many, many children with food allergies struggle on Halloween. To appeal to the little ghouls and goblins in your neighborhood, you can always put out a teal pumpkin and offer non-food treats. That way, all kids can get to celebrate Halloween when they come to your house.
The Kid Who Doesn’t Wear A Costume
Part of the pleasure of opening your door on Halloween is seeing the cute costumed kiddos who come to your home. So when one shows up just wearing jeans and a jacket, you might feel a little let down. But don’t ask where her costume is, though. After all, the child might have a sensory issue which makes it difficult to wear a costume. Wish her a Happy Halloween and make sure that she gets her well-deserved treats.
Halloween is a holiday for all kids. So be sure to be welcoming to all the little vampires and mummies who come to visit, and have lots of love (and treats) waiting for them.