Here’s Why The Switch Witch Is A Parent’s BFF On Halloween

There is one goal (and one goal only) on Halloween: Score as much candy as you possibly can collect in your Halloween bucket. But while snagging full-size candy bars might be exciting in the moment, it can be hard for parents who have to curtail all that candy eating after a night of trick-or-treating. And that’s when the Switch Witch is undoubtedly a parent’s BFF on October 31st.

The premise behind the Switch Witch is simple. She comes to your home after all the Halloween merriment has ended — and your kiddos have finally crashed from the inevitable sugar high they have been on all day. She takes your child’s candy, and in lieu of such a sacrilegious act, she leaves a toy instead. The idea is to cut down on the number of potential cavities your child most likely will get from consuming so much candy, and to help ease their sorrow from finding all of their Snickers gone, they’ll get a new toy. Shiny objects, parents. Shiny objects.

For younger children, you can help them understand the concept of the Switch Witch by reading books like Switchcraft: The Story of the Switch Witches of Halloween before the big day so that they have an idea of what to expect — and not, you know, wake up the next morning and find all of their candy has vanished. You can even discuss what kind of toy they’d like to get, and frame it so that the Switch Witch is kind of like the Santa Claus of Halloween.

But here’s where the Switch Witch can go wrong for so many families. Instead of waiting for your child to be asleep, and then going through their stash and stealing (err, removing) copious amounts of candy, it should be a conversation instead. After letting your child have some candy, you can then go through their loot together and decide what they want to keep, and what to offer the Switch Witch. Hard mints (which can be a choking hazard, anyway), can be easily donated, while other harder-to-part-with confectionery treats can be pared down. Because the truth is that your child doesn’t need 23 Twix bars.

And as you comb through the candy, this becomes an excellent opportunity to talk about health and well-being. You can explain to your child that too much candy can land them in the dentist’s chair, or that having a tummy ache from too many Mounds isn’t fun. In turn, they can become proactive about taking charge of their own health, and also understand how to make smart decisions about what to eat — and what their own limits should be.

As you go door-to-door on Halloween, know that you’ll probably have to have a candy consumption convo at some point in the night to remind your child that they won’t be able to keep all of their treats. But an even bigger one will be waiting for them the next day (perhaps wrapped in some spooktacular wrapping paper!) from the Switch Witch, who was so proud to see the pile of candy waiting for her.

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